Why Greta Van Susteren Says Anchoring a Convention Is Like ‘Sitting on the Sidelines’

By Chris Ariens 

Greta Van Susteren thinks election 2016 is going to come down to about 25 million voters.

“80 percent of the people have decided they either hate Trump or they love Trump, they hate Clinton or they love Clinton. They drive such extreme passion,” Van Susteren told us after her show Tuesday night. “But it’s the other 20 percent of the population that will decide this election.”

Van Susteren is hosting On the Record this week from Cleveland and will next week from Philadelphia. But because her 7 p.m. show is in the midst of the programmed portion of the convention, she sees her role this week as “largely like stagehands because the two parties have determined what the speeches are and what the program will be, we’re sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

In fact, all of last night’s show was reworked and guests canceled because the roll call to nominate Donald Trump occurred in her hour.

“We all live in the moment in this business,” Van Susteren says. “We have horrible political fights, we say the meanest, nastiest things about each other. But we always have a peaceful transfer of power, which is the best part about all this.”

RNC-adweek-4x3-a-2016As for day one’s biggest controversy: Melania Trump’s cribbed convention speech, Van Susteren calls it a “flub for the Trump campaign,” but she doesn’t think “it’ll have any impact in November.” This morning the speechwriter, Meredith McIver, offered her resignation, which Donald Trump did not accept.

Being here in Cleveland, means the Wisconsin native and avowed Cheesehead will be missing what is the highlight of the summer for some Green Bay Packers shareholders: the annual meeting is being held tomorrow at Lambeau Field. But she’s in good company, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and even NBC’s Chuck Todd, all shareholders, will also miss the annual gathering. “I’ll miss it. But I have my two cheeseheads in the trunk of my car.”