Home / World News / Masks, a Normal Roll Call and No Calamari: What the R.N.C. Will Look Like

Masks, a Normal Roll Call and No Calamari: What the R.N.C. Will Look Like

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There won’t be a calamari chef at the Republican National Convention.

After tests and temperature checks, 336 delegates representing 50 states, five territories and Washington, D.C., will gather inside a ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center on Monday morning to officially renominate President Trump. Under the vertical state signs that typically dot a convention floor, representatives from each state and territory will have one minute to sing their praises for their home state and for the president in what will look like a fairly traditional convention roll call.

There will be some reminders of the coronavirus era. The microphone will be cleaned after every speaker. And masks will be required until the person representing his or her state steps up to the microphone, according to a person briefed on the protocols.

What may be lacking will be the electric feel of a typical convention floor. Just six representatives from each state and territory will be in the room, and they will be masked and seated at a distance from one another. The big highlight of the day (no surprise here) is a speech by Mr. Trump himself, who will appear on every night of the convention. Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to fly in and address the delegates.

It will be a stark contrast to how the Democrats conducted their virtual roll call last week, featuring videos filmed across the country that highlighted local landmarks.

The breakout star of the Democratic travelogue montage — a seafood chef from Rhode Island who displayed a plate of calamari, the state appetizer, while Rhode Island announced its votes for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — was proof that sometimes ingenuity can turn a complication into a perk. It all made for strangely compelling television viewing.

The Republicans, intent on preserving as much of an in-person look and feel to their convention as possible, have chosen to go a more habitual route.

Republican officials said holding the in-person roll call on Monday morning would give them more coverage, although it was not clear how much of the proceedings cable or network news broadcasters would carry live. The Republicans gathered in Charlotte will be competing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has agreed to testify on Monday in front of the House Oversight Committee amid concerns over how changes he is carrying out at the agency will affect mail-in voting in the November election.

Gathering delegates in person also may end up creating exactly the kind of scene that Mr. Trump originally scoffed at when he tried to move the convention to Jacksonville, Fla., from Charlotte: an address in front of a masked and distanced crowd that would make the room look mostly empty.

But the delegates convened in Charlotte said they were excited and honored to take part in the proceedings.

“It’s a little different from what we experienced four years ago,” said Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, who is the chairman of the New Hampshire delegation. “But we’re going to have the privilege of hearing from the president.”

Mr. Lewandowski joked that despite all of the precautions necessary to keep the delegates safe and comply with state rules, “this may be the most fun people have ever had at a convention.”

Mr. Lewandowski said that in his roll call speech, he planned to highlight New Hampshire as the first state Mr. Trump won in the 2016 primary process. “New Hampshire picks presidents while other states pick corn,” he said.

Another longtime Trump loyalist and adviser, David Bossie, will speak on behalf of Maryland, his home state, Mr. Lewandowski said.

During the weekend of Republican National Committee meetings that preceded Monday’s roll call, the party passed a series of resolutions that condemned progressive groups and culture. Among them was a resolution to uphold the First Amendment in response to the pandemic “and the cancel culture movement,” referring to the virus as the “Chinese coronavirus outbreak.”

The resolution states that the right to attend church services and sports events has been “infringed, abused and denied” while “opportunistic violent protesters and casino-goers are still allowed the right to assemble.”

It also passed a resolution aiming to undermine the legitimacy of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy group dedicated to fighting extremism in the United States, calling it a “radical organization” that “puts conservative groups or voices at risk of attack.”

Margaret Huang, the president and chief executive of the group, said the resolution as designed to “excuse the Trump administration’s history of working with individuals and organizations that malign entire groups of people — including Black Lives Matter advocates, immigrants, Muslims and the L.G.B.T.Q. community — with dehumanizing rhetoric.”

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