Henderson: RNC Shows Donald Trump Will Need More

It’s Not Over Yet For Team Trump

Give the city of Cleveland credit for pulling off the Republican National Convention with no major hiccups. I know that was the big concern four years ago when the GOP came to Tampa, and I remember how relieved my city was when it was all over and downtown was still standing.

Aside from that, what did Republicans really accomplish in their four-day DonaldFest?
If the party’s intent was to reach out beyond its base of true Donald Trump believers, it is questionable whether that succeeded.

The festivities were famously boycotted by many key Republicans, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And after Sen. Ted Cruz set Twitter on fire with his non-endorsement of Trump, I’m positive the majority of Republicans wish he had hung out with Kasich instead of coming to the convention arena.

The four-day conclave wasn’t the well-oiled machine for which Republicans certainly wished. Besides the Cruz controversy, the plagiarism charge on Meliana Trump’s speech was allowed to linger about 48 hours longer than it should have.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

Following a string of rebukes to the media for reporting on it and denials that such a thing could ever happen, the campaign finally admitted that, er, uh, yeah … the plagiarism charge was accurate.

And although the convention delegates rallied around their nominee following Cruz’s “Wrath of Khan” attack on Trump (“Revenge is a dish best served cold”) it never seemed to reach the fever pitch inside the hall that could transform Americans watching at home.

Trump’s most fervent supporters won’t agree with that, of course, but they were already sold on their man. He will need more than that base to win the White House.

B 5
For that to happen, Trump will have to convince several million more Americans to embrace his isolationist ideals. It’s not impossible. People didn’t think Great Britain voters would decide to leave the European Union, but the lure of controlling their own country was too much to resist.

That is one of Trump’s central messages. He seems to be telling supporters that America is better off without worrying about the rest of be the world. The rest of the world, he is saying, should worry about America.

There is such a thing as overdoing it, though, and Trump frequently obliterates that metaphorical line you don’t cross. He is banking on voters deciding the bombast he now shows is just a campaign tactic and that he will be more circumspect as president.

B 4
Believing that is a canyon-sized leap of faith for a lot of people.

There is little more Trump and Republicans can say about Hillary Clinton that hasn’t been repeated a few million times already. A smart tactic right now for Team Trump would be to move beyond the rhetoric and show that its man has the chops to master the intricate details of the world’s toughest job.

The reality show star would get a reality check on his first day in the Oval Office.

A 5
Trump promised he’ll fix this, do away with that, and act like a one-man wrecking ball if he gets to Washington. The problem is that whole “separation of powers” thing that identifies the United States from other less-inclusive forms of government.

Much of what Trump says he will do is actually illegal under the constitution. Many other things he says he will do is subject to approval by the House and Senate. There is no guarantee Republicans will be in charge of either chamber after the election, and even if they are he can’t just fire members of Congress who don’t agree with him.
Trump has made it this far, though, and few people believed that would happen.

There is just one more step to go, even if taking that step is the most daunting task of all.