On this final Super Tuesday, Donald Trump delivered his first “presidential” speech. Those quotes refer only to the tone that Trump chose, which is one that he should have adopted once Ted Cruz dropped out and (ironically) made things harder for Trump. However, Trump has used this odd limbo before the general election to thumb his nose at the Republican establishment. As soon as Paul Ryan finally decided to endorse Trump, the real estate mogul veered even further off his usual course. He embarrassed the party by insisting that a “Mexican” judge had a conflict of interest because of his fabled Wall. And he did the unthinkable by singling out a rally attendee with a “look at my African-American” pronouncement. Trump went full Trump and saw backlash like he’d never seen until now.
So, Trump took the mic on this election night. This was a prepared speech — quite unlike most of his famously off-the-cuff orations — and (according to a CNN live report) only the third time he’s delivered from a teleprompter. Anderson Cooper gamely wondered, “Does he rehearse these types of speeches?” Well, this was a different brand of Trump, and he must have practiced this speech because he played things very cool and civilized. He opened with “Tonight, we close one chapter in history and begin another.” He graciously thanked his supporters and wooed Bernie Sanders voters who have been quieted by superdelegates: “We welcome you with open arms.”