Below, my shots – and my misses – from the night that was.
* Ivanka Trump: Yes, the Liberals (and Twitter) don’t like it. But the president’s eldest daughter is probably his best surrogate as well. Part of it is tonal; Ivanka has a light touch – a major change from the yelling and anger of many Republican speakers at the convention. Part is experiential; she is the only person in the country who can credibly speak of her father as a father and as president. (She is Trump’s only child who works in the White House). And she’s also the only person in the country who could get away with saying this about the president: “I agree that my father’s style of communication is not to everyone’s liking. And I know his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered. But the results speak for themselves. for themselves. One last thing that struck me: According to Ivanka, she was by her father’s side for virtually every major decision he made during his first term. And not just that. She kept saying “we” made this decision or “we” accomplished it. To people who say she won’t run for office on her own, I say “HA! ”
* Fear: Riots and looting of monsters in your suburbs. ISIS kidnaps your child. Socialism on the move. The final night of the convention heavily focused on trying to scare absolute shit out of voters who might be on the fence about Donald Trump. The message was clear: you might not like what Trump says (and even some of the things he does), but the alternative is your worst nightmare. Literal chaos and the collapse of democracy. “Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans or whether we give vent to the violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens,” Trump said in his acceptance speech. Why the fear tactics? Because fear is a extremely a powerful motivator when it comes to voting. And Trump and his team know he’s not winning this race on, uh, hope and change.
* Donald Trump: The billionaire businessman won the White House, at least in part, because of his freewheeling style and tumultuous election rallies. He didn’t win the White House by reading speeches on a teleprompter. And his acceptance speech Thursday night proved why. His speech – especially in the first 30 or so minutes of this overly long speech – was emotionless and decidedly flat. As for the speech itself, there just wasn’t much new. Trump spent the first 35 minutes recounting his accomplishments during his first three years in office – repeating long disproved claims about how he built the largest economy in the country’s history and how he did more for it. African Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. Anyone who has heard a Trump speech or a Trump TV interview in the past year (or so) would have recognized virtually every line of his acceptance speech. “This speech is a pretty classic question so far for Trump, without the lyricism and poetry – and just different rhetoric – of many convention speeches,” tweeted Cathleen Decker, editor of the Washington Post. And then there was the second half of the speech, which was all about promulgating the idea that, in Trump’s words, “no one will be safe in Biden’s America.” But again, the vast majority of these attacks have been repeated. Taken as a whole, the speech looked like a mixture of a State of the Union speech and an opposition research dump. And the one you had seen and heard before.
* Social distancing: More than 1,500 people were in the audience on the South Lawn of the White House to hear Trump’s speech. Judging by all the photos coming out of the event, the participants were crammed cheek to jowl, with a mask in sight. This is, of course, what Trump wanted from the start – a large crowd, whether or not the coronavirus is still endemic in the country. That’s why he tried to raise the ante in North Carolina after the state’s Democratic governor refused to suspend social distancing rules for Trump. If you looked to the White House for an example of proper behavior during the pandemic, well, that was another swing and miss Thursday night.
* The official business / political barrier: Trump stepped out, with First Lady Melania Trump by his side, from the Truman Balcony, descended the stairs of the White House, and delivered his acceptance speech from the South Lawn. Sensational. The average person may not change their vote based on this fact, but Trump’s willingness to use his office as a campaign crutch is simply astounding. And something no other president – Republican or Democrat – would even dream of doing. In a way, the decision to use the White House as a backdrop is a perfect metaphor for how Trump has handled the presidency: with utter daring – and regardless of how his actions will change the lines. conduct acceptable to anyone following it. office. I challenge you to make it a big deal, Trump seemed to be telling those who would attack his use of the White House as a political prop.
* Dana Blanc: The UFC president has had plenty of time to talk about the last – and most important – night of the Republican convention. And he raised it to 11, literally. White screamed his entire speech, which ended up sounding more like a pro wrestling promotion than an address at a national party convention. Weird.
* Bill de Blasio: Dude, I missed the part of the Democratic presidential primary where the mayor of New York became the party’s candidate !! Not only was there an entire video montage dedicated to Blasio’s savagery in the face of the city’s rising crime rate, but former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani devoted part of his speech to it. also take to de Blasio. Like, why?