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article imageOp-Ed: Trump's 'moment of truth' arrives in quest for U.S. presidency

By Nathan Salant     Jul 19, 2016 in World
Cleveland - It's hard to say what about Donald Trump's popularity is more unlikely — that he was able to rise from outside the political establishment to lead the Republican Party, or that he has done so without losing his brashly uninformed and impatient persona.
But both scenarios went on national display Monday when the Republican National Convention opened in Cleveland.
An attempted revolt by anti-Trump delegates was quashed and Trump's obviously hand-picked representatives took the stage and delivered energetic endorsements of the real estate mogul whose name adorns skyscrapers and casinos in New York and New Jersey, according to the Associated Press.
"It was quite a journey," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said of Trump's rise to the party's presidential nomination, which is expected to be awarded Tuesday.
"Not just what he was able to do in getting more votes than any Republican in the history of our party, but do it with 16 people running," Priebus said.
"It is a remarkable thing," he said.
But winning the nomination is one thing, winning the presidency against an experienced and well-funded Democratic Party nominee promises to be quite different.
Hillary Clinton, the first woman to head a major party ticket in U.S. history and the wife of a former two-term president, has the enthusiastic support of the current president, Barack Obama, whose popularity has never been greater.
Clinton was secretary of state during Obama's first term in office, from 2009 to 2013.
But she was in office when four U.S. citizens were killed in an attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, a tragedy that has become a flashpoint for conservative opposition to the Obama administration and is certain to be a major issue in the 2016 campaign.
Trump has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, and Pence is scheduled to address the convention on Tuesday.
Trump's nomination acceptance speech is scheduled for Thursday, and tens of millions of Americans are expected to tune in.
"That's probably going to be the most watched acceptance speech ever, because it's going to be dramatic," New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox told the AP.
"People don't know exactly what it's going to be," he said.
That's because Trump famously belittled his Republican Primary opponents Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz with insulting nicknames, and has also labeled Clinton as "incompetent" and "heartless."
An estimated 30 million people watched 2012 nominee Mitt Romney address the Republican convention four years ago, but Trump's speech is expected to draw even more viewers.
"We want America to understand who Donald Trump the man is, not just Donald Trump the candidate," said Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, on the convention floor on Sunday.
Speakers scheduled for Monday included Trump's wife, Melania, and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Trump's children, Tiffany and Donald Jr., are scheduled to speak Tuesday and Pence is scheduled to address the convention on Wednesday.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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