Quick Takes: Convention Wind-Up

* While everyone is focusing on the headliners at the Republican and Democratic Conventions, Michael Grunwald writes that two lesser noticed speeches are worth some attention.

…if you want to understand the gulf between the two conventions and the two parties in just two speeches, you should watch Republican Rudy Giuliani’s fiery stem-winder in Cleveland and then Democrat Cory Booker’s exuberant address in Philadelphia. Giuliani, a 72-year-old white man who stepped down as mayor of New York 15 years ago, outlined a dark vision of fear and fury. Booker, a 47-year-old black man who is now a senator from New Jersey, delivered an optimistic message of love and togetherness. Neither high-energy, high-volume speech got much attention in real time, but both channeled the moods of their parties.

* Katherine Krueger provides us with a round-up of conservatives who think that the DNC was a disaster for Republicans. For example, here is Dick Cheney’s press secretary:

* In watching how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton handled their intra-party rivals, Steven Waldman wonders whether she is a better deal-maker than the guy who wrote, “The Art of the Deal.”

Throughout the spring, the approach taken by the two candidates to their adversaries on the surface followed cartoon gender stereotypes – the macho man vs. peacemaking woman.

But as the convention approached, the styles reversed. For all her solicitousness of Sanders, Clinton apparently drew a hard line: if you want to speak at the convention, you have to first endorse me. And he did.

Trump, by contrast, invited Cruz without having gotten that promise. It was a such an obvious error in negotiation tactics, that it seemed impossible that the author of the Art of the Deal could have done it. It led to speculation that maybe it was an elaborate ambush of Cruz. I doubt it. I think Trump just figured that Cruz had no leverage, and therefore would capitulate.

Part of good deal-making is reading people. Trump has always boasted of his ability to do that but he completely misread Cruz, while Clinton acutely understood what motivated Sanders.

* Gallup has some interesting numbers today.

Trump’s speech got the least positive reviews of any speech we have tested after the fact: 35% of Americans interviewed last weekend said it was excellent or good. Of the nine previous speeches we have rated, the top one was Barack Obama’s in August 2008, which 58% of Americans rated as excellent or good. The lowest-rated speech other than Trump’s was Mitt Romney’s in 2012, with 38% excellent or good.

* Beyond convention wrap-ups, here is the really big news today.

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down North Carolina’s requirement that voters show identification before casting ballots and reinstated an additional week of early voting, finding that legislators had acted with “discriminatory intent” in imposing strict election rules.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit was an overwhelming victory for the Justice Department and civil rights groups that argued the measures were designed to dampen the growing political clout of African American voters, who participated in record numbers in elections in 2008 and 2012.

“We can only conclude that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent,” Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the panel.

* If you want a perfect example of the kind of change that scares the bigots…here ya go.

The Navy is set to name a ship after the gay rights icon and San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, according to a Congressional notification obtained by USNI News.

The July 14, 2016 notification, signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, indicated he intended to name a planned Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206). The ship would be the second of the John Lewis-class oilers being built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, Calif…

Mabus has said the John Lewis-class – named after civil rights activist and congressman Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) – would be named after civil rights leaders.

Other names in the class include former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren whose court ruled to desegregate U.S. schools, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, women’s right activist Lucy Stone and abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.

* Finally, a note to regular readers: I’ll be on vacation next week. To borrow a meme from Andrew Sullivan, this will be the view from my window (North Shore of Lake Superior). See you all back here on August 8th.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.