Too much Trump

Donald Trump spoke for an hour and ten minutes, and he did not seem as if he was enjoying it. Trump’s demeanor at the start of the speech was almost genial, and at points, he managed the twinkle in the eye that he gets at some of his rallies, such as when he was chiding Democrats for pledging “lawyers for everyone” if you come here illegally. But the length and repetition of the speech, full of State of the Union–style recitations of policy accomplishments and proposals and shout-outs to people in the gallery, drained the life out of him by the end. The closing peroration about the bold nature of Americans may have soared on the page, but fell flat because Trump was out of gas…

This has been, on the whole, a very effective and visually striking convention, but at its heart was always the question of whether the other speakers could sell a vision of Trump and the Republican Party at odds with how many people — with reason — see Trump himself and his agenda. Trump didn’t go and do anything outrageous tonight, but the overstuffed nature of his speech and its listless ending felt like a letdown at the end. It remains to be seen if Trump can muster the focus and joie de vivre he will need to keep the momentum going and not re-dig his own holes down the stretch run.