Mixed reviews of the final night

I agree 100 percent with John’s comments about the speeches last night of Ann Dorn, widow of a murdered retired African-American police officer, and President Trump. America should be grieving the senseless murder of Dave Dorn, not the shooting of a criminal and domestic abuser who resisted arrest. Yet, you’ll be hard pressed to hear about Dorn’s slaying from the mainstream media, and it’s doubtful that our poorly informed social justice warrior athletes even know about it.

The length of Trump’s speech tended to obscure its strong points, as John says. In addition, because few viewers are likely to have watched the full 70 minutes or so, there’s a good chance that many missed the key parts of the speech.

I take the key parts to be Trump’s defense of the administration’s response to the pandemic, his attacks on Joe Biden generally, and his discussion of the breakdown of law and order in our cities. Trump did as well as he could have done on the pandemic response defense. His record on this is mixed, in my opinion.

The attack on Biden recycled much of Mike Pence’s powerful case from the night before, but presumably to a bigger audience. The riffs on law and order were excellent.

Trump’s delivery was more subdued than usual. Was this because he wanted to come across as more presidential and less angry than usual? Or was it because he was tired and/or his heart wasn’t fully in the speech? I don’t know.

I disagree somewhat with John about Ivanka Trump’s speech. She’s not my cup of tea, and, like John, I wasn’t pleased with the stuff about criminal justice reform.

If I’m objective, though, I must rate her speech as effective. She made a strong case that her father has delivered on his promises, and she did a good job spelling out what those promises were and why they matter. Her presentation was also in line with the Convention’s pitch to suburban women.

There’s also the fact that she looked great. I don’t think it hurts the president one bit to have a beautiful daughter standing on the stage making a solid substantive case for his reelection. Looks matter in politics (as in much else).

Tom Cotton’s speech on foreign policy was, as John says, serious. But Tom delivered it softly. He also smiled more than he normally does when he’s in front of a microphone (in less formal settings I always found his countenance to be pleasant).

Cotton’s speech stood in marked contrast to that of Rudy Giuliani, who preceded him. Twelve years ago, Giuliani delivered what I thought was a great address at the GOP Convention in Minneapolis. It was hard hitting, but also funny. His timing as he delivered the zingers was flawless.

Last night, Giuliani’s speech on the subject of law and order (and the current absence thereof) was loud and strident. There was no apparent attention to timing and Giuliani looked awful. I liked the content, but felt as if I was being hit on the head with a hammer.

Cotton’s speech provided welcome relief.

Getting to speak in prime time on the final night of the Convention was a well deserved reward for the Senator who, I assume (and hope), has presidential aspirations in 2024. However, any such aspirations took a back seat to making the case for Trump’s reelection. He stuck to his task of effectively drawing the contrast between Trump and Biden on foreign policy and national security issues.

This was not Barry Goldwater in 1960 or Barack Obama in 2004, nor should it have been. This was the speech of a good soldier — a solid, well-delivered speech by a formidable man who continues to rise within the Party and to gain national prominence.

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