Speaker Paul Ryan came in to the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa trailing clouds of glory as the running mate for Mitt Romney, who was in a touch and go race with President Obama for the White House.
Ryan was a policy wonk. Young, affable and impressive, Ryan was seen as the next leader of the party if Romney lost.
Romney did lose, but something happened to Paul Ryan on the way to the coronation.
Donald Trump came along and upset all the known co-ordinates of how to gain power and took the party away from Ryan, for this election cycle at least.
Ryan’s reception on Tuesday night was frosty and begrudging. He has backed Trump, but sort of in the way you hold your nose and vote for the least, worst alternative. It was noticeable he mentioned Trump only in conjunction with Mike Pence, the former congressman and a much more acceptable figure to Ryan.
It will be left to Ryan as speaker to again rebuild the shattered party if Trump loses. It will be no easy task. Minorities are obvious by their absence in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena. It is clear that the demographic is overwhelmingly older white males and females.
This is not diversity in a country becoming ever more diverse and the GOP, if it is not careful, could go the way of the Whigs back in the mid-19th century when they were replaced, amazingly, by the new Republican Party whose first star was an Illinois rail-splitter and country lawyer called Abraham Lincoln.
But bad and all as Trump is viewed by many, the GOP must be thanking their lucky stars that Doctor Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon who won a Medal of Freedom from President Bush for his work on sick children, is not the party nominee.
Carson is a far better neurosurgeon than politician and the opening lines of his speech showed why. He introduced Lucifer into the night’s discussion, stating that Hillary Clinton was under his sway because an old professor, Saul Alinsky, had written a book pointing out that the bible states that Lucifer was the first rebel of the Old Testament is to be acknowledged.
Chris Christie was playing the same game, but he should be careful. The Bridgegate scandal in Jersey is edging ever closer to him.
The Trump family reminds me of the Swiss Family Robinson, one better coiffed than the next, all saying glowing things about their father.
Donald Trump Jr delivered a better speech than I have ever heard his father deliver, but this notion that Junior was pursuing that Donald Trump is one of the ordinary folks and knows how to mingle with them is sheer fantasy.
So I’m not buying Donald Trump the common man meme.
Night two of the convention was overly focused on Clinton when it was supposed to be about making America work again. I have seen this Clinton phenomenon before. It's an obsession with the Republicans – whether it is Bill or Hillary. And it's not a winning one, given the number of times now they have put Republican opponents in their place.
Suffice to say she is hot favorite to do it again. Nate Silver of FiveThirthyEight.com who predicted 50 of the 51 states (including Washington DC) last time gives Hilary a 72 percent chance of winning.
Trump will not win over many swing voters with the constant attack on the Clintons. They need to reach far outside that particular comfort zone and convince the 32 percent who say they're still making up their minds to vote for Trump.
Funny, I don't think Lucifer’s entry into the race will make much difference. As the Irish song goes “Some Say the Divil is Dead.” As a political operator that is true.
The devil is actually in the details these days. Who has the best computer lists, ground game, who is raising the most money.
It is a long hot summer ahead. Lucifer would love this weather.