The process of choosing presidential nominees, which began all the way back in February, will finally reach its conclusion in the next two weeks as the Republicans and then Democrats hold their national conventions. Donald Trump is the only contender remaining in the GOP race, but it will actually be made official during the Republican convention, which starts today and runs until Thursday in Cleveland.
Aside from The Donald’s coronation, this year’s Republican convention is set to make huge waves for a number of reasons. In fact, it already has! Delegates have begun meeting to work out policy issues before the primetime event, and some Republicans were holding out hope that they could use rules to prevent Donald from taking the nomination. Even though he won enough delegates to clinch the nomination, many Republican National Committee insiders still hold a certain amount of discomfort with him because he strays from some of the party’s typical views (his opposition to free-trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a big one). Some of those people had hoped they’d be able to change RNC rules to “unbind” delegates, in other words to allow them to vote for whomever they want rather than who won their state’s primary. It was never likely to result in Donald being outvoted — there wasn’t another candidate for delegates to rally around, for one thing — but it was finally defeated last Monday. The path remains clear for Donald Trump to take the mantle of Republican nominee.
Joining him on the campaign for the general election will be Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who was announced as Donald’s pick for vice-president on Friday. The convention will essentially be his debut as Donald’s running mate. Mike Pence has championed some of the most restrictive reproductive rights bills in the country, including one that would have made parents have funerals for fetuses either aborted or miscarried and cover all the costs of those funerals (that one didn’t pass). So we can probably expect even more fireworks than we’ve already seen from the Trump/Pence campaign in the coming months.
Mike Pence isn’t the only person of note who will be showing up at the convention. While Donald’s campaign had teased a number of celebs and athletes as possible convention speakers, many of those people have since said they won’t be showing up — including football stars Tim Tebow and Tom Brady. But Kid Rock and Dave Navarro will be there, and Caitlyn Jenner, who has said she thinks Trump “would be good for women’s issues,” will be in Cleveland during the convention. She’s said she’s there for other reasons, but time will tell!
Another mainstay of any political convention is protests, and this year’s GOP meet-up is no different. Some reports have as many as 50,000 protesters planning to show up in Cleveland this week, though there will likely be dampened turnout after the shootings last week of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the five police officers in Dallas. At least one march, which was supposed to be led by Al Sharpton, has already been cancelled.
No matter who shows up or how many protesters there are, it’s going to be a raucous four days, sure to be filled with announcements and political action that will grab headlines all week long.
Let us know what you’re looking forward to seeing at the Republican convention by tweeting us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Andrew H. Walker, Aaron P. Bernstein, Dimitrios Kambouris and Drew Angerer / Getty)