RNC 2016: Panel weighs in on what to expect from Trump

But political observers are very interested to see what approach he will take when he climbs onstage and addresses the nation.


Trump has not been terribly comfortable using a teleprompter, preferring instead to go off the cuff, which the billionaire businessman has done routinely, said Chris DeVine, assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton.

But winging it has resulted in Trump making some controversial remarks during past campaign events.

“He goes off script and he can say dangerous things that could take over the news headlines for tomorrow,” DeVine told staff with this news outlet during a Facebook Live conversation.


The likeliest scenario is that Trump will do a little bit of both, improvising at parts but using a teleprompter to try to stay on message, DeVine said.

During the Facebook Live discussion, Dayton Daily News Staff Writer Laura Bischoff questioned whether Trump could deliver one of the most unconventional speeches at the Republican National Convention since actor Clint Eastwood talked to an empty chair four years ago.

“It’s hard to top,” DeVine said.

“But I have confidence in Donald Trump, he’s such an entertainer and such an unique character – there’s some good potential,” Bischoff said.

Tonight, Trump will face the largest audience he’s ever had and it remains to be seen if he’ll try to please the delegates in attendance or if he’ll try to tailor his message to independents and Reagan Democrat-types watching at home, said Anthony Shoemaker, politics editor with the Dayton Daily News.

“It’ll be interesting to see his tone tonight,” Shoemaker said.

Trump is used to speaking at rallies filled with faithful supporters, but there is a real division among some delegates and he will face a crowd that is not entirely friendly, DeVine said.

Trump is unpredictable and it’s unclear if he’ll try to lay out policy tonight and if he does, whether he’ll stick to it in the future, DeVine said.

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