Barry Soper: Trump turns RNC into show and tell

Convention goers from Texas remove their hats during the invocation at the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday in Cleveland. Photo / Washington Post
Convention goers from Texas remove their hats during the invocation at the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday in Cleveland. Photo / Washington Post

They look so accessible and they're talked about as though they're everyone's next door neighbour.

By the end of next week Cleveland, Ohio, will have had their fair share of the political hoopla that goes with endorsing two people, who'll battle it out for the next three months, before the winner walks away with the key to the White House, although for one of them, Donald Trump, it's the power and certainly not the pad that he's interested in. When it comes to luxury living, he has plenty of mansions to chose from.

The second day of his party's convention saw them trotting out every well heeled Republican sycophant, along with politicians who were dragged kicking and screaming to tick the Trump ticket.

They trotted out a soap opera star who talked about herself, a pro golfer who mostly talked about herself and the encouragement Donald gave her with her game, former Presidential hopeful Chris Christie who talked about the evil incarnate Hillary Clinton and Speaker Paul Ryan who refused to endorse Trump in May but was on board in June, no doubt after a nudge nudge, wink wink about his future in a Trump administration.

And the grown up Trump kids were wheeled out on stage with newly graduated Tiffany breathlessly telling us how she'd given speeches in the past to her classmates but never to ten million people and her brother Donald Junior who, unlike his dad, looks like a model for a believable suntan with a head of hair fit for a Pantene commercial. His performance was heavily scripted and clearly performed after much practice.

So polished, the enthusiastic commentators waxed, that he could be running for President himself one day. Why not? We've had the Bushes and the Clintons are now having a crack.

Next week they'll pay homage to Hillary Clinton as she reads her autocue to the Democrats.

But if they are Presidents for the people there was little evidence of that with Barack Obama's sidekick Joe Biden who's here for less than 24 hours, tagging a trip on from Australia.

The media will be seen but they won't be heard by Biden. He'll be tantalisingly close but the order's gone out, there'll be no questions, which for the media is a bit like being a doctor, asked to listen for a heat beat without a stethoscope.

It would have been quite nice to ask him why he claimed at a cocktail party in Auckland last night that our first casualty in Afghanistan, Phil Goff's nephew Matthew Ferrara, who held dual citizenship, was a young man in his prime in 2008, when he was in fact killed a year earlier and how at the same time he referred to him as Michael rather than Matthew.

Was it just scripted or heartfelt?

Questions, sure, but there'll be no answers.

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