CLEVELAND — It’s finally upon us, readers, four days of possible mayhem, certain political theater and a plethora of open bars: the Republican National Convention.
Where do things stand going into the Republican National Committee’s big summer bash? As with any party, the guest list is of primary concern: Sadly for Donald Trump and the most put-upon man in America, Reince Priebus, the RSVP’s to Cleveland have been a little sparse. In fact, a veritable who’s who of Washington will not be attending. Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain are skipping, Flake to mow his lawn, McCain to admire the majesty of the Grand Canyon. Montana Sen. Steve Daines said he was going to be doing a little fly-fishing. Other masters of the Senate — the likes of Kelly Ayotte and Mark Kirk — will be campaigning for themselves and won’t be able to squeeze in the RNC. And, of course, there is Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has made no bones about the fact that he will be watching from home, doubtless armed with a CamelBak full of sweet tea, heckles at the ready.
None of the party’s previous nominees will be attending except for Bob Dole. Sarah Palin was missing from the convention speakers list, and by way of explanation, Trump said that she had been invited but wouldn’t be attending because Alaska is “a long ways away.” Former Trump primary rival Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has said that he’ll be in Cleveland this week, though it’s unclear if he’ll go to any official events. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has said he’ll attend. On Wednesday, the The New York Times reported that the speakers at the convention would include the moderate football talent Tim Tebow and Silicon Valley billionaire …