AND THIS WAS ONLY DAY 1.... MY THOUGHTS ON THE RNC 2016 we are in Cleveland covering the Republican National Convention.  This should be bringing together the biggest and brightest minds in politics...right?  Guess again.  The headlines from Day 1 of the RNC...well, let's just say you can't make this stuff up. Seriously... I have thought about what possible crazy things could happen on DAY 1 OF THE RNC....and I couldn't make this stuff up on my best day. So here are some of the "highlights" of Day 1 from Cleveland....

  • BIGGEST STORY: Melania Trump gave her first major speech of the campaign...and it appears that it was Michelle Obama's speech.  Now, I want to go on record to defend Melania for a second...SHE DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS CRAP!  I am sure that when she married The Donald, she knew that she would be in the media spot light.  Her husband is a bombastic, loud, and flamboyant businessman and TV personality.  There was going to be the occasional paparazzi rush...or even the less annoying interviews on Entertainment Tonight.  BUT WHEN YOUR HUSBAND IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT...this is an ugly game that is played with the media.  You are in the cross hairs...everything that you do...everything that you say...everything that you wear (remember the Twitter Handle "@obamasbrownsuit").  Again, SHE DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS!!! So, I think that the media is going a little OVER THE TOP (which is NEVER the case with the 24 Hour News Animal).  
  • BIGGEST CELEBRITY SPEAKER OF THE DAY (OTHER THAN THE DONALD): This one is a toss-up...between Former "Charles In Charge" Teen Heart-throb Scott Baio or that guy with the beard from Duck Dynasty (oh, wait...they all have beards).  I'm going with Chachi on this one!
  • BEST SPEECH OF THE NIGHT: No question, America's Mayor...Rudolph Giuliani.  It not only got the crowd FIRED-UP...but it made everyone ask the question "CAN'T WE HAVE HIM AS OUR NOMINEE?"  Great job, Mr. Mayor.
  • MOST AWKWARD MOMENT OF DAY 1:  While the mother of one of the brave men who lost their lives during the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi was giving an emotional speech on the main stage of the RNC, Donald Trump decides that would be the PERFECT time to do what some are now calling a "TRUMP PHONE DRIVE-BY".  Proving it is all about the Donald, yet again.

    So that is JUST DAY in Cleveland.  I have to admit, I think Sen. Sasse is missing out....this is the BIGGEST DUMPSTER FIRE I have seen in a while...he should have brought his kids here.

Justin Russell

JUSTIN THOMAS RUSSELL currently serves as the Principal Director for RIALTAS PUBLIC STRATEGIES, LLC (RPS) in Washington, D.C. In his role with RPS, Mr. Russell is tasked with assisting his clients with Government Affairs and Advocacy, Campaign Strategy, Regulatory / Compliance Analysis, and Strategic Government Development for Businesses seeking to enter into the Government Business Sector. In a career spanning over 24 years, he has fostered strong relationships with leaders within the Federal Government in addition to state and federal legislators. Prior to creating RPS, Mr. Russell served as the Director of Corporate Strategy and International Affairs for Avaya Government Solutions in Fairfax, VA. His duties there included developing and executing the strategic vision of the company in the civilian government sector as well government / client relations. His organization included corporate marketing, proposal development, and focused on areas of growth that converge information technology solutions and communications with Government mission requirements. Previously, as the Director of Maritime and Border Security for General Dynamics Information Technology, he lent his knowledge to a team responsible for providing a wide-range of technological solutions and subject matter expertise. As a seasoned authority, he advised both government and private sector clients on issues regarding port security, border security programs, policy development, grant acquisition, and emergency response and preparedness. Prior to joining General Dynamics Information Technology, Mr. Russell was the president and managing partner of SPG/Florida Atlantic Consultants, a firm specializing in government affairs, emergency management, crisis communications, and community development. During his tenure, along with being a veteran of several political and grass roots campaigns, he collaborated with federal and state lawmakers on critical issues involving commercial maritime interests, energy and power generation, public safety, environmental protection and emergency management. He also worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of numerous public and private clients. Mr. Russell is a 12 year veteran of the United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve. During his tenure with the Coast Guard, he served in areas involving Law Enforcement, Alien / Migrant Interdiction Operations, Maritime Safety and Security. While acquiring enterprise management skills through business ownership, he also gained exceptional knowledge of legislative processes and procedures, appropriations, grants management, and government procurement operations at the state and federal levels. He has written articles for several publications and has been featured in articles for Homeland Security Today, Homeland Defense Journal and He is also a regular guest lecturer on Politics and Government at Georgetown University and American University. Mr. Russell currently resides in Washington, D.C.