The Trump Campaign is STILL Talking About Melania’s Plagiarism

Plagiarism comparisons were front-page news on CNN.com on Tuesday.

Plagiarism comparisons were front-page news on CNN.com on Tuesday.

The big story from Monday night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was the allegations of plagiarism in a speech delivered by Melania Trump, the wife of GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump. Various Trump spokespersons spent the next 36 hours trying to downplay the fairly indisputable evidence of plagiarism, much to the confusion of politicos on both sides of the aisle.

Today, after blaming everyone from Hillary Clinton to My Little Pony for the plagiarism story, the Trump campaign finally came clean…sort of. As Chris Cillizza writes for “The Fix”:

A day-and-a-half removed from revelations that Melania Trump, the GOP nominee’s wife, had plagiarized portions of the speech she delivered Monday night to the convention crowd, the Trump campaign offered up an answer that made sense.

Meredith McIver, an employee of Donald Trump’s company (not campaign) had accidentally used first lady Michelle Obama’s words from a 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention. Melania Trump had read McIver passages of Obama’s speeches that she liked, and McIver jotted them down without realizing they belonged to the first lady. (McIver’s full letter is here.)…

…The smart thing to do — and the thing that any even marginally traditional campaign would have done — is rapidly figure out that the blame lies with McIver, release this letter overnight Monday and cast the whole thing as an innocent mistake by a longtime loyalist who was simply trying to help her friend Melania Trump.

That approach wouldn’t have squashed the story entirely on Tuesday. But it would have taken a whole lot of oxygen out of it. By Tuesday night — and certainly by Wednesday morning — the talk of the town would have been Donald Trump Jr.’s terrific speech Tuesday night and how momentum was building to Ted Cruz and Mike Pence Wednesday night.

Instead, for some unknown reason, the Trump campaign spent all of Tuesday defending a position that they knew they could never hold.  And then they gave up on it. Inevitably.

Maybe it’s not such a good idea for the Trump campaign to operate without a clear campaign manager or a group of seasoned communications experts.

 

Caption This Photo: Baio-Szabo!

Republican Jefferson County Commissioner Libby Szabo was largely ignored during her brief appearance on stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday — she was also misidentified as a Colorado legislator — but at least she got to hang out with Chichi Chachi (damn you, autocorrect!)

Scott Baio is 5’10” tall, if you were wondering.

Scott Baio and Libby Szabo, together at last.

Cory Gardner Already Said He’d Back GOP Presidential Nominee

Sen. Cory Gardner (left) and Donald Trump

Sen. Cory Gardner (left) and Donald Trump

As John Frank writes today for the Denver Post, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) continues to dance around the idea of Donald Trump as the GOP Presidential nominee:

Pressed on whether he will vote for Trump, Gardner said “I will say this — I certainly will not be voting for Hillary Clinton.” Asked whether he would just not vote, he said that is not an option. “I think a no vote is giving the victor, whoever that may be, the win without your participation. And I think everyone needs to have their day in this, win or lose.”

Asked once again whether he will vote for Trump. “There’s a couple days left, and I look forward to hearing what they have to say,” Gardner reiterated. “There’s some questions I still need answered, and I look forward to hearing the speeches.”

Gardner had previously endorsed both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz for the Republican Presidential nomination, and while he has coyly declined to say that he would support Donald Trump specifically, Gardner is already on record promising to back the GOP nominee for President. Here’s how Gardner ended a long back-and-forth with the Wall Street Journal in March:

WSJ: Is there a reason you won’t say, “I will support Donald Trump if he’s the nominee?” Your candidate [Marco Rubio] said that tonight.

Mr. Gardner: What I know is, I will support the Republican nominee.

