The Lid: RNC Rules Drama

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…. Newt Gingrich said Thursday that he told Donald Trump his VP choice should come down to “having two pirates on the ticket, or having a pirate and a relatively stable, more normal person.” We guess Trump’s apparent choice today can only mean one thing: America, you’re still not ready for an all-pirate ticket.

THE LID: JULY 14, 2016

From Carrie Dann and Andrew Rafferty

BREAKING THIS AFTERNOON: As signs had been indicating all day on Thursday, NBC News has confirmed that Mike Pence is Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick. The choice means that Trump went with a balancing choice - an experienced and less bombastic figure who can try to unify the party and woo Trump’s GOP skeptics - rather than a pick that would reinforce his larger-than-life personality and dismissal of party orthodoxy. In a highly unusual cycle, Pence was a relatively conventional choice. He may not excite the Trump die-hards, but he certainly has a much better chance of soothing social conservatives and fostering a less chaotic convention next week.

‘16 from 30,000: But speaking of chaotic conventions, the VP news overshadowed a messy day of negotiations at the RNC rules committee that would have otherwise gotten far more (negative) coverage for the party. Here’s a dispatch from NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell on the scene in Cleveland:

"A broken printer, Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, Trump's top aide Paul Manafort and RNC and Trump critic Ken Cuccinelli caused a four hour delay at the Republican National Convention Rules Committee meeting Thursday. When the committee convened four hours later, everything except for the printer was still broken.

All three factions met in attempt to hammer out an agreement that would have: ensured Priebus maintained a significant amount of power, that Trump have a smooth convention and that Cuccinelli altered the primaries to benefit a conservative candidate in 2020 election. But a deal was never reached.

Meanwhile, the faction of anti-Trump delegates say they have enough delegates that will "vote their conscience" to result in significant opposition to Trump. We won't know if that's accurate probably until tomorrow, but one person to watch: Sen. Mike Lee. He's also a delegate of Utah who opposes Trump and a powerful, centralized RNC. He could be the glue that binds anti-RNC and anti-Trump factions, causing big trouble."


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Leigh Ann Caldwell and Alex Jaffe have the latest on the machinations at the RNC Rules committee.

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Clinton is ahead or even with Trump in some key battleground states.

Here’s how Republicans will take aim at Clinton’s VP pick.


Donald Trump formally unveils his running mate in New York City.

The RNC Rules Committee continues its meeting in Cleveland.

Bill Clinton speaks at an annual Democratic Party JJ dinner in Arkansas.