The top 5 takeaways from the Republican National Convention

The #RNCinCLE had no small share of memorable moments, but these were the most significant

Historically, party conventions are raucous occasions, a sense of which has been lost in recent election years — but this year's Republican National Convention landed somewhere between the World's Fair and a conservative trade show in terms of spectacle. 

Although it was difficult for the conference to establish a tone with everything going on, there were five key takeaways from the Quicken Loans Arena.

5. People still aren't happy about Trump

The four-day conference kicked off with Stephen Colbert hijacking the stage and asserting that neither himself nor Donald Trump should have been at such an event.

Although Colbert is on the left wing of the political spectrum, there was still debate among conservatives over whether or not Trump should really be the party's nominee. 

The Alaska delegation still attempted to cast 12 votes for Ted Cruz, 11 for Trump and five for Marco Rubio, azcentral and USA TODAY reported. However, Trump still took more than enough votes to gain the nomination at 1,725, when he only needed 1,237. 

It all came to a head Wednesday night when Ted Cruz conspicuously declined to endorse Donald Trump in his speech.

4. The GOP united against Clinton

Although it took a while for the party to get on the same page regarding Trump's nomination, members wasted no time pulling together against Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.

When Trump's wife, Melania, delivered a speech with passages plagiarized from a 2008 Michelle Obama, Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, wasted no time passing the blame onto Clinton and the media.

Although the speech contained passages that matched Obama's speech, nearly word-for-word, the campaign initially denied any plagiarism, inadvertent or not. 

Manafort said the reaction toward Melania Trump's speech was manufactured by the media refusing to focus on matters of greater importance and Clinton's campaign seeking to cut down any and all challengers.

On Wednesday, July 20, the speechwriter who crafted Melania's speech, Meredith McIver, issued a statement on the Trump campaign website.

McIver said she tendered her resignation to the Trump campaign, but Trump and his staff turned it down, saying humans make mistakes and can only grow and learn from them.

3. Theater took precedence over specific plans

Trump came out to introduce his wife, Melania, on the first night of the convention in what felt more like a WWE entrance than a political speaking engagement. 

As Queen's "We Are the Champions" roared and a silhouetted Donald Trump walked out onto the platform, there was no doubt that this convention — much like the entire race — is unlike anything in recent history.

The band tweeted their disapproval of the Trump campaign's use of the song on Tuesday, July 19. 

This wasn't the first time a musical act has disapproved of Trump using a song, either. In October of 2015, Trump took to Twitter to voice his displeasure over Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler asking him not to use his songs at campaign events. 

2. The party attempted a show of solidarity

As Paul Ryan — who previously hesitated greatly over giving Trump an endorsement — delivered a speech Tuesday at the convention, a notion of party unity took over the crowd.

Ryan understands that his party is at a crossroads with a political outsider heading the ticket against Hillary Clinton, who has made herself into a bastion of American politics through the course of the last two decades.

"What do you say that we unify this party?" Ryan asked in his speech. "What do you say that we unify this party at this crucial moment when unity is everything?"

1. It's all about the Trumps

Although conventions are platforms for the party to set its agenda and speakers to orate to thousands upon thousands of people, this RNC showed that the whole Republican race has really been about the Trumps.

Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., came out at one point of the convention to announce the New York delegate count which gave Trump the nomination. 

"Congratulations, Dad," Trump Jr. said at the convention. "We love you."

Contrary to the practice of saving the nominee's appearance until the tail-end of the convention, Trump was a constant presence throughout the entire convention — as was his entire family. 

Although GOP members showed more unity than in months past, one thing remained clear during the RNC: The spotlight is Donald Trump's, perhaps more than ever now that he is officially the Republican Party's presidential nominee. 


Reach the reporter at jwbowlin@asu.edu or follow @mrjoshuabowling on Twitter.

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