theSkimm's Guide to

THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

THE STORY

The Republicans are coming. It’s convention time.

WHEN AND WHERE?

It’s raining red, white, and elephants all week in Cleveland, OH. Hint: it’s no coincidence they’re in Ohio, a major swing state that often decides presidential elections. The convention is going down in the stadium where ‘Bron ‘Bron and the Cavs usually ball out.

I’M NOT GOING. BUT HOW DO I WATCH?

On PBS every night from 8-11pm ET. Or just watch the important stuff on any big network from 10-11pm ET. Yes, you can also live stream it.

WHY IS THE CONVENTION IMPORTANT?

Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee. But once upon a time there were 16 other candidates. And they all faced off in state primaries. Those states had delegates up for grabs – with different rules about how they were divided up. The goal was to get the majority of delegates. Trump did that. And now it’s time to formally vote to make him Miss GOP America.

AND THAT WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN?

Yes. Probably. There’s a small but fierce group of “Never Trump” GOP activists who still can’t accept that he’s the nominee. Last week, they tried and failed to re-write the convention rules to “unbind” the delegates and let them cast a vote for whoever they want. It may be messy, but a Trump d'etat is highly unlikely.

WHAT ELSE IS THE GOP DOING?

The convention’s also about signing off on the Republican party’s platform. Meaning, where the party officially stands on key issues. They’re all in on Trump’s proposal to build a big, beautiful wall on the US-Mexico border. They also want a worldwide trade deal to level the playing field for US goods. But they still don’t approve of same-sex marriage. Or porn.

WHO WILL BE THERE?

Party people like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Media. Donors. Lobbyists. Random celebs. The general manager of Trump Winery.

WHO WON’T?

A lot of establishment Republicans. They haven’t fully warmed up to the Trump in the room. Many lawmakers in tight re-election races are calling in sick. Trump’s old rivals former Gov. Jeb Bush, and even Ohio Gov. John Kasich (whose state is hosting) won’t be there. Former GOP presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain said ‘no thanks.’ Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has to mow his lawn. Sarah Palin’s a no because she can’t see Cleveland from her house.

WHO’S PAYING FOR ALL OF THIS?

Good question. The GOP was expecting to pay a lot of its convention bills with pledged donations from companies and individuals...but they canceled their checks after Trump got the final rose from the GOP. So now, the party’s saying ‘help me, I’m poor’ to billionaire donors.

ANYTHING ELSE?

The GOP is putting a big focus on security. That’s because over the last few weeks, the US has been a mess. A series of back-to-back racially charged killings of black men and police officers have the country on edge. There’s been a lot of debate over whether Ohio should suspend its open carry law – which allows people to, yes, carry their firearms in public – during the convention. So far, that’s a no-go.

SO WHAT NAMES DO I NEED TO KNOW?

These are the people who’ll get some prime time at the podium.

Melania Trump...as in Trump's other half, who was intro'd last night by her husband and his lighting team from "The Apprentice." She talked about her faith in the Donald and family values, saying things like “your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise.” The catch? That part looks pretty, prettyyy similar to First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention in ’08. This has people using the P-word: plagiarism. – Monday

Paul Ryan...as in the House Speaker with the smile that says ‘happy to be here’ and the eyes that say ‘halp.’ He’s had a rocky relationship with Trump. Expect his speech to focus more on what his House GOP is up to, and why he thinks the US can’t afford four more years of Dem policies. – Tuesday

Chris Christie...as in the Gov. of NJ and the Trump Veep reject will get his time to shine. He was reportedly none-too-pleased to be passed over for the no. 2 job. Hopefully he’ll get over it before he hits the stage. – Tuesday

Mike Pence...as in Trump’s main backup dancer. The Indiana gov. and establishment fav was chosen as the vice presidential pick to help Trump bring the party together. Don’t be surprised if he breaks out into a not-so-convincing version of “We Are Family”. – Wednesday

Peter Thiel...as in the Silicon Valley billionaire (PayPal, Facebook) who funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker. Thiel will talk about why Trump is the best candidate for the US economy. – Thursday

Ivanka Trump...as in Trump’s older daughter and one of his strongest surrogates. Ivanka, her bros, and their half-sister Tiffany will all get time this week to speak to why their dad’s #1. – Thursday

theSKIMM

It’s no secret the Republican party has had a hard time fully getting behind Trump. That’s what this week is all about. Expect lots of feels about the party, its vision, and its up-and-coming leaders. Dems, you’re next.

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