Gardner obviously does not want to say outright that he will back Donald Trump for President, but he has said he would back the Republican nominee for President…which happens to be Donald Trump. The rest is just rhetorical details.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 20)

Get More SmarterToday is the 47th anniversary of the first manned moon landing (if you believe in that sort of thing). 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…

► We can finally dismiss with the formality of calling Donald Trump the “presumptive” Republican nominee for President; on Tuesday delegates at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland made it official. Trump’s formal nomination came despite continued protests from Colorado’s delegation. As John Frank reports for the Denver Post, Colorado Republicans are being shunned as a result of their un-Trumpiness:

Colorado is the troublemaker at the Republican National Convention. And Donald Trump — many delegates believe — put them in the corner as a punishment.

The rebuke is obvious when you look at the red-carpeted convention floor. The seats for the state’s 37-member delegation are as far as possible from the stage in a not-so-subtle signal that it remains a “Never Trump” stronghold.

From its back-corner position Tuesday, Colorado defiantly cast 31 of its 37 votes for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, drawing boos from the crowd inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Only four delegates declared support for Trump.

To make matters worse, the state later requested a correction to its tally to add two more delegates for Cruz after the first tally was announced with an error.

Colorado’s defiance didn’t make any difference in the results on Tuesday, as a rumored last-ditch anti-Trump protest failed to materialize.

 

► Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, takes center stage at the RNC tonight in his first real introduction to a national audience.

 

► Colorado will not see a fall ballot measure to suspend TABOR refunds after supporters announced that they were not able to generate sufficient resources to qualify for a November campaign. As Ernest Luning writes for the Colorado Statesman:

Supporters of a state ballot measure to set a 10-year time-out on TABOR revenue restrictions called it quits Tuesday, blaming what could be a crowded fall ballot, the high cost of getting across a complicated argument to voters and an “uncertain political climate.”

“In November, Colorado voters are going to be asked to decide on up to 10 statewide ballot initiatives, dozens of candidates as well as local ballot initiatives,” said Colorado Priorities co-chairs Dan Ritchie and Al Yates in a joint statement. “The crowded ballot has made it difficult to secure the resources necessary for us to win in November.”

The ballot measure would have asked voters to approve spending tax revenue — regardless of restrictions on revenue growth under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights — on education, transportation, mental health and services for seniors.

The proposal was one of several that emerged from Ritchie’s Building a Better Colorado effort, which was aimed at determining what state residents want from government and charting a course to get them there.

Colorado Priorities says that the proposed measure was polling very well in early testing.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Radio Interview Illuminates Personality of Darryl Glenn

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn

Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn

If you’re still trying to understand Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, consider listening to the interview of Glenn that aired on Colorado Public Radio last month. It’s one of the most illuminating interviews of Glenn so far.

Host Ryan Warner touched on a bunch of topics, first explaining that Glenn, who describes himself as an “unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative pro-life, Second-Amendment-loving American,” is an El Paso Country Commissioner whose low-budget primary victory was fueled by a powerful speech at a Colorado Republican convention and his endorsements from Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz.

A good radio interview gives you an overall sense of the interviewee, in addition to the substance. And Warner’s interview of Glenn shows the candidate’s combativeness and confidence. So you should listen to the interview, not just read it, though you can do both here.

Warner pushes Glenn with admirable persistence on global warming, which Glenn rejects as being caused by humans. Here’s the exchange:

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Never Trump Protestors Plan Final Display of Resistance

UPDATE (5:10 pm): No big surprise, but last gasp attempt failed to, uh, gasp?

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UPDATE (4:23 pm): Colorado announces 31 votes for Ted Cruz, 4 votes for Donald Trump, and two abstentions. Colorado announcement is booed by the rest of the crowd.

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UPDATE (3:52 pm): Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the “Permanent Chair” of the RNC, just kicked off the official nominating process for Republican candidates for President and Vice President. Watch the live feed here.

