Bob Bernick’s Notebook: Fear and Loathing in Cleveland

bernick mugWatching the National Republican Convention on TV is like looking at a video where the kid is riding his bike toward a huuuuge dirt ramp, and you know it’s not going to turn out well.

But I got to say; I think Donald Trump is getting the convention he wanted – crazy, out of control at times, full of second-rate speakers who say insane things.

Like Ted Cruz’s speech.

You knew he was not going to endorse Trump.

Trump knew he wasn’t going to endorse him.

Yet Trump gave Cruz a valuable time speaking slot.


So Trump could walk in at the end of the speech and blow “Lyin’ Ted” away.

And the Melania Trump speech?


In the newspaper business, you would be fired for that kind of plagiarism (except the Eyres in the new-improved Deseret News).

And Trump’s campaign sent out all their surrogates for a day to say Melania did not take whole paragraphs from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention speech, only to have a staffer admit the copying two days later.

I mean, this is crazy stuff. It is political theater at its best – or worst.

I’d feel sorry for Melania – except that she married this guy, lives like a billionaire queen, and has a fantastic life.

And then, on top of it all, the solidly Cruz Utah delegation didn’t even get to count their votes for Cruz!

All the Utah votes officially went for Trump because of a Utah GOP bylaw that says the official count will be for the convention winner.

The New York Times is reporting delegates are bailing out, going home early, anything to get away from this circus before the big top crashes down on them and the lions are set loose.

But first, the nominee has to give his big acceptance speech. It comes Thursday night, and this column’s deadline is before that.

So I haven’t seen it at this writing.

But I’ve been to more than a dozen national political conventions, starting with the Republicans in New Orleans in 1988.

And I can’t remember many of the nominee’s big convention speeches.

The national pundits all say these addresses are “critical.”

That the nominee has to knock the ball out of the park, and use that momentum to go on to win in November.

I don’t buy it.

Most Americans aren’t watching.

The Democrats are going up against the Rio Summer Olympics next week – what a timing disaster for them.

I don’t think it matters much what Trump says Thursday night.

You know a week (or a day) later he will say something off-the-cuff crazy to get even newer headlines — like if he’s president, he won’t “automatically” defend a NATO ally if they are invaded by Russia.

(He would, however, likely go to war for Scotland; he owns a golf course there.)

In any case, you see how silly this is all getting?

I’m just glad I’m in good old Salt Lake City and not at this convention.

Still, like the video of the kid racing up that huuuge dirt ramp, it is hard not to watch what is going to happen next.

There certainly will be blood and pain.