Dateline: Cleveland, Ohio — GOP Convention Day 1, first here since the 1930s…
Enjoying the bright blue of a sunny day reflecting on Lake Erie — yep, not overcast, not raining… Day 1 of the GOP Convention in Cleveland is off to a promising start.
After a quick morning rain, downtown has cleaned up nicely and people are amazed to find a city unlike what they had expected from years of jokes and poking fun. (See latest: Finding Dory, if you don’t believe me on the ferocity and consistence.)
Browns Stadium calls to me, with its brown and orange seats, and next door the Trump jet is parked on the Burke Lakefront runway. I’ve never seen so many suits gathered in Cleveland at once, and people with credentials around their neck make their way to various convention venues. There isn’t one show in town, but many. A conglomerate of interest groups, state delegations and the main show at none other than our beloved Q. Haven’t been there since Game 6 (thank you God, ML & EW for arranging that gift) and it’ll be a thrill at that venue no matter the suit and high heels I must endure to be presentable this week.
Always a Clevelander, my schedule hovers near the Ohio delegation. An early morning breakfast hosted by friend and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel features Senator Tom Cotton passionately talking not only foreign policy but detailed economics to boot. These guys are popular, as decorated military men and young leaders of the party, and they’re clearly friends as well.
Republicans Overseas Co-Chairman and good friend Marc Zell made quick friends with our RO counterparts in countries like Albania, Switzerland and the UK, to name a few. Their enthusiasm made up for their seats in the nosebleed section of the Q, and the Republican National Committee has shown it is starting to recognize the power of a united ex-Pat presence around the globe — I’m looking forward to figuring out our next steps together (stay tuned, meeting later).
Israel: Not the hot topic of the day. But if you’re from Israel and they notice, look out for an overwhelming outpouring of love. We’ve already discussed the ins and outs of the new party platform on Israel, reaffirming an undivided Jerusalem, Israel’s sovereign rights and no push towards any harmful “peace” quick fixes that create “two-states” or “Palestine.” Frankly, the text that passed unanimously and received the only standing ovation in the varied platform debates, reads more like a Likud-Herut treatise. It’s a blast. And so important, binding the party members for the next four years.
We Israelis salute our staunch friends in the GOP, enjoy their dedication and talents that promote our US-Israel work. It is a privilege and a pleasure. Now I’ve gotta disappear to go buy some flats so I can manage to walk around downtown Cleveland some more…