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NeverTrump
As Politico reports, delegates at the Republican National Convention who are supportive of the #NeverTrump and “Free the Delegates” movements are planning one last hail mary revolt this evening:

“We’re still furious,” said Regina Thomson, a Colorado delegate who helped lead the “Free the Delegates” movement in support of the conscience vote. “Look how many hundreds of people took time off work, spent thousands of dollars to be here … their vote meant nothing from beginning to end. They’re angry and they should be.”…

…Invoking a conscience vote could spark a return to the convention floor chaos that marred the opening of the GOP convention Monday. The roll call, set to begin at 5:30 p.m., typically starts with Alabama and proceeds alphabetically through the 56 states and territories. The chair of each delegation – typically the governor or state party chair – announces to the convention how many votes its delegates cast for Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and other candidates. But anti-Trump delegates may challenge those counts and force their states to poll their members. Under the rules, the chairman of the delegation is required to count the votes. But a new provision in the rules adopted this week requires that only the bound vote be counted by the convention secretary, Vermont delegate Susie Hudson.

Anti-Trump forces and their allies are also expecting Republican Party leaders and the Trump campaign to work to prevent any tactics they have at their disposal. One option they’re watching out for: skipping the roll call vote altogether. If delegates suspend the rules – which requires a roll call vote – then moves to declare a nominee “by acclimation,” it’s possible the convention could nominate Trump without going through the motion of a state-by-state roll call, preventing the possibility of a public spectacle.

The state-by-state roll call vote is scheduled for 5:30 pm (EST). We’ll keep you updated here at Colorado Pols as the chaos in Cleveland continues.

 

Senate Republicans Set New Record for Obstruction

NARAL-GuinnessAccording to a press release from NARAL Pro-Choice America, the group has submitted an official petition nominating Senate Republicans for a Guinness World Record for “Longest Delay of a Supreme Court Nominee”:

NARAL Pro-Choice America today submitted an official petition for Sen. Chuck Grassley and his Republican Senate colleagues to be recognized as Guinness World Record-holders for the longest delay of Supreme Court confirmation process in history. The letter, which is available HERE, comes 125 days after President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland for confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This ties the previous record for the longest delay in a confirmation process, set back in 1916 during the confirmation of Justice Louis Brandeis. While Senate Republicans have claimed their record-breaking obstructionism has not been motivated by a political agenda, leaked audio from Senate Judiciary Chair Grassley confirms that their strategy has really been about limiting access to abortion all along…

…“The Colorado General Assembly can get the entire state’s work done, including a budget, in 120 days. Senator Gardner can’t even manage a meeting with Judge Garland in 125 days,” said Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “Senator Gardner and his Republican Senate colleagues are setting a record, and not in a good way. Coloradans expect better of their public servants.”

Yes, this is political stunt, but it is a pretty damn good one on a very important issue.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 19)

Get More SmarterIf you catch any phrases below that look familiar, it’s probably the fault of a rogue speechwriter. 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…

► If there is a ray of hope for Republicans after a disastrous first day of the Republican National Convention, it may be as simple as this: It (probably) can’t get any worse in Cleveland. As Ron Fournier reports for The Atlantic:

Trump and his four-day infomercial are about to become laughingstocks—unless he quickly figures how to manage an enterprise far smaller and less complicated than the U.S. government.

A divisive first day of the GOP presidential convention turned to disaster late Monday night when the denizens of social media discovered that the candidate’s wife, Melania Trump, had plagiarized Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. As you can see here, large portions of the speeches overlap in a way that can’t be blamed on coincidence.

The Trump campaign, as if often does, disputed the indisputable.

It’s difficult to pick the biggest story from Day One of the RNC, but you could certainly cite charges of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech on Monday evening. The Trump campaign was spending much of the day on Tuesday working on damage control.

As disasters go, you could also point to an afternoon delegate challenge of Trump as the Republican Presidential nominee as the big story of the day. An effort to force a state-by-state roll call vote, which was driven in part by Colorado’s Republican delegation, was shut down when Rep. Steve Womack appeared on stage (twice) to declare the challenge a failure.

