On covering a convention in her home state: I’ve been coming to conventions since 1980, but to be at one in your hometown is something very special. My family is so proud to show people what Cleveland is. It doesn’t hurt that the Cavs won and that the Cleveland Indians are in first place. I think that every convention is a series of ups and downs and chaos, and good planning and bad planning. It’s never dull, and this certainly fits that bill.
On how the RNC and DNC will differ: You couldn’t have two more different nominees. You have someone who has never, ever been in politics, who has defied every expectation, who doesn’t play by the rules versus someone who’s spent much of her adult life around or in politics, who I guess defied a little bit of expectation in that she went into New York and became the U.S. senator and won the respect of a lot of Republicans. But this really is reflective of Donald Trump, which is a little bit chaotic, a little bit of showbiz, completely unpredictable. We’re going to see a lot more predictability out of the Democratic National Convention, but I also think that you’re going to see something that surprises you, because it happens every single time.
On which speaker has been the most impressive: I think people are really impressed by Donald Trump Jr. I mean it’s only been the first couple of days but people are already buzzing about him. Would he be someone who would be interested in politics? Maybe governorship?
On who to watch for tonight: I think a lot of people want to hear from Ivanka, who is going to be introducing her dad. She’s very glamorous, something very different than what we’re used to seeing. Again, unique to this nominee.
On what to expect during the general election: I’ve been on the campaign trail for a little over a year now and I first went out before most of them had even declared. So I’ve been to most of their rallies, I’ve interviewed I think all of them and over the years have gotten to know most of them. But things change when you go into a general election. So it’s going to be interesting for me to see what Donald Trump is going to be — a different kind of candidate going into the general election. Hillary Clinton has been under a lot of pressure to be more “herself.” People want her to be more relaxed. My experience is people are who they are, you don’t change people when they’re in the 40s, 50s, 60s — Doanld Trump is 70. It’s going to be interesting and I do think that the first debate is going to be off the charts in ratings. It could be Super Bowl numbers. I think that neighborhoods all across America are going to get together. It’s going to be like the Super Bowl. They’re going to have the nachos — in our parts here a little bit of kielbasa if you’re a Hungarian household. It’s going to be an event unlike anything we’ve ever seen in politics in a very long time.
On her favorite Cleveland spots: My nephew is a chef at a restaurant in Mentor, which is close to where I grew up, called TJ’s On the Avenue. It has incredible Italian food — and his specials, I recommend them highly. I try to go to Balaton [in Shaker Square]. I’m Hungarian by background and it’s not that easy to find a Hungarian restaurant, so Balaton is a place that I go to for my chicken paprikash. On this trip it won’t happen, but believe me, I love coming home and I love going to Malley’s and having a hot fudge sundae.
11:40 AM EST
July 21, 2016