The norovirus celebration in Cleveland comes to an official end tonight. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Former Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz emerged as the biggest story from Day Three of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, overshadowing an evening that was supposed to belong to Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence. The big news from Cruz was his pointed refusal to endorse Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for President, a gambit that appears to be backfiring already. From the Washington Post:
Ted Cruz is on the defensive after he gambled his political career on refusing to endorse Donald Trump, with key allies turning on him and members of his home-state delegation questioning his motives.
After his dramatic prime-time speech here last night to the Republican convention, after which he left the stage to loud boos and was then refused entry into an angry Sheldon Adelson’s suite, the runner-up for the nomination came under friendly fire during a surreal Texas delegation breakfast.
As some chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump,” Cruz argued that the less courageous route would have been to skip the convention. He said he called Trump three days ago to say he wouldn’t endorse him. “Why not,” someone yelled from the crowd. “I’m happy to answer that, but I won’t engage in a screaming fight,” the senator replied…
…Another Texan asked him how he could go back on his pledge, made during a Fox News debate last summer in the very arena where he delivered his speech last night, to support whomever wins the GOP nomination. Cruz said Trump “abrogated” the pledge with “personal” attacks on his wife’s looks and by suggesting that his dad was somehow involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. “I’m not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said.
Cruz’s refusal to endorse Trump is obviously a longer-term political gamble that assumes Trump will lose badly in the General Election to Democrat Hillary Clinton. A likely Presidential candidate again in 2020, Cruz is also hoping that Republicans either forget his dismissal of the GOP nominee or somehow come to view the move as a principled political stance rather than a selfish grab for the spotlight. We may get the answer to this question fairly soon; much depends on whether or not Cruz’s non-endorsement actually moves the needle in a negative way for Trump or is generally ignored by GOP voters.
► Donald Trump will accept the Republican nomination for President tonight at the RNC in Cleveland (theoretically, at least). The success of the Convention in general may hinge on Trumps’ performance.
► Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is not likely to be named as Hillary Clinton’s running mate on a Democratic ticket this fall. From the Denver Post:
Hillary Clinton may name her choice for vice president as early as Friday, and despite repeated flirtations, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is not expected to propose to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Instead, three other Democrats — U.S. Sen. Timothy Kaine of Virginia, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Labor Secretary Tom Perez — emerged this week as more likely picks to join the Clinton ticket.
Rumors about a potential Vice Presidential slot for Hickenlooper have been ongoing for months now, reaching their peak last week after Hickenlooper met with Hillary at her home in Washington D.C. We can’t say we’re surprised by this — while Hick was certainly in the discussion at some point, there was never any strong indication that he had cracked the Top 3 on Clinton’s wish list. On the plus side for Hickenlooper and his supporters, it seems very likely that the Governor could end up with a Cabinet appointment in a potential Clinton administration.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) continues to refuse to indicate that he is a supporter of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, though the freshman Senator’s trademark question-ducking is far less relevant when you remember that Gardner already pledged to support the Republican Presidential nominee.
► Looking for more Day Three analysis from the RNC in Cleveland? Chris Cillizza lists his winners and losers from Wednesday, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker earning a particularly harsh critique:
Watching the Wisconsin governor speak, I was reminded of how wrong I was about Walker’s potential as a presidential candidate. Walker looked so good on paper — conservative, Midwestern swing state governor etc. — but when the bright lights went on, he simply couldn’t make it go. That was again the case Wednesday night; Walker’s attempts at a call and response — “America deserves better” — fell flat. His speech, which he memorized, felt rote and unemotional. A big part of politics is performance; Walker proved again he is not a performer at the highest levels.
► Republican businesswoman Michelle Van Etten etched her name in convention history on Wednesday with one of the most cringe-worthy performances you’ll ever see at a major Party convention. Van Etten opened her speech by saying that her dream as a child was to one day perform in a circus; mission accomplished on that front, at least.
► How do you turn a relatively-minor gaffe into a brutal three-day story? Just follow the example of the Trump campaign in its bumbling response to allegations of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s Convention speech on Monday. We can’t help but feel for the staffer who ended up under the bus long after the story had gotten out of control for the Trump campaign.
► Colorado Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn made it onto the Daily Show on Comedy Central…which isn’t really a good thing.
► A federal judge may soon decide on whether the government should require people to choose a gender when applying for a passport.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Absurdly obvious conflict of interest? Check. Upfront disclosure about said conflict of interest? Crickets.
► Kudos to the band Third Eye Blind, which used a concert performance near Cleveland on Wednesday to speak out in favor of LGBT rights.
► “Colorado Pols Field at Mile High Stadium” appears to be an unlikely outcome in the battle for naming rights over the football home of the Denver Broncos.
► The first openly gay Republican to serve on a national GOP Platform Committee is distressed that Republicans opposed every effort to soften harsh language about the LGBT community and the belief that marriage is an institution reserved for one man and one woman. We certainly understand the frustrations of Rachel Hoff, though we’re curious that she would have expected a different outcome from hardcore Republicans.
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