“He’s not a traditional politician,” said First Lady Melania Trump in her capstone address during the second night of the Republican National Convention.
We will count the ways that he is not, but first let’s admire our First Lady, with her regal bearing, light accent, and nervousness as she began to speak at a lecturn set up in the Rose Garden.
She opened the door to the subject of “racial unrest” by recalling a visit to Ghana, where she was “horrified” when she learned about the gateway to slavery.
She acknowledged America’s troubled racial past, she understood the unrest, she urged people not to turn to violence, then added that Americans should look at things “from all perspectives,” which sounded to me like a nod to Black Lives Matter.
Stop the presses! She said she was voting for Donald J. Trump, but declined to attack the Democrats. Her address was entirely positive, focusing on family and children and she became the first speaker to extend sympathies to the 170,00-plus Americans who have fallen to coronavirus.
I guess I have to note that she gave a political speech from the White House, which is not traditional and the inside-the-Beltway crowd is having conniptions over, but no one else gives a crap.
She was preceded by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking from the roof of the King David Hotel in “beautiful Jerusalem,” who introduced himself as “Mike Pompeo.” Some of the talking heads wet themselves about a sitting Secretary getting involved in politics, but no one but Wolf Blitzer and other dedicated Democrats care.
In another nontraditional move, Trump used the White House to stage a naturalization ceremony for five candidates for citizenship. They took the oath, then were praised by the president for going through the legal process. This was intended to show that Trump isn’t really xenophobic.
The new Americans came here from Bolivia, Lebanon, India, Sudan, and Ghana, and must have been thinking, “What a country!”
And to them I say, “Welcome to the family.”
In my book, there was no single highlight, but several (may I say it?) points of light.
But first — thanks CNN for providing full coverage, but no thanks for cutting some speakers so your panel can yap and you can run commercials. You want to do something, do it right.
That’s the advice I’d give Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi for a vicious attack on Biden’s son, Hunter, but even worse was her accusation that some “close family members” were involved in corruption. If you accuse them, name them.
One important bloc, to me, was Nicholas Sandman, the Kentucky high school student who got raped by most of the media. “While the media portrayed me as an aggressor with a relentless smirk on my face, in reality the video shows I was standing with my hands behind my back and an awkward smile on my face,” he said, as he was approached by a Native American “elder,” who banged a drum and chanted in the teenager’s face.
Let CNN’s Don Lemon explain why: “The MAGA hat carries a certain kind of connotation that provokes a conditioned reaction.” You know what, Don? You are supposed to support free speech — and wearing that hat is political expression — rather than condone it.
Sandmann then talked about the cancel culture and an irresponsible media.
Another break with tradition was Trump issuing a pardon to Jon Ponder, a reformed criminal (thanks to God’s intervention in sentencing, he said), who was a bank robber, has become fast friends with the FBI agent who arrested him. Ponder has since opened a nonprofit to help “returning citizens” with reentry.
That checked the box for judicial reform.
Checking the “cops are human” box was New Mexico police officer Ryan Holets. He was responding to a call and found a heroin addict who was pregnant andwho understood she would not be a fit mother.
Holets adopted her baby. Whoa.
The Trump offspring last night were Eric, who was the Rottweiler, and Tiffany, who summarized the Trump philosophy: equality of opportunity, free thought and expression, freedom of religion, ideas not identity, and seek out the truth.
Ooops, from birtherism to covid-19 being a hoax, Daddy does not seek out the truth.
Sorry to end on a low note, but there’s always tomorrow.