There's a lot of ground the Republican Party’s nominee for president could cover in his acceptance address Thursday evening. Whatever Donald Trump's priorities are, his political and emotional "body language” figure could play a big role in how the address is received.
Notes on an early, embargoed Trump's speech indicate it will "time out" on TelePrompTer at just over 7 and a half minutes -- not counting pauses for applause, and whatever thoughts he might ad lib.
Media outlets are forbidden from revealing the contents in advance.
But folks interviewed in downtown San Diego by NBC 7 on Thursday suspect it'll need fact-checking.
“I think he's going to try to talk about issues; I think he's going to try to talk about policies,” said attorney Frank Noble. “And I think the press -- you included -- are going to dig over the last 25-30 years of Donald Trump. And people are going to put him to task for what he's said over the years."
Mission Valley resident Richard Howard said: "I would hope he would be a little more down-to-earth or 'stately,' if I could use that term., to where people could really see Presidential material."
Trump's admirers tend to see his changing stances as evidence of flexibility, open-mindedness.
His critics view it as cynical or convenient turnabouts from poorly thought-out, or uninformed positions.
Whatever the case, Thursday night's address will be under the most powerful political microscopes yet focused on him.
So far, the convention's stumbles and misdirections have reflected a campaign organization struggling to gain solid footing in prime time.
“But right now is when the whole world is going to be focusing on Donald Trump, one of the two people that's going to become President of the United States in a few months,” said Republican political consultant Jason Cabel Roe, who served as a national spokesman for Marco Rubio’s Presidential campaign.
“So he has a real opportunity to show what he's capable of,” Roe told NBC 7. “ If we continue to see what we have seen for the last ten months, I think it's going to be very difficult for him to put together a coalition that could get him elected in November."
Others expect a down-and-dirty general election campaign that picks up where the angry primary cycle left off.
"Even my own friends and where I socialize -- I don't want to say where -- even if you mention Trump's name and you're for Hillary, they get offended,” said Escondido resident Jenny Stigen. “People are going to get really, really mad that one or the other is going to be elected."