President Donald Trump is a modern-day P.T. Barnum. He knows how to stage a show. But a four-day political convention in the age of Covid is really tough. According to Forbes, the TV ratings were higher for Democrats on nights 1 and 3; for Republicans on night 2 (and I suspect for night 4 as well).
The ratings for night 3 show the relative interest in Kamala Harris vs. Mike and Karen Pence. The contrast is Guittard Chocolate Grand Cacao Drinking Chocolate vs. 2% white milk. By the same token, Trump is more interesting than Joe Biden.
Trump put his brand on Washington Thursday with fireworks spelling TRUMP 2020 over the Washington Monument – twice. And the staging of his 70-minute speech was impressive. OK. The audience of mostly old white guys without masks was cringe-worthy, but the lighting and choreography of the entire Trump family (minus niece Mary, of course) was awesome as intended.
Best look: Ivanka Trump, introducing her father. She humanizes him unlike any other person.
Worst look: Rudy Giuliani talking about law and order.
Good look: Richard Grenell, former acting director of National Intelligence, who stated “The Trump Doctrine” of America first. “In four years, Donald Trump didn’t start any new wars. He brought troops home. He rebuilt the military and signed peace deals that make Americans safer. The Washington elites want you to think this kind of foreign policy is immoral. And so they call it ‘nationalist.’ That tells you all you need to know. The DC crowd thinks when they call Donald Trump a nationalist, they’re insulting him. As if the American president isn’t supposed to base foreign policy on America’s national interests!”
Bad look: Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, who joined him on stage for the family portrait and got a major speaking role. This is the party of “family values,” guys. And don’t over-gesture and yell at an empty room. Makes you look manic.
Best line: Trump Sr. saying Joe Biden talks of light over darkness, but with his party’s energy policies he would have trouble keeping the lights on.
Worst line: Trump Sr. pointing to the White House and shouting, “The fact is, we’re here and they’re not.” With pundits on the left and right criticizing him for politicizing the sacred governmental sites, this line was best left off prime-time TV.
This column is named “Let’s Talk.” Feel free to comment on the KnoxTNToday.com website or our Facebook page. What were your favorite or cringe-worthy moments?
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.