The Republican convention ends on a high note — literally

The Democrats and Republicans approached their virus-era conventions in different ways.  The Democrats opted for a dark, barren, and claustrophobic convention, bounded by the size of a computer monitor.  The Republicans chose a magnificent convention, one with a sense of spaciousness and color.  After three dynamic days, it was hard to know if they could keep that momentum for the fourth day — but they did.

On Thursday, Republicans again used the vast and splendid Andrew Mellon auditorium as a backdrop for many of the speeches.  And then, for Ivanka's and the president's addresses, the setting moved to the White House's South Lawn.  Behind the speakers was the beauty of the White House; behind the audience was the symbolism of the Washington monument.  It was a wonderful culmination to a powerful convention conducted under challenging circumstances.

Before I even get to the substance of the speeches, compare how Biden and Trump appeared:

Trump's setting was open, brilliant, and powerful.  Biden's looked like a high school student council election.  It's true that Trump benefited from the symbolism of the White House, but the Democrats could easily have found an equally beautiful and powerfully symbolic site...if they'd wanted to.  They didn't even try, both because their goal was to make the point that America is a grim and dark place and because Joe would have been overwhelmed if taken off that high school auditorium stage.

The politicians who spoke — House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Tom Cotton, Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and Rep. Jeff Van Drew — all gave excellent speeches supporting Trump and his agenda and casting shade on Biden.  Giuliani, especially, walloped the Democrats on crime.

Rep. Drew's speech was memorable because he was elected as a Democrat and crossed the aisle after the impeachment to become a Republican.  Drew gave the 2020 version of Reagan's famous statement that he didn't leave the Democrat party; the Democrat party left him.

Once again, the Republicans went out of their way to welcome American blacks into the fold, something they should have been doing every election since the Civil War.  Trump's deputy assistant Ja'Ron Smith spoke about how Trump is genuinely dedicated to uplifting all Americans.  Stacia Brightmon talked about a jobs program that benefited her, saying that if you want to work, Trump is doing his best to help.

Another black speaker was Alice Johnson, who was sentenced to life in prison for her part in a cocaine-trafficking organization.  It was a sophisticated business that netted her a life sentence without parole.  Johnson, however, was an exemplary prisoner for 22 years, and Trump listened when Kim Kardashian lobbied for her to be pardoned.  Johnson is now a minister and fierce Trump-supporter.

One of the most interesting segments came from four residents of public housing in New York.  Their gratitude to Trump and intense dislike of de Blasio were both fascinating:

There was also a great video showcasing Democrats who changed their minds:

The most powerful statements came from Ann Dorn, the widow of St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn (ret.), whom rioters killed in June, and from Carla and Marsha Mueller, whose daughter, Kayla Mueller, died at ISIS's hands.

Dorn talked about a generation of people marauding on the streets, without conscience or decency.  It was heartbreaking:

Democrats recognized how damaging that speech was for them and promptly attacked Ann for appearing in a Republican venue when her husband was not a Republican.  It was a cheap, tacky response.

The Muellers are still angry at the Obama administration, which was more concerned about Guantanamo prisoners than it was about rescuing their daughter.  That Trump killed al-Baghdadi gave them some small degree of closure:

The penultimate speech was from Ivanka, celebrating her father as both a great man and a great president.  It was nice but didn't blow me away.

And then came Donald Trump himself.  He spoke for over an hour, and it was vintage Trump.  His speech ran through his staggeringly long list of accomplishments, Biden’s 47-year-long record of failure, and Trump's exciting plans for the future.  There were some wonderful one-liners, some obviously scripted, some seeming to be Trump's own throw-aways:

These are some of his more memorable statements:

"They say that redemption for you can only come from giving power to them."

"How can the Democrats ask to lead our country when all they do is tear down our country?"

When speaking of Joe Biden's crocodile tears for the workers whose jobs he outsourced, Trump said Biden gave them "hugs and even kisses."

"Joe Biden is not the savior of American souls; he is the destroyer of American jobs, a destroyer of American greatness."

"I say very modestly that I have done more for the African-American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln.  I have done more in three years for the black community than Joe Biden has done in 47 years."

"Joe Biden's plan is not a solution to the virus; rather, it's a surrender to the virus."

"How can Joe Biden claim to be an ally of the light if he can't even keep the lights on?"

"They're coming after me because I am fighting for you.  And it's been going on from before I even got elected."

"Joe Biden is weak."

Trump's speech goes beyond summary.  You have to watch it.

And that high note I mentioned?  First, there was a stunning fireworks display:

The Democrat fireworks did not compare well:

And then there was opera and a "God Bless America" singalong:

After four days of a visually gorgeous convention that spoke to every American, it's small wonder that variations on #TrumpLandslide2000 are trending on Twitter.

