Winners, Losers From Day 1 of the RNC
Controversy overshadowed Melania speech
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2016 5:07 AM CDT
Updated Jul 19, 2016 5:33 AM CDT
A Donald Trump supporter wears an elephant-shaped hat during the opening day of the RNC.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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(Newser) – This year's gathering in Cleveland promised to be the most unconventional GOP convention in decades, and Day 1 did not disappoint, although the Republican Party probably isn't entirely thrilled about how things are shaping up. Here are some of the winners and losers analysts named after the day's events.

Among the winners:

  • Donald Trump's ego. His entrance Thursday night, complete with a smoke machine and "We Are the Champions," was "epic," writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post, who says he has always wanted politics to be more like pro wrestling.
  • Social conservatives. On Monday, the party adopted a platform that some are calling the most conservative ever, the AP reports. Christian conservatives praised it for being "the most pro-life platform ever," and for opposing same-sex marriage and bathroom choice for transgender individuals. They also loved this line: "Children raised in a traditional two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime, or become pregnant outside of marriage."

  • Rudy Giuliani. The former New York City mayor delivered what was deemed one of the more impressive Day 1 speeches, reports the Huffington Post, which was particularly impressed by the fact that he didn't mention 9/11 once as he warned about America being in danger, though he did spend time talking about Benghazi.
  • Richard Nixon. Looks like Nixon is back in fashion: Trump's allies "proudly portrayed him as the heir to Richard M. Nixon" and his "law and order" message, which appears to be Trump and the convention's main inspiration, according to the New York Times.
Among the losers:
  • Melania Trump. She was widely praised after a speech that touched on Trump's softer side, but her remarks were quickly overshadowed by accusations that she—or her speechwriters—had plagiarized Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech, the Hill reports.
  • The Never Trump movement. There were angry scenes Monday as Trump opponents tried and failed to "unbind" delegates, making it a certainty that Trump will become the GOP nominee.
  • Sen. Joni Ernst. The Iowan is a rising GOP star, Cillizza notes, but she wasn't scheduled to speak until after 11pm Eastern, long after Melania Trump spoke and the Quicken Loans Arena emptied, "meaning that the number of eyeballs on her were WAY fewer than she and her allies would have liked."
  • The Republican Party. The discord and scheduling woes were enough for Politico, among others, to deem Day 1 "disastrous." Cleveland.com notes that the divisions were highlighted by the Trump campaign's attacks Monday on Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is skipping the convention.