(CNN Money) -Speculation about the Republican National Convention centered on two things: Whether Donald Trump would bring his reality-TV-honed media savvy to the proceedings; and how the nominee would fare wedding his improvisational speaking style to the strictures of this sort of carefully programmed event.
The tumult and discord that characterized the first three days of the convention — with what can only be called major distractions from the task at hand — spoke to the first question. And Trump’s lengthy acceptance speech Thursday, which appeared at times to handcuff him, rather decisively answered the latter.
Those consuming this through the lens of TV couldn’t see the speech’s other major player, but Trump’s TelePrompTer occupied a central role in the drama. Clearly committed not to extensively riff or drift off script — as was his habit on the campaign trail — the candidate frequently sounded awkward, raising his voice and emphasizing words and phrases (“regime change,” “ever”) for what felt like no reason.
Setting aside the content of the speech, the structure created problems for Trump that became more apparent as the delivery wore on. He started by rattling off an almost dizzying litany of facts and figures, then turned into sections filled with such a depressing, woe-is-America vision as to create few spaces for obvious applause lines, which seemed to stifle the appreciative crowd. READ MORE OF THIS REPORT