The Democrats and Republicans approached their virus-era conventions in different ways.  The Democrats opted for a dark, barren, and claustrophobic convention, bounded by the size of a computer monitor.  The Republicans chose a magnificent convention, one with a sense of spaciousness and color.  After three dynamic days, it was hard to know if they could keep that momentum for the fourth day — but they did.

On Thursday, Republicans again used the vast and splendid Andrew Mellon auditorium as a backdrop for many of the speeches.  And then, for Ivanka's and the president's addresses, the setting moved to the White House's South Lawn.  Behind the speakers was the beauty of the White House; behind the audience was the symbolism of the Washington monument.  It was a wonderful culmination to a powerful convention conducted under challenging circumstances.

Before I even get to the substance of the speeches, compare how Biden and Trump appeared:

Trump's setting was open, brilliant, and powerful.  Biden's looked like a high school student council election.  It's true that Trump benefited from the symbolism of the White House, but the Democrats could easily have found an equally beautiful and powerfully symbolic site...if they'd wanted to.  They didn't even try, both because their goal was to make the point that America is a grim and dark place and because Joe would have been overwhelmed if taken off that high school auditorium stage.

The politicians who spoke — House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Tom Cotton, Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and Rep. Jeff Van Drew — all gave excellent speeches supporting Trump and his agenda and casting shade on Biden.  Giuliani, especially, walloped the Democrats on crime.

Rep. Drew's speech was memorable because he was elected as a Democrat and crossed the aisle after the impeachment to become a Republican.  Drew gave the 2020 version of Reagan's famous statement that he didn't leave the Democrat party; the Democrat party left him.

Once again, the Republicans went out of their way to welcome American blacks into the fold, something they should have been doing every election since the Civil War.  Trump's deputy assistant Ja'Ron Smith spoke about how Trump is genuinely dedicated to uplifting all Americans.  Stacia Brightmon talked about a jobs program that benefited her, saying that if you want to work, Trump is doing his best to help.

Another black speaker was Alice Johnson, who was sentenced to life in prison for her part in a cocaine-trafficking organization.  It was a sophisticated business that netted her a life sentence without parole.  Johnson, however, was an exemplary prisoner for 22 years, and Trump listened when Kim Kardashian lobbied for her to be pardoned.  Johnson is now a minister and fierce Trump-supporter.

One of the most interesting segments came from four residents of public housing in New York.  Their gratitude to Trump and intense dislike of de Blasio were both fascinating:

There was also a great video showcasing Democrats who changed their minds:

The most powerful statements came from Ann Dorn, the widow of St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn (ret.), whom rioters killed in June, and from Carla and Marsha Mueller, whose daughter, Kayla Mueller, died at ISIS's hands.

Dorn talked about a generation of people marauding on the streets, without conscience or decency.  It was heartbreaking:

Democrats recognized how damaging that speech was for them and promptly attacked Ann for appearing in a Republican venue when her husband was not a Republican.  It was a cheap, tacky response.

The Muellers are still angry at the Obama administration, which was more concerned about Guantanamo prisoners than it was about rescuing their daughter.  That Trump killed al-Baghdadi gave them some small degree of closure:

The penultimate speech was from Ivanka, celebrating her father as both a great man and a great president.  It was nice but didn't blow me away.

And then came Donald Trump himself.  He spoke for over an hour, and it was vintage Trump.  His speech ran through his staggeringly long list of accomplishments, Biden’s 47-year-long record of failure, and Trump's exciting plans for the future.  There were some wonderful one-liners, some obviously scripted, some seeming to be Trump's own throw-aways:

These are some of his more memorable statements:

"They say that redemption for you can only come from giving power to them."

"How can the Democrats ask to lead our country when all they do is tear down our country?"

When speaking of Joe Biden's crocodile tears for the workers whose jobs he outsourced, Trump said Biden gave them "hugs and even kisses."

"Joe Biden is not the savior of American souls; he is the destroyer of American jobs, a destroyer of American greatness."

"I say very modestly that I have done more for the African-American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln.  I have done more in three years for the black community than Joe Biden has done in 47 years."

"Joe Biden's plan is not a solution to the virus; rather, it's a surrender to the virus."

"How can Joe Biden claim to be an ally of the light if he can't even keep the lights on?"

"They're coming after me because I am fighting for you.  And it's been going on from before I even got elected."

"Joe Biden is weak."

Trump's speech goes beyond summary.  You have to watch it.

And that high note I mentioned?  First, there was a stunning fireworks display:

The Democrat fireworks did not compare well:

And then there was opera and a "God Bless America" singalong:

After four days of a visually gorgeous convention that spoke to every American, it's small wonder that variations on #TrumpLandslide2000 are trending on Twitter.