Republican convention: who’s coming – and can Trump be stopped?

With the party preparing to anoint its nominee in Cleveland, here is a quick guide to who we’ll see, who will be missing, and what to watch for

Can Trump be stopped in a contested convention?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: There is a theoretical way this could happen, but it involves such an unlikely and astounding sequence of events that it’s equally worth speculating about something more likely such as an alien invasion.

Honestly, I really do want to know the answer: It involves forcing a series of votes to unbind the delegates from the primary results and for those unbound delegates to deny Trump a majority. After that, somehow an alternative nominee would emerge in Trump’s place.

Who’s coming?

The entire Trump family is coming along with a variety of Republican politicians and D-list celebrities. Although Trump had floated the idea of a celebrity-filled convention with all the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, the few he has attracted likely wouldn’t crack the cast of Celebrity Apprentice. The 80s sitcom star Scott Baio will speak along with Dana White, the president of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and the former soap opera actor Antonio Sabato Jr. Congressional leaders such as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan will speak along with several of Trump’s former rivals, including Ted Cruz.

Who’s not?

The only two living former Republican presidents, George HW Bush and George W Bush, along with the party’s last two nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Other top Republicans not attending include Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, the Florida senator Marco Rubio, and rising stars in the party such as South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and New Mexico governor Susanna Martinez. The Trump campaign told reporters that the Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow was speaking, but Tebow said that was just a rumor.

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Who has been snubbed?

There are several diehard Trump supporters who are not speaking at the RNC. Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential nominee and a longtime Trump supporter, will not be appearing at the convention because, in Trump’s words, Alaska is “a long ways away”. Others whom Trump floated as speakers in the past, such as the former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and the boxing promoter Don King, don’t have a slot either.

What to expect

Although conventions are normally meticulously scripted events, this still has the potential for odd moments and bizarre political theater. With primetime speakers including a soap opera actor-turned-avocado farmer and the constant potential for improvised remarks when Donald Trump appears before a live microphone, anything can happen. And so far this year, it has.


Ben Jacobs in Cleveland

The GuardianTramp

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