 

► John Frank of the Denver Post has more on Monday’s delegate revolt against Donald Trump that included significant involvement from Colorado’s GOP delegation:

Republican leaders moved quickly to silence the effort — eager to present an image of unity despite a fractured party — and approved the rules on a debatable voice-vote that sparked a shouting match on the floor…

…“We were just completely robbed,” said Kendal Unruh, a Colorado delegate and a leader in the “Free the Delegates” movement that is part of the Delegates Unbound coalition scheming to upset Trump.

 

► Colorado Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn had a prime-time speaking role during the RNC on Monday evening that fell completely flat. Glenn’s speech was going to be overshadowed by earlier events at the RNC — as well as Melania Trump’s plagiarized remarks later in the evening — but Glenn didn’t help himself by delivering the same red meat cliche-ridden speech that helped him capture top line at the Colorado Republican Convention in April.

Here’s what Chris Cillizza of “The Fix” had to say about Glenn’s remarks in calling the El Paso County Commissioners one of the “Losers” of Day One:

A series of hackneyed one-liners (Hillary in an orange jumpsuit etc.) and blatant appeals for applause (stand up and cheer for blue lives) were bad enough. But this Glenn line put me over the edge: “Someone with a nice tan needs to say this. All lives matter.”  Oomph.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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CU Calls Union Meeting, Openly Engages in Union Busting

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After calling for a meeting of CU-Boulder classified employees, CU administrators openly and brazenly spoke out against the union. Using typical union-busting tactics, Interim Chief HR Officer Katherine Erwin decried the importance of workers coming together for a common cause and insisted that individuals represent themselves in discussions about pay, benefits and other job-related matters.

 Additionally, at the beginning of the meeting, CU administration requested that all union staff leave the room, a move denounced by Colorado WINS members in attendance.

 The July 7 meeting, called by CU-Boulder’s Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Kelly Fox, was described as an effort to combine the administration’s meetings with union-elected representatives of the classified staff and another unnamed employee group. However, only classified employees and CU administrators participated in the proceedings. Additionally, several graduate student workers showed up in solidarity with Colorado WINS members.

 At least 35 workers from Dining Services, Facilities Management, Housing and other areas of the University attended the meeting to push CFO Fox to commit to a living wage of $15/hour for all campus workers. They were met with resistance to the idea and an offer to continue meeting to discuss alternate ways in which the University can support its employees.

 Workers stood united in their demand to keep wages as the primary focus of any negotiations. Management, in turn, pushed to shift the discussion to benefits, including parking fees, tuition discounts for employees and their dependents, professional development courses and other perks. Members acknowledged that some discussion is needed about certain benefits but that a living wage and pay compression (for those in senior or supervisory positions who now make as much as workers who recently received raises) were a priority.

 In response to management’s union-busting tactics Colorado WINS members insisted on their right to organize and be represented by their union. They pointed out that by organizing themselves they were able to pressure the administration to issue nearly 500 wage increases to lowest paid campus employees.

 The only commitment from management that resulted from the meeting was to continue discussions and extend the meeting time from a half hour to a full 60 minutes. Colorado WINS members will continue to organize their coworkers so that all voices of CU Boulder employees can be heard collectively.

 

Celebrity state house candidate won’t say whether he’ll vote for Trump

(Don’t ask “questions” about “issues,” I’m a reality TV star! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Donald Trump, Ben Higgins.

Donald Trump, Ben Higgins.

What does it take to score national media coverage even before you decide to run for a northwest Denver state house seat? Try being the star of ABC’s hit show, “The Bachelor.”

Bachelor star Ben Higgins has been stacking up the news coverage for his decision to run, as a Republican, for Colorado House District 4, which is an incredibly progressive northwest Denver district. I should know; I live there. Voters in HD 4 sent Democrat Dan Pabon into office with a 78 to 22 percent margin in 2014, and it’s hard to imagine his DUI arrest would turn voters to any Republican.

So how is Higgins possibly going to win in HD4? Is Higgins going to be some kind of anti-Republican Republican?

News coverage of the race didn’t illuminate his specific policy positions. So I called him with questions, and he had time to answer four on my list, leaving 21 queries for later, I hope.

