Cleveland is having themselves a summer. A month after welcoming home the NBA Champion Cavaliers, tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on the Rock and Roll Capital of the World for the Republican National Convention.
For awhile, it looked like this might be a contested convention, but Donald Trump put that excitement to rest a couple of months ago when he amassed the necessary delegate count to secure the nomination on the first ballot. The Convention is about to begin. And this is all you need to know.
1. Vice Presidential Pick
The leading contenders seem to be Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence, and Chris Christie. But Mr. Trump likes flare. I suggest two dark horses might still be in the running: Ted Cruz and Mary Fallin.
Mary Who? Fallin is the Governor of Oklahoma, and would be a fantastic choice. She is a true conservative, obviously a woman, and fairly unknown, which is actually a plus. If Trump picks someone we all know, two hours after the announcement, the thrill will be gone. By picking Fallin, the story will keep the Republican team in the headlines for several weeks. Is she a likely pick? No – but she would be a great one.
2. Surprise Speaker Schedule
Usually, we would know the line-up weeks in advance. But not this year. Mr. Trump has said he may speak every night, and that many in his family will address the convention. It has been confirmed that Sen. Ted Cruz will speak, as well as Speaker Paul Ryan. Bobby Knight, iconic basketball coach at the University of Indiana, is expected to speak, as well. As for the other speakers, stay tuned.
3. Notable No-Shows
Several high-profile Republicans have declined to appear. The list includes former presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, along with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The two most recent Republican nominees, Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Mitt Romney, will not be there. In fact, the only former nominee who will attend is former Sen. Bob Dole, who will make only a brief appearance. Additionally, many of Trump’s competition will not come, including Sen. Marco Rubio. This will be a different kind of convention – not the “Who’s Who” of the Republican establishment we are used to seeing.
4. Delegate Count By the Numbers
Trump secured the nomination before the last few primaries. According to ABC News’ latest analysis of the delegate counts, Trump is estimated to have a total of 1,543 delegates. He needed 1,237 to secure the nomination.
It is likely that by the end of the first ballot, Trump will have more delegates than originally pledged. That is because many of the other nominees have released their delegates to vote for Trump in an effort to build party unity.