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20 July 2016

Donald J. Trump Jr.: The Trumps will be the Kennedys of the new American Right

It's official: The Republican party nominates Donald Trump for president

"It's not a campaign anymore, it's a movement, speaking to real Americans, giving them a voice again." -- Donald J. Trump Jr.

The party largely avoided drama during delegates’ roll call vote on convention floor as Trump’s once unthinkable ascension becomes reality.

Donald Trump supporters celebrated their once unthinkable capture of the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday night as state delegates took turns to count up the votes from his remarkable sweep of the party’s 2016 primary election. Crossing the threshold of 1,237 votes, Trump officially became the Republican party’s nominee for president.

The official confirmation of the 2016 nominee was in little doubt after a last-minute procedural rebellion was quickly killed off on Monday, but the ceremonial call of the roll of states served as a powerful reminder of the scale of his victory over 16 competing candidates with the largest ever vote haul in a Republican primary.

“It is my honour to throw Donald Trump over the top with 89 delegates,” said his son Donald Trump Jr as he announced the results from his home state of New York. “Congratulations Dad, we love you.”

Each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and far-flung Pacific territories took turns to read out their delegate split, inducing huge cheers and the occasional jeers when the turn came to the handful of contests won by rivals Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.

“To paraphrase Buffalo Springfield, there is something happening here and what it is is exactly clear,” said the South Carolina lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster, as he seconded the proposed nomination of Trump. “This is not a dream. This is the real thing. This is deadly serious,” added McMaster, who was the first elected official in the country to endorse Trump in January.

Those closest to the campaign greeted Trump’s vindication by pointing out just how few politicians, pundits and journalists ever thought his national victory – secured in a total of 38 states – was possible.

Earlier in the day, campaign chairman Paul Manafort said the nomination was the “culmination of a one-year campaign by Mr Trump, a campaign that defied expectations of pundits and the political class”.

“He is excited that his quest will finally come to an end and all of you who doubted him will no longer be able to say ‘yes, but it may never happen’,” he told reporters. “So we are excited about that.”

The few figures of the party establishment who have travelled to Cleveland were also paraded on stage on Tuesday to give their blessing to the Trump coronation.

House speaker Paul Ryan, a longtime critic of Trump’s divisive rhetoric on race and immigration, was required to oversee the proceedings in his capacity as convention chair.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who was also slow the endorse the nominee at first, was due to lead a group of 10 freshmen senators on stage to pay their respects.

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who began the lengthy nominating process at 6 PM in Cleveland by formally proposing Trump, explained the once shocking outcome as a product of the troubled mood among American voters.