On the roster: Trump disorganization proves costly - Ryan, McConnell on the tightrope - Time Out: Chris is hot in Cleveland - Hammering Hillary key for GOP unity - Bad buns
TRUMP DISORGANIZATION PROVES COSTLY
CLEVELAND – Donald Trump is right that he does not need the kind of bloated and sclerotic campaign organization that envelops his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton.
But he still can’t afford to have a bad one.
The slipshod staff work on display as Trump’s wife, Melania, took the stage at the Republican National Convention ought to be an occasion for the Trump campaign to get itself in order.
There is no more precious asset in a presidential campaign than the candidate’s spouse, and the Trump campaign demonstrated pure recklessness in allowing what appears to be filched copy to land in the most important speech of her life.
She did nothing wrong. And any suggestion that she is something other than the victim here is either obtuse or dishonest.
There is a lesson for her husband’s campaign here though, and it is the same one to be drawn from all of the folderol around the rollout of Trump’s pick for his running mate. Small staffs can be better than big ones. But rigor and an absolute standard of excellence become even more important where there are fewer failsafes.
To understand the cost of this error, consider what might have been.
Rudy Giuliani delivered a barnburner of a speech that was so provocative it might have been a crossover media obsession for the day. And whether it was positive or negative, it would have been coverage of an issue that helps Republicans: law and order.
But rather than talking about attacks on police or Black Lives Matter, the establishment press was free to fixate on an embarrassing lapse on a matter of high visibility but low importance.
It’s a matter of debate whether a great campaign organization can win an election the candidate might have otherwise lost. There’s no question, however, that bad campaign organization can lose a race all by itself.
RYAN, MCCONNELL ON THE TIGHTROPE
The establishment press has been in full froth over the “chaos” at the RNC Monday. How 20 minutes of hollering equals “chaos” is not exactly clear, but as David Drucker reports, it was, at the very least, historic.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, though, would very much hope today’s proceedings will be unremarkable in every way.
Ryan understandably was not keen to be presiding over the convention when insurgent delegates tried to force a roll call vote on the rules for the convention. The speaker would not have been well served by being the guy who vacated the podium after a dubious voice vote to shut down dissent.
But given the anger hangover from the heavy-handed tactics used to quash Monday’s marginal revolt there’s a chance that the boo-birds might be flocking when Ryan takes the stage. Remember, he’s not just there to talk about his vision or view of conservativism. There’s business to be done in the official nomination of Trump for president and Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has something of an easier task since he can reiterate a well-tested message he has been using throughout the cycle. No matter how a voter feels about Trump, every Republican agrees keeping the Senate is crucial.
McConnell’s challenge is to make that argument without either being seen as diminishing his party’s new leader or doing as Pence and a handful of other conservatives have done and playing supplicant to the soon-to-be nominee.
[Today’s speakers include: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., Ben Carson, as well as Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.]
TIME OUT: CHRIS IS HOT IN CLEVELAND
Want to know what really goes on in Cleveland? Chris Stirewalt is on the floor of Quicken Loans Arena and behind the scenes of the most anticipated political event of the season – all between television hits of course! Can he keep his cool? WATCH HERE.
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions
Average of national presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +3.8 points
Generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.8
HAMMERING HILLARY KEY FOR GOP
WaPo’s Dan Balz explains the main uniting factor at the RNC is Hillary Clinton: “The opening day of the Republican National Convention provided as much evidence as anyone needs that a party in search of unity has but one real path to get there: attacking Hillary Clinton. This is a party that is trying to unite behind Donald Trump here this week. It is slow going. Neither the Trump campaign nor the hard-liners who can’t reconcile easily to the idea that he will be their presidential nominee appear ready to forgive and forget the slights and insults and defeats of what has been a tumultuous year for the Republicans. The internecine volleys between the opposing camps began early Monday, when Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who like his candidate is in a position to be magnanimous, went after Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a recalcitrant Trump rival who has been vocal about his unwillingness to climb aboard the winner’s bandwagon.”
POWER PLAY: MAP MEN CHART THE ROAD AHEAD
A Facebook live session amid a pretty intense floor fight Monday, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp discusses the road ahead for the presumptive Republican nominee with Chris. If you weren’t able to join the Facebook show you can still hear Schlapp’s take. WATCH HERE.
FNC Hill hawk Chad Pergram explains that Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., who quashed the anti-Trumpers at the convention has a history of heavy-handed politics - Fox News
Christie says he never expected Trump veep spot - WashEx
AUDIBLE: NOT-SO-NIFTY 50
“…the speech itself is being focused on for 50 words, including ‘ands’ and ‘thes’ and things like that is totally ignoring the facts of the speech itself” – Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort discussing the purportedly purloined passage in Melania Trump’s speech to delegates.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Chris, Touché. You obviously know your golf commentators better than I thought you might!” – Bill Zebedee, Medford, Ore.
“No [referencing your own career in your commentary a la Johnnie Miller] would make you the Jim Palmer of politics… ;) Please, no underwear ads…” – Mike Smith, Washington
“As if we needed one, [Monday’s kicker about unpleasant food in a Canadian hospital is] yet another reason for folks to get their health care in America: restaurant-quality meals, plentiful portions (and oh yes, choices) as well as round-the-clock, delivery-to-your-bed service have been available here for at least a few years. You’ll probably hear from many besides me, but I’m here to tell your audience that Rex Hospital in Raleigh offers just such a menu. All that was missing was the cloth napkins. Oh. Wait. I guess that wasn’t a lap sponge after all…” – Chris Palmer, Willow Spring N.C.
“I have followed you from the beginning and you have been [fair and balanced] until about 2 months back. I think you may have lost some air out of your left rear tire since you seem to be tilting that way.” – DU Wayne Derickson, Sarasota, Fla.
[Ed note: After two weeks on the road for these conventions, Mr. Derickson, we will be lucky if I’m not riding on the rims!]
Irish Times: “A man who claimed he suffered injuries and his life was ruined after a bread delivery man allegedly punched him in the bottom has lost his High Court action for damages. [John Rice] sued bread delivery man, Alan Muddiman, Rinawade Green, Leixlip Manor, Leixlip, Co Kildare over the alleged battery which he claimed occurred as Mr. Muddiman made a delivery to a Tesco store at Roselawn Centre, Blancharstown, Dublin in July 2009. Mr. Rice claimed he suffered severe personal injuries when Mr. Muddiman allegedly assaulted him as he was checking in the produce being delivered. He claimed he was punched in the buttocks and right hip with a closed fist. He also alleged there had been a previous similar type incident with Mr. Muddiman. Before this, he had resurfacing surgery on his hips and after the alleged assault, suffered pain to the lower back, right buttock and numbness in his legs, he said.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“[The fight on the floor of the convention Monday] is about Ted Cruz. It’s about 2020. He’s trying to play Reagan 1976. You lose to Ford and then you are the nominee four years later.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.