Putting the clamor in perspective, Monday’s disruption is nearly unprecedented since the 1970s.
“The modern party convention is a coronation, not a fight for who gets to wear the crown,” says Engel. “We have not seen a genuine question as to who the nominee will be since 1976, and even then it was resolved relatively peacefully before the first ballot, so this is very rare.”
“Typically, conventions in the TV era are staged events,” Engel adds. “All of these issues are resolved before the cameras get turned on, so the fact there are people within the Republican party who are willing to embarrass the party by showing their inner family fight is really quite profound and unusual.”
Engel is director of the SMU Center for Presidential History. He can discuss:
- comparisons to past presidential races
- foreign policy
- presidential rhetoric