This week, the biggest question for Republicans like Higgins is, will they vote for their party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump?

“How everybody votes is up to them,” said Higgins, declining to answer my question of whether he’d vote for Trump.

It’s a “good thing” that Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, is from Indiana, said Higgins, who’s also from Indiana, but he doesn’t know enough about Pence, a right-wing conservative, to comment on him.

Higgins would not say whether he’s pro-choice.

“My goal as a representative will be to listen to people’s stories,” said Higgins. “We can get in the weeds and the gray areas all the time. When it comes to any social issue, my decisions we be based on my foundation, which is my faith, and I will listen to people’s stories.”

Colorado Statesman referred to Higgins’ Christian faith, but Higgins has not detailed how it would play into the mix in his policy decisions.  From the Statesman:

While producers didn’t emphasize it on the show’s 20th season, fans have flocked to Higgins in part because of his strong Christian faith, demonstrated by a prominent tattoo that has been visible in his shirtless appearances on the show and on social media. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed — Proverbs 16:34,” the tattoo reads. (It should read “Proverbs 16:3,” Higgins acknowledges, but the tattoo artist mistakenly added a “4.”)

The business analyst from Warsaw, Indiana, was considered “such a catch” that contestants competed for his affection more intensely than in any previous season, The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss told E! News in January.

Asked about gay marriage, Higgins said, “I am about everything that makes people happy. I believe love is love.”

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Melania Trump, Meet Scott McPlagiarist!

TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: File this away as another example of the response being worse than the original offense. CNN.com is running a front-page graphic comparing Melania Trump’s speech with Michelle Obama’s 2008 remarks.

CNN-719-FrontPage

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The big story swirling after yesterday’s Night 1 of the Trump Republican National Convention in Cleveland has a familiar ring:

Donald Trump’s campaign manager denied allegations Tuesday that Melania Trump plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, calling the accusation “just really absurd.”

Scott McInnis.

Scott McInnis.

…At least one passage in Trump’s speech Monday night plagiarized from Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.Side-by-side comparisons of the transcripts show the text in Trump’s address following, nearly to the word, the would-be future first lady’s own from the first night of the Democratic convention in Denver nearly eight years ago.

The denials are coming fast and furious from Camp Trump, but the words in question leave little doubt:

Here is Trump, on Monday:

“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son,” Trump said.

And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

And here is Obama, on August 25, 2008:

“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and to pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Melania Trump.

Melania Trump.

Prior to giving her speech last night at the convention, Melania Trump said unequivocally that she had written the speech with “as little help as possible.” Now that she’s accused of plagiarism, of course, it seems much more likely that the blame will fall on a subordinate speechwriter–even if that requires Melania to revise her claims of principal authorship. Given Donald Trump’s extreme reluctance to admit anything like a mistake, it’s likely that the story will go on far too long before the buck-passing even starts.

We of course recalled immediately the 2010 plagiarism scandal that effectively ended gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis’ campaign, following a similar arc from denial to the blaming of subordinates who cribbed the words attributed to McInnis “without his knowledge.” In both cases the audacity and degree of the plagiarism is quote shocking, and it’s hard to understand how it was carried out without any concerns that it would be discovered. We’ve even wondered in retrospect if the “researcher” helping McInnis had burned him on purpose.

Either way, it’s just…so sloppy. It amazes us to see it happen repeatedly at such high, or at least well-funded, levels.

Darryl Glenn Misses Chance At RNC Spotlight

TUESDAY UPDATE: Westword’s Michael Roberts:

The most prominent Coloradan on the official program — Darryl Glenn, the El Paso County Commissioner running against Michael Bennet for the U.S. Senate seat — received a lot less attention, even though he referred to himself as having a “nice tan.”

Glenn was scheduled to speak at 7:41 p.m. Mountain, just shy of twenty minutes before major networks ABC, CBS and NBC began their coverage. As such, the main TV venues during his time on stage were cable-news nets Fox News, MSNBC and CNN — but none of them actually broadcast his remarks. Instead, he could be seen (but not really heard) in the background of shots as pundits and personalities such as Megyn Kelly, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow and Wolf Blitzer kibitzed.

