Scorecard: Marking the RNC speakers

Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher awards marks to speakers at the US Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

    Ivanka Trump had a lot of pressure on her but scored high marks with her speech [Matt Rourke/AP]
    Ivanka Trump had a lot of pressure on her but scored high marks with her speech [Matt Rourke/AP]

    MELANIA TRUMP - 4/10

    The big name speaker on Monday evening. Introduced by her husband and got an enthusiastically warm welcome in the hall. English is not her first language and people wanted to her to do well and she did. But within minutes of walking off stage, the plagiarism allegations began. They were more a reflection of the failings of the campaign rather than the candidate’s wife. But you can't talk about hard work and succeeding through your own efforts with words lifted from someone else. 

    TOM COTTON - 2/10

    Regarded as a rising star in the Republican Party. Many thought his speech could be a breakthrough to a national audience in the way Barack Obama made an impact at the Democratic Convention in 2004. Poor in content and delivery – the large whooshing sound was his moment passing him by.

    BEN CARSON - 5/10

    The retired neurosurgeon ran for President himself and despite some early enthusiasm, support leaked away with a series of poor performances in the debates. His speech here was better received, even though he bizarrely claimed Hillary Clinton was linked to Lucifer because of a paper she wrote in college The crowd liked him. 

    CHRIS CHRISTE - 6/10

     Blew His big moment four years ago and was clearly determined not to do the same again. He staged a mock trial of Hillary Clinton listing her perceived failures as a senator and Secretary of State. Asking the crowd "Guilty or not guilty" he got the answer you’d expect at a Republican gathering. The audience also broke into chants of “Lock her up” on several occasions. This was perhaps the failed presidential candidate and the man passed over for the Vice Presidential slot auditioning for the role of attorney general. 6/10

    DONALD TRUMP JR - 7/10

    Was arguably the best speaker of Tuesday night. The crowd care the privately educated, third generation millionaire railed against "the elites", they loved his stories about his dad and his upbringing. No matter how Donald Trump does in November his son might have a future in politics. 

    TED CRUZ - 3/10

    It was a surprise the Texas senator was invited and a bigger surprise he accepted. Started by congratulating Trump on getting the nomination but did not endorse him. That meant when his speech ended the boos drowned out the limited applause. Incredible the Trump campaign didn’t see the row it would create. It was a strong speech by many in the hall called it "selfish" and "spiteful".

    MIKE PENCE - 7/10

    This was the Indiana Governor’s chance to introduce himself to America. A solid pick for the Vice Presidential slot, he did what was expected; he talked up the candidate, attacked the opposition and fired up the base. But it was completely overshadowed by the row over Cruz. 

    IVANKA TRUMP - 8/10

    The potential "first daughter" had a lot of pressure on her, given the mess over her step-mother’s speech. She portrayed a softer side of the Presidential candidate with family anecdotes and seems to know him best of all the children. She pushed points closer to a Democrat agenda than Republican but then she was a registered Democrat until recently and Chelsea Clinton is her best friend. The people in the hall loved her. 

    DONALD TRUMP - 6/10

    The longest acceptance speech in 40 years, clocking in at 75 minutes. It was tightly scripted to avoid the Republican nominee wandering off message in the most important moment of his political career. People in the hall loved it, even turning a few skeptical Cruz supporters. Strong on emotion, short on detail, it was a dark speech rather than uplifting and enlightening.


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