Melinda Henneberger

'Whole-Life' Pro-Life Democrats Aren't Quite as Advertised
But their party continues to tell them thanks but no thanks

Left to right, Rosemary Geraghty, Aimee Murphy, Christina Healy and Maria Oswalt of Life Matters Journal. (Melinda Henneberger/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — The pro-life Democrats trying in vain to point out the self-defeating down-ballot and state-level results of their party’s increasing hostility toward them were not quite as NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue described from the podium on Wednesday night.  

“And the people who so loudly oppose abortion rights? Let me let you into their dirty little secret,’’ Hogue told the crowd. “It’s not abortion that bothers them; it’s empowering women to live their own lives.”  

The Three Less-Noticed DNC Speeches Most Likely to Help Clinton Win
Each of them highlighted a Trump vulnerability

Pennsylvania delegate Cherelle Parker, center, cheers for Michelle Obama on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — As anyone who has caught the DNC on television knows, this, even more than the RNC in Cleveland, has already been one unconventional nominating convention, with some boos for the nominee and a couple of “Knock it off!” remonstrations from the podium.  

Some of the early speeches soared , like Michelle Obama’s when she said, “Don’t let anyone tell you this country isn’t great.” (And thanks, Mrs. O, for inspiring my 20-year-old daughter to notice that you refrained from being “mean about Melania” Trump’s speech that borrowed from your own, when that would have been so easy but so unnecessary: “I’m going to remember,” my daughter said, ‘When they go low, we go high .'")  

Harassment, Rape and Donald Trump's Defense of Roger Ailes
Bold talk for a candidate with a historically low standing among women

Donald Trump's sympathetic remarks on former Fox News head Roger Ailes, who faces sexual harassment accusations, is "hardly out of nowhere" given his history, writes Melinda Henneberger. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

PHILADELPHIA — All those hacked DNC emails showing the joy of backstabbing , the self-absorption of DWS  and the price of sitting next to the president have, alas, distracted us from another shocking/not that shocking revelation, this one from the GOP nominee.  

On "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Donald Trump stuck up for his old friend Roger Ailes, the ousted (but still well-compensated) head of Fox News, who’s been accused by some two dozen women of trying to pressure them into sex by promising jobs and advancement if they complied and professional consequences if they did not. (Through his famous feminist lawyer, Susan Estrich , he has denied doing any such thing.)  

RNC Day Four Highlights and A Look Ahead

Chaotic Convention Puts Trump's Managerial Brilliance in Question
And makes a joke of today's theme, 'Making America One Again'

Given his campaign rhetoric, Donald Trump would have to change course radically to even start to unify the country, writes Melinda Henneberger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump’s biggest selling point is his brilliance as a manager.  

Yet if this week’s Republican National Convention is any guide, a Trump administration would marry the micromanaging of Jimmy Carter, who refused to delegate even the scheduling of the White House tennis courts, with the incompetence of, say, James Buchanan, who held that Southern secession was illegal, but that going to war to keep the country together was, too.  

Faces of the RNC: This Is Mike Miller's 14th GOP Convention
And he can laugh now, looking back at snafus like the time confetti dropped early and caught on fire

Mike Miller says he's at his last Republican convention - maybe. (Melinda Henneberger/CQ Roll Call)

CLEVELAND — This is the 14th Republican National Convention  79-year-old Mike Miller has worked on — and his last, he swears, though his friends have heard that before.  

A former Scripps-Howard reporter who covered Congress and then the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, he’s a seven-time RNC media operations director who always pushed for more access for his former colleagues “because I believe that’s how I best serve the party,” he says.  

Melania Appropriates Michelle's Words as GOP Borrows Dem-Style Emotion
A grieving mother and other gut-punchers are center stage on Day 1 of Donald Trump's RNC

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump points to his wife Melania following her speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The undisputed lowlight of the first night of the Republican National Convention was Melania Trump’s overt and initially dumbfounding plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the convention that nominated her husband.  

Homage? No, I think we can safely rule that out. Given that there was zero chance that this appropriation would go unnoticed , we might next wonder if the speechwriter had booby-trapped her prime time moment. Except, isn't her husband a careful monitor of the words she said she wrote herself? He has signed off personally on every speaker at the convention, I’m told, so he would hardly let his wife's address come as a surprise.  

Faces of the RNC
Betsy Gehring, in charge of logistics, fields requests for rooms with a view, or a bar, or a spa

Betsy Gehring's got a big assignment at the GOP convention.

If you think your to-do list is daunting, meet Betsy Gehring , who is in charge of logistics – hotel assignments and delegate travel – for this week’s Republican National Convention .  

Her more interesting list, though, is the one she’s been keeping of all of the special requests that have made her laugh. Some delegates, for example, said they really had to have a room on Lake Erie , with a pool, gym and walking trails. Or in a hotel with a bar , or a spa . Or near someone they like , or far from someone they really do not .  

Mummy Wars, Brexit Edition
Theresa May to Move into 10 Downing after 'Mum-gate'

Andrea Leadsom, right, of the British Conservative Party suggested that she was better suited to lead the government than Theresa May, left, by virture of her experience as a mother. (Photo credit: Left, Carl Court/Getty Images; Right, Chris J. Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

The incoming British Prime Minister, Theresa May, who will become the UK’s second female head of government on Wednesday, had no competition for the job after her rival, fellow conservative Andrea Leadsom, made the mistake of suggesting that she was better suited to lead the government by virtue of her experience as a mom.

The mythological furies, goddesses of vengeance, had nothing on those tweeting Brits who tore into Leadsom after she told the Times of London that while May “possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people,” she herself had a bona fide biological stake in the future: “I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.’’

Hoyer Dismayed Kathleen Matthews Didn’t Win

Sitting down with Roll Call editor-in-chief Melinda Henneberger, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer expressed disappointment by the lack of women in the Maryland delegation, saying that Kathleen Matthews losing Maryland’s 8th district seat to state Sen. Jamie Raskin was “a real loss.”