Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

The RNC opens with 'Happy Together' in a tense atmosphere

Cleveland - RNC chairman Reince Priebus gaveled open the Republican National Convention on Monday as the speakers blared "Happy Together," though the chipper music couldn't hide the fractures within the GOP.

Donald Trump's de facto campaign manager Paul Manafort assailed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for refusing to endorse the presumptive nominee, leading Kasich adviser John Weaver to poke fun of both Manafort and Trump's sometimes-bizarre introduction of Mike Pence as his running mate.

Most of Georgia's delegation has united behind Trump - only one delegate said publicly he would not support the candidate - but even so some state officials appeared concerned. Even Georgia's top Trump surrogate, Sen. David Perdue, opened a speech Sunday to the group by exhorting Trump skeptics to "get over it." Rumors of walkouts by the Ohio delegation and maneuvering by Colorado's contingent swirled.

And even as the anti-Trump forces hoping to derail his nomination were largely scuttled before the four-day bash, thousands of protesters gathered outside Quicken Loans Arena under the threat of violence. Meanwhile, Republican delegates who hoped to strip language perceived as anti-gay from the party's platform abandoned their efforts after failing to drum up enough support, prompting criticism from gay rights groups.

Yet many of the Georgia delegation's leading lights said they were confident the party would rally behind Trump despite a bumpy start. Here's a snippet from a Facebook Live conversation with Michael McNeely, the Georgia GOP vice chair and a delegate, and his wife Jennifer, an alternate, about the atmosphere in Cleveland as the convention kicks off.

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The RNC opens with ‘Happy Together’ in a tense atmosphere


Starting in Iowa and New Hampshire, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has brought you every key moment in the 2016 presidential race, and our in-depth coverage will continue at the political conventions. Our team of seasoned political reporters will be on the ground in Cleveland and Philadelphia to bring you every development from these pivotal campaign events. An expanded editorial team in the Atlanta newsroom will round out coverage of both conventions.

Stay on top of the developments by following our special convention pages at http://www.myajc.com/2016-republican-convention/ and http://www.myajc.com/2016-democratic-convention/, or check us on Twitter at > or on Facebook at https://facebook.com/gapoliticsnewsnow or https://facebook.com/gregbluesteinajc.


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.