Speed Reads

Republican National Convention

Star of opening night of Republican National Convention: Hillary Clinton in jail

The theme of the opening night of the 2016 Republican National Convention was "Make America Safe Again," and among the gloomy and downright terrifying picture of the world painted by the night's roster of speakers, one unsurprising culprit emerged: Hillary Clinton. Clinton, a former U.S. senator, first lady, and current presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has not held a government job since she stepped down as secretary of state in early 2013, so the Republican convention planners spent a good portion of the night talking about the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, as well as the more recent Clinton scandal involving her use of a private server as secretary of state.

It was during the Benghazi section that the Republican delegates started chanting, "Lock her up!" Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a Trump military adviser and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, followed Melania Trump later in the night, and in the video below, you can watch him deciding to join in the chanting:

Then he really got into it, telling the chanters: "Damn right. You're damn right. There's nothing wrong with that!"

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who followed Flynn on stage, just smiled and said, "That's right," when the chants resumed. This isn't exactly normal fare for political conventions, or even mainstream political discourse, as several people noted:

On NBC News, former George W. Bush spokeswoman Nicole Wallace said the chants of "Lock her up" were not what Trump needed on the first night of his convention:

Wallace's fellow GOP operative, Liz Mair, disagrees:

And given how wrong the media has been so far about Donald Trump and Republican-leaning voters, perhaps Mair is right.