CLEVELAND — Day One: Monday, July 18.
I drove to Cleveland on Sunday. Arrived mid-afternoon and witnessed the first D.C. delegation meeting in the lobby of the luxurious Comfort Inn in Independence, Ohio, about 15 minutes from downtown Cleveland. Very pleasant surroundings (I’m serious). Far superior to the “Worst Western hotel” I stayed in at the Democratic convention in Boston in 2004.
The D.C. Republican delegation is animatedly anti-Trump. Marco Rubio won the D.C. caucus and John Kasich finished a close second. The vote was 10 for Rubio and nine for Kasich. José Cunningham, the state chair of the D.C. GOP, will deliver the vote on Wednesday evening. He told me that the Trump people have not pressured him in any way. The vote will be announced and recorded during the roll call.
D.C. delegates Peter Lee and Kris Hammond wrote a powerful and compelling piece that appeared in the local opinion section of Sunday’s Washington Post. If you missed it, here are some of the memorable passages:
“Trump is a uniquely bad candidate who is unfit for the office he seeks.” “He has served up a buffet of bigotry toward religious, racial and ethnic minorities.” “He has no fixed beliefs other than beliefs in his own infallibility.”
And finally, “Our position may be summarized as ‘Country before Party, Party before Trump.’ ”
In an interview with Peter Lee, a Duke University law graduate, Lee said that it was asking too much for him to vote for Trump in November.
This morning at the D.C. GOP delegation breakfast, Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina addressed the group. Jeffrey Bobeck, who lives in the Crestwood neighborhood, asked him directly about the lack of voting rights for Washington, D.C. Meadows said that he “doesn’t see that happening” and that it would be a “slippery slope” toward two senators for D.C.
Meadows never uttered Trump’s name during his remarks. Only when pressed during the Q&A did he mention Trump by name and did voice that there “is concern” about his candidacy. He also said that national security will be what the campaign is all about.