In the hall itself, however, Glenn was a smash…

Unfortunately, there were no new votes to win “in the hall itself.”

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UPDATE: The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza was very much nonplussed by Glenn’s speech:

Losers

Darryl Glenn: A series of hackneyed one-liners (Hillary in an orange jumpsuit etc.) and blatant appeals for applause (stand up and cheer for blue lives) were bad enough. But this Glenn line put me over the edge: “Someone with a nice tan needs to say this. All lives matter.”  Oomph.

Yeouch.

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Colorado GOP U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn just finished his speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. We’ll be watching for news reports about the speech as they come in, because unfortunately for Glenn, it appears that none of the three cable news networks carried Glenn’s speech live:

glennrnc

That’s as close as Darryl Glenn came to being “aired” on CNN: a shot on a projection screen in the distant background behind anchor Wolf Blitzer. We’re told that Glenn was also ignored by FOX News and MSNBC; we’re looking to confirm.

Folks, we have to say this is a real surprise. Prior to this speech Glenn had received a great deal of press for his convention speech slot, with reference to his powerful address to the Colorado Republican state assembly in April–a speech that catapulted Glenn from minor candidate to the nominee for the U.S. Senate. Glenn’s opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, is considered the only real chance Republicans have at a pickup this year, admittedly a chance that has been in decline since Glenn won the nomination.

We have to assume that RNC showrunners had a role in selecting which candidates would receive cable news face time–or at least have a suggestion that should, in any strategic sense, include Glenn. It’s anybody’s guess why Glenn didn’t rate coverage when other less prominent figures like the Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, were carried live. Did the Colorado GOP delegation’s failed uprising today upset the powers that be enough to take it out on Glenn? It’s curious to say the least.

And for anyone hoping Glenn might actually have a shot against Bennet in 2016, this was a huge setback. Glenn is never going to get another shot at a national audience like this. This was Glenn’s Barack Obama moment to shine.

And he got chumped by his own party.

Chaos in Cleveland as Another Anti-Trump Effort Squelched

UPDATE (5:14 pm): It sounds like Colorado’s delegation is far from finished with creating a ruckus in Cleveland:

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UPDATE (4:45 pm): This was most assuredly not how Republicans were hoping to kick things off on Day 1 of the GOP Convention. From “The Fix”:

For Republicans desperately hoping that unity would be the word of the day and the week here in Cleveland, however, the damage was done. The images of unhappy Republicans shouting for a chance to show their dissatisfaction with Trump and then walking out makes for just the sort of images out of this week that Republicans were hoping to avoid.

It showed, powerfully and with the eyes of the national media watching, that the idea that the GOP was rapidly uniting behind Trump is a pipe dream. And that divisions — real and serious ones — remain, no matter the rhetorical attempts to paper them over.

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UPDATE (2:42 pm): More details from Politico on the circus in Cleveland:

Critics of Donald Trump had attempted to force the vote and submitted the signatures they believed were necessary to do so, but after holding a voice vote on the rules, Rep. Steve Womack declared the rules approved and moved on.

Womack left the stage amid an uproar, only to return to the stage moments later for a second voice vote. He again declared that the ‘ayes’ had won, again to protests from the crowd.

Forcing a roll call vote requires support from the majorities of seven delegations. Anti-Trump delegates submitted what they said were a majority of signatures from at least 9: Colorado, Washington state, Utah, Minnesota, Wyoming, Maine, Iowa, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The also claimed that Alaska had provided signatures as well.

But Womack, after the second voice vote, said on stage that three states had withdrawn from the roll call effort, leaving it short of the support needed.

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Lots of breaking news in Cleveland at the moment. As the Los Angeles Times reports:

Multiple state delegations walked off the floor after the rules were passed twice by voice vote and anti-Trump delegates protested on the floor.

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