Washington Delegate Bell Calls First Day Of RNC 'Incredible'
The first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio was filled with the typical speeches and political hoopla. But there were also moments when the so-called “Never Trump” movement attempted to change the event’s rules as a way to derail Donald Trump’s presumptive nomination.
Some of Washington’s delegates were included in that effort to force a roll call vote, as a way to "unbind" delegates from Trump. The move ultimately failed. Washington state delegate Jack Bell says he was not part of that group's attempt.
"I didn't really have much of a connection to that certain movement ... A lot of the media is going to portray it as an anti-Trump push ... but for everyone that I talked to, they saw that there were certain rules that were going to hurt grassroots movements in the future," he said.
Bell says the fact that there were delegates from Washington who were involved makes the state look bad in terms of "party unity." He says once party leaders were able to get the convention back on track, the rest of the day's events were "incredible."
"Sitting up in the gallery, and you look down and you just see a bunch of people talking, and it looks exciting, but once you actually hit the floor it's a whole different feeling," Bell said.
He was able to briefly meet New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and pose for a photo with former Washington State Sen. Dino Rossi. Bell says he may also get a chance to have some one-on-one time with candidate Donald Trump.
"That would be really cool," he said.
Bell noted the insider's view of the convention is much different from what the general public sees in news coverage.
"Everyone's texted me saying 'stay safe.' They're all worried because they see all these protests and stuff, and there's nothing within the perimeter," he said.
He says any interactions he's personally had, or seen, with protestors have been largely positive. Bell says everyone was just calmly talking.
"I don't want it to go down in history as a rambunctious, scary convention because that's just not what I've seen at all," said Bell.
This is part of KPLU's ongoing election series "From the Floor," focused on the Washington delegation at each of the party's national conventions.