Despite critics, this is definitely Trump's convention
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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE flattened everything in his path in 2016.

He steamrolled through primaries and caucuses. He defeated his 16 rivals one after the other until he remained the last man standing. Then in May, North Dakota delivered to him the necessary number of delegates to secure the nomination.


On Thursday, he will accept the results of the democratically decided contests that awarded him the Republican selection to serve as the 45th president of the United States.

His acceptance speech will represent his successful takeover and remaking of the party. The GOP will officially become the party of Trump. For good or ill, their futures are now intertwined.

An all-star line-up of speakers will take the main stage on Wednesday — among them Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers MORE, Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia next week Here's evidence the Senate confirmation process is broken MORE, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican vice presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Bipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Noem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event MORE — but the reality is that it is the Trump convention.

From his wife Melania's remarks on Monday, then children Donald Jr. and Tiffany on Tuesday, Eric on Wednesday and Ivanka on Thursday, it all builds to the crescendo of their patriarch's speech.

They all told powerful and personal stories of how the elder Trump supported them and helped shape their lives. Melania touched on his tenacity, compassion and loyalty. Donald Jr. spoke to his offering employees and associates the opportunity to live the American dream of prosperity and upward mobility through hard work and common sense. Tiffany talked about his ability to bring about the best in those around him.

Trump on Thursday will outline his vision for the United States on economic, social and national security affairs. He will also need to contrast his policies with those of U.S. political leadership over the past eight years.

He will effectively answer the question posed by Donald Jr. about whom Americans would rather call when jihadists launch a ferocious attack against them in the middle of the night, as they did in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.

It will mark the beginning of the 119 days between now and the general election on Nov. 8. Trump's speech will finalize the initial phase of his political career — which remarkably is his first run at elected office — and it will serve as the foundation for his general election race.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Shontel Brown gaining ground against Nina Turner in Ohio: poll Biden hits trail for McAuliffe in test of his political brand MORE amassed millions of dollars to fund her campaign, with hundreds of millions more in expenditures from political action committees. She and her allies in the media will stop at nothing to destroy her opponent by whatever means necessary.

Trump will need to deploy the business acumen and instincts that powered his success as he never has before against a committed adversary.

Trump towered over the Republican Party nominating process over the past six months. Thursday will play an outsized role in determining whether he towers over the fall campaign.

It's that important as he negotiates the biggest deal of his illustrious career, and it may determine whether voters hire him to fix the country's current malaise.

Hoekstra represented Michigan's 2nd Congressional District from 1993 to 2011 and is the former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.