The decision as to which Party holds the first nominating convention is determined by the current White House occupant?

Advantage Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who have the benefit of knowing what was said and can now polish the rebuttals.

The over-riding theme of the GOP conclave was easy enough to identify. It was attack Hillary and keep attacking.

“Lock her up” was the resounding cry of the delegates who did not come to Cleveland for further affirmation of Trump’s presidential worthiness. The majority are already convinced despite questions that could shake that assumption to its core as the general election campaign begins.

They came to vent their spleen about someone whose historic nomination as the first woman candidate of a major party to seek the presidency and whose long if sometimes controversial record in public office is of little consequence.

Their preferred candidate has also managed to do something historic—namely to convince millions of followers that inexperience, a rampaging ego, and megalomaniacal visions are ideal qualifications for the most powerful job in the free world.

We have now learned that the campaign slogan “America First” might be more suitably named, “Trump First.”

The Democrats will have four days to convince the millions watching that the dark, gloomy, foreboding landscape which Trump paints of a nation on the verge of financial collapse, global irrelevance, and cultural decay are the fervid imaginings of a mind that has little use for truth or facts.

If the TV audience was looking for some transformative moment that gave Trump’s candidacy a seriousness of purpose beyond the usual spouting of platitudes as to how he plans to fix America, it had to be disappointed.

His equally fearless and confident opponent, Hillary Clinton, also has some work to do hold together the coalition that twice elected her predecessor.

That task was made somewhat easier by the unqualified endorsement she received from her main rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose message resonated strongly with millions of young people and Independents that Clinton will need to have in her corner.

Although running mates do not spell the difference between winning or losing but can hurt a ticket more than help (see Sarah Palin), Clinton’s selection of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who styles himself as “a progressive that likes to get things done” appears to be an excellent choice.

Those suggesting that the anticipated Vice Presidential debate with his counterpart, Gov. Mike Pence, could be a boring affair might want to tune in.

Kaine’s formal introduction to the public standing alongside Clinton at a speech a few days ago scored high marks and shows him to be not just a formidable advocate. He could soften some of the sharp edges that have plagued Hillary’s optics.

Her imagery will go through some change as the Democratic convention wheels out speakers in prime time who will no doubt attest to Clinton’s other attributes as a dedicated Senator, a tough negotiator, a sharp intellect and a redoubtable fighter for the causes in which she believes.

Much has been made of the unpopularity of both candidates although comparisons are of negligible value with two singularly different personalities whose only common reference point is their New York residency.

The GOP convention gave no indication that Trump has advanced beyond the extremist positions which have made him anathema to so many in his own party as evidenced by the notable absence of many of its biggest names.

On the other hand, the Clinton team runs the risk of alienating people if it cannot find talking slots for all the VIPs that would like a turn at the podium.

One individual not likely to do much speaking is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned as convention chair after revelations of disclosure by WikiLeaks of unverified emails from DNC staffers containing disparaging remarks about Sanders.

Although this cast an unfortunate shadow on opening day festivities, it will probably get the same amount of attention that Trump’s wife, Melania, drew for plagiarizing whole passages of Michelle Obama’s address introducing her husband at the 2012 Democratic convention.

Hillary Clinton has been in the public glare for decades. Her trustworthiness—or lack thereof—is not so much a problem for the new generation of voters, many of whom were not even born when she was in the White House.

And for core supporters, it is too late to atone and many have or are ready to forgive her given the alternative.

Her biggest challenge, in addition to holding on to her core supporters and increasing her white male vote will be to attract young and first-time voters who are hungry for genuine change but not necessarily the kind of tumultuous and dangerous changes Trump is offering.

Trump’s campaign handbook looks very much like the one Richard Nixon employed in his 1968 campaign as he pledged at the convention to become the “law and order” president.

In that era of immense social disorder with an unpopular war raging, civil rights protests, and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King still fresh, Nixon’s appeal to the so-called “silent majority” resonated.

This is a very different time where Trump has succeeded in stirring up bitterness and anger in many who feel legitimately left behind failing to see that the “rigged economy” Trump likes to disparage is as much his creation as the fraudulent Trump University and the bankrupted casinos whose investors were left high and dry.

The law and order of which Trump speaks which calls for shutting down borders to all people of certain faiths and lumps together law abiding immigrants with violent and deranged criminals “roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens” is neither lawful nor orderly.

The Democratic Convention is an opportunity to showcase responsible alternatives to governing a nation with many complex and daunting problems but ready to build on its progress rather than simply lamenting its shortcomings.

Trump has shown himself hopelessly ill-equipped to bring about reconciliation when the entire thrust of his candidacy is to exploit and widen differences and inflame passions.

The voters want someone who can be trusted, but just as importantly has the temperament, fortitude and capability of doing the job.

If Clinton can come away from this convention having largely satisfied the second set of demands, it will be her election to lose.