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Mitch Perry Report for 7.22.16 – Donald Trump, your humble servant

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

One of the great ironies of the 2016 Republican presidential race is how the cult of personality regarding their nominee is probably the deciding factor in why Donald Trump is their nominee for president.

In 2008 and ever since, conservatives decried a similar cult that was built around Barack Obama. Remember the JohnMcCain campaign calling him (in a way meant to be derisive) that he was a “celebrity”? Well, The Donald is that squared, considering how often he’s been on televisions and tabloids for decades.

Last night at the Hillsborough County Republican Party convention watch party, a former New Yorker who now lives in Valrico told me that he (regretfully) voted for Obama twice, but is rock solid behind Trump this year. He’s a registered independent, sick of politicians, and absolutely loves Trump’s Tell it Like It is Ethos.

You know who doesn’t? The Republican establishment. We still don’t really know everything Trump believes in, because he doesn’t set out too many policy positions, seeming to improvise a lot of his answers.

But he seems pretty cool with LGBT rights, as he mentioned in his speech last night. And by giving Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel at 9:30 p.m speaking slot – where he announced he was a proud gay man, proud Republican and proud American, won lots of plaudits.

That’s a very different mindset than what a lot of Republicans believe in – particularly the ones on the platform committee that was responsible for what most observers who follow these things say is the most extreme GOP platform on LGBT rights ever.

The NBA just moved the 2017 All-Star game out of North Carolina because their lawmakers have not changed HB2, a bill that would allow transgender North Carolinians to use the bathroom. That outraged their Republican Governor, Pat McGrory, who said in a statement, that “American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.”

I don’t want to say I know where the American people are with all of this, but I’m going to take Adam Silver’s side vs. McGrory. And apparently, so will Trump. And Republicans, independents, and yes, some Democrats, are getting on the Trump Train.

Trump never used the word “conservative” at all last night. That’s a fact. And when he heard the chant of,”lock her up,” the mantra of the week about how the GOP base feels should be done to Hillary Clinton, Trump stared the audience down and said, “Let’s Defeat her in November.”

His comments about NATO on Wednesday definitely shook up the GOP establishment. There’s still lots of divisions between the establishment and Trump – but the base is turned on by the 70-year-old NYC real estate mogul. If he were to win in November – well, that would really be interesting to see how the Republican Party adjusts.

Now on to Philadelphia.

In other news..

A sober minded Bob Buckhorn presented his fiscal year 2017 budget to the Tampa City Council yesterday, and he really wants them to approve a $250 million package of stormwater improvements.

Tampa state House Representative Ed Narain was at the University Village retirement home in North Tampa, and he wants to change the laws regarding such CCRC’s.

And seldom a day goes by the House District 68 race in Pinellas County without a candidate getting an endorsement. Yesterday it was Eric Lynn’s turn.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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