The updated 2016 Republican Convention Viewers Guide: Trump’s surprise entrance and what’s next

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CLEVELAND (CNN) — Donald Trump’s first entrance into the Quicken Loans Arena came in a cloud of blue smoke.

The presumptive nominee’s showy, professional wrestler-style appearance on the Republican National Convention’s first night Monday was memorable but brief, with Trump speaking for just 1 minute and six seconds.

The real headliner of the night was the person he was introducing: his wife, Melania Trump.

Here’s a quick look at the highlights from Monday night — and what to watch for in the nights ahead:


In a rare public speaking role during her Trump’s campaign, Melania Trump touted her husband’s personal qualities.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, brought delegates to their feet with a rousing speech. He touted Trump’s 30-year friendship and generosity, saying the real estate mogul has contributed to causes anonymously, and bashed long-time New York political foe Hillary Clinton.

“Who would trust Hillary Clinton to protect them? I wouldn’t. Would you?” he said.

Monday night’s theme was law and order, with speakers focusing on the Benghazi attack and immigration policy.

“Hillary for prison. She deserves to be in stripes,” said Patricia Smith, the mother of one of the four victims of the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi. (Trump was being interviewed on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News at the same time she was on stage — interrupting his own party.)

For the next three nights, Trump will be be surrounded by the typical cadre of politicians — including several of his 2016 primary rivals. But he’s also invited several wealthy, business-leader friends, and his four grown children will have prime slots.


There’s a major piece of business that Republicans will address Tuesday: Officially nominating Trump for president and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for vice president.

The nomination — after the day’s program kicks off at 5:30 p.m. ET — takes place on a day otherwise focused on the economy.

Perhaps capturing the most attention from political insiders will be House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Endangered Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, one of the few Republicans facing tough re-election match-ups to embrace Trump, will speak, as will New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who just lost out in the vice presidential sweepstakes.

Two of Trump’s children are also on the calendar to speak Tuesday night. Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. are among the headliners.

Trump is also bringing his own employees onto the stage. Kerry Woolard, the general manager of Trump Winery, will discuss her work alongside the presumptive Republican nominee in a prime-time speaking slot.

The night will also feature a broad range of non-political speakers — including UFC president Dana White, golfer Natalie Gulbis and actress Kimberlin Brown.


Themed “Make America First Again,” the day’s speakers will make the case that United States’ leadership role in the world has slipped under Obama and could be restored by Trump. The night kicks off at 7 p.m. ET.

The night’s most prominent speech will come from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — who, as the GOP vice presidential candidate, will be the prime-time headliner.

Another close Trump ally and vice presidential contender, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is up Wednesday evening, as is Eric Trump, another of Trump’s sons.

Many Republicans will be closely watching three relatively young contenders in the 2016 primary: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. All three would be possible candidates in 2020 if Trump loses this year. Rubio won’t be there in person but is submitting a video message.


The final night of the convention, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET, is Trump’s night.

He’ll deliver a speech that’ll be closely watched both inside the arena and on television everywhere. The big question: Will he play to the enthusiastically partisan crowd in person, or will he stick to a script and try to expand his appeal to a broader audience?

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will appear at what could be the end of his six-year tenure as party chair.

Several Trump allies will speak, too. Tom Barrack, a long-time Trump friend, real estate investor and head of the investment firm Colony Capital, as well as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, are slated to appear.

Thiel is gay — a reality that makes for an awkward clash with a party that rejected efforts to moderate its platform’s approach to LGBT issues.

Leading into Trump will be perhaps his most effective surrogate: His daughter, Ivanka Trump.

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