The Trump show has arrived in Cleveland -- here's what it was like to be there

CLEVELAND — A non-stop stream of Rolling Stones hits played Wednesday afternoon as a gaggle of reporters, cameramen, photographers, and television anchors awaited Donald Trump’s arrival by helicopter to the Republican National Convention here.

One song in particular, “Time is On My Side,” a mid-1960s hit, struck a particular chord.

“Time, time, time, is on my side, yes it is!” famed Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger proclaimed. The song played at least four times, as if to drive home a message.

As well more than 100 members of the press awaited what was nothing more than a photo-op from the now-Republican nominee, it made sense in that fleeting moment. Time is on Trump’s side. The press waited hours for not even two minutes’ worth of Trump speaking next to running mate Mike Pence.

But the song also exemplifies a recurring theme of Trump’s presidential campaign. Namely, he has seemingly blown past almost every controversy to gain attention along his primary run, which happened to come to completion Tuesday night with his official nomination. With the passing of time, each provocative statement becomes a little more of a distant memory in the many minds of undecided voters who will choose the next president in November.

The latest firestorm, centered around the Melania Trump speech’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention, could be another in the rearview mirror by then.

Time, it seems, is on his side.

The first couple days of what is Trump’s convention have been filled with attacks against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Take for example, Tuesday night, the second session in a row during which raucous “lock her up” chants ripped through the convention floor. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent his speech lambasting Clinton, asking the audience if she was “guilty” of a litany of statements he made about her.

The harsh anti-Clinton message will be what Trump and his team tries to push at voters for roughly the next four months. Polls have shown a volatile race over the past couple of months, and Trump is within 3 points of Clinton in the gold-standard RealClearPolitics polling average.

There’s still plenty of time.

Another Rolling Stones hit played right before landing: “Let’s Spend the Night Together.”

With his family and his running mate Pence waiting on the ground, Trump’s massive aeroplane that bears his last name flew past the gaggle of press awaiting by the shores of Lake Erie. Minutes later, the Trump helicopter was doing circles around the landing, dipping a bit lower as it progressed, as if Trump was looking to film background footage for a movie as he arrived.

Trump helicopterAllan Smith/Business InsiderThe Trump helicopter landing lakeside.
Trump helicopterAllan Smith/Business InsiderThe Trump helicopter landing.

Approached by his and Pence’s families, Trump walked toward the throng of reporters as the cameras began clicking. He gave a brief wave. His speech seemed even briefer.

“Last time I got accused of speaking a little bit long,” he said of his Saturday introduction of Pence as his running mate. “So this time, I’m going speak a lot shorter. But I just want to introduce a man who has become a friend of mine, a man who is going to make an unbelievable vice president of the United States: Gov. Mike Pence.”

He thanked people for showing up and said he’s now going to “go and start working.”

As one New York delegate said after the event, the pageantry of his aerial entrance was “remarkable.”

Remarkable is a good word to describe many elements of the Trump candidacy. Now he’s arrived in Cleveland for the final two nights of his convention. Unlike the Rolling Stones, he’s asking us to spend two nights with him. We will.

These days, time’s on his side.

NOW WATCH: Melania Trump has been accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 address — here’s the footage

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