The 2016 Republican National Convention will begin Monday in Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena. The Democrats and Republicans use their national conventions to nominate candidates for president and vice president. The top Republican figures will showcase their nominees and the prime-time speeches by candidates and other prominent politicians boost some of the largest television audiences of the campaign. At the convention, the Republican Party will also adopt its official party platform, a formal document that lays out the party's policy principles but has no binding effect on how its politicians ultimately govern.
Many of the 2,472 delegates who will attend were selected at state and congressional district conventions. Others were on slates put together by the presidential campaigns. They represent the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories. Members of the RNC are automatic delegates.
Those who do plan to speak include at least 20 current or former Republican politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who fought Trump in the primary. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, is also expected to speak. Four of Trump's children and his wife also plan to appear. His wife and one of his children will speak. Another notable speaker is Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder, who may be the first openly gay speaker featured at a national Republican convention.
Each day will have a different theme. Monday is "Make America Safe Again," Tuesday is "Make America Work Again." Wednesday's theme is "Make America First Again." Thursday, the closing day, is "Make America One Again."
The convention will end, as usual, with a massive balloon drop over the heads of delegates on the floor, while cameras roll and music blares. In the arena, thousands of red, white and blue balloons have been pre-positioned on the ceiling.
The festivities continue outside the arena, where state GOP parties, political groups and media organizations have organized hundreds of parties, receptions and seminars.
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