RNC won’t forget Wisconsin as GOP prepares to celebrate Trump in Charlotte
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It is the Republicans' turn to take the national stage and showcase what their party has to offer the country this week. The focus now shifts to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Wisconsin's top GOP leaders are hoping President Donald Trump's message will resonate throughout America's Dairyland, especially after Democrats anchored their mostly-virtual convention in Milwaukee last week.
Wisconsin voters can expect to see plenty of ties to the Badger State this week, according to Andrew Hitt, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
"(Former Gov. Scott) Walker will be giving the speech nominating Vice President Pence, so there certainly is a Wisconsin connection. I can tell you from being down here, the president's campaign, the RNC -- they know how important Wisconsin is," Hitt said.
Hitt is one of four Wisconsin delegates in Charlotte, along with National Committeewoman Mary Buestrin, National Committeeman Tom Schreibel, and delegate-at-large Charlotte Rassmussen.
Hitt said Wisconsin's delegates will have Zoom meetings starting Monday. Each night of the convention, the party's 30+ offices across the state will do activities -- both in person and virtually -- to cheer on the convention programming.
Political experts said Republicans' partially in-person convention will likely have a different feel to it than the DNC. One of their tasks this week will be to highlight women and minorities in effort to show that the GOP is made up of more than just white male voters.
Big party names and former presidents dominated the DNC last week, including the Obamas, Clintons and Carters. However, this will be a big contrast with the RNC, as viewers won't hear from the Republican counterparts like the Bushes or Romneys.
"President Trump is really the sun that shines in the Republican solar system. There aren't a lot of sort of second-tier Republicans who we would think of naturally as being also the stars of the Republican Party," said Mordecai Lee, an emeritus professor at UW-Milwaukee.
Main speakers this week will be members of Trump's family, top GOP Congressional leaders and other Trump supporters. Hitt said he finds that to be refreshing.
"You're not going to see some of the normal politician after politician speaking in this convention. You're going to see stories from everyday people that have benefited from the president's policies and his vision for America," Hitt said.
The president will accept the nomination from the White House. Lee questions whether Trump can capture his campaign energy in a more intimate setting.
"When you're speaking to a half empty room or worse -- to an empty room -- timing is totally off because your lines might not resonate the way you're used to from a stump speech," Lee said.
He said Trump's main objective this week will be to rally his base and persuade the final undecided voters.
"The average voter thinks of the incumbent in the sense of: Do I want to rehire her or him? In other words, did they do a good job? And so with President Trump, if he wants to get re-elected, I think he's got to make the case that he's justified to get a second term," Lee said.