Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day One of Convention Shatters Expectations

Leading up to the convention, many doubted Donald Trump's ability to assemble an all star convention speaker lineup. If tonight is any indication, that could not be further from the truth. 

Tonight's speakers made us laugh, made our hearts mourn for unnecessary death and suffering caused by Obama and Clinton's failed leadership, made us frustrated at the damage our country has suffered over the last eight years, but most importantly made us hopeful for the change that is ahead. 

I was particularly moved by Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden, and Jamiel Shaw's stories of their children who were killed by illegal immigrants. In all three circumstances, the killers were felons who did not face appropriate punishment for their crimes or deportation, which would have prevented the death of three innocent men. Pat Smith spoke of her son's death in Benghazi in an emotional speech in which one could not help but empathize with the pain she felt, especially with Hillary Clinton lying to her face about the cause of her son's death. We've heard a lot about Benghazi since the attack in 2012, but tonight really showed the consequences in a way in which any American could relate.

Darryl Glenn, Republican nominee for Senate from Colorado, delivered an impressive performance. Glenn, an African American, began by attacking Obama as a divider, a contributor not remedy for recent racial tensions. Later, in a moment of comic relief, Glenn spoke of Hillary's love of pantsuits; he suggested that perhaps she'd look good in an orange one!

In one of the best performances of the night, Rudy Giuliani energetically spoke directly about the night's theme -- Make America Safe Again -- and laid out the need for a leader dedicated to supporting the police who protect us at home and our military who protects us abroad. He also spoke of his personal relationship with Trump. "You deserve to know this about your next president. He’s been great a great father, father-in-law, grandfather, and friend to me, my wife Judith, and my family for now almost 30 years." Giuliani continued, "I know him personally, and this is a very good and decent man. And he will be a great president!"

Giuliani in an unusually energetic speech

In a dramatic climax, Donald Trump unexpectedly took the stage to introduce his wife, Melania, who eloquently spoke of her experience immigrating to America and attempted to show voters her husband's human side. She said: "Yes, Donald thinks big, which is especially important when considering the presidency of the United States. No room for small thinking. No room for small results. Donald gets things done." She followed up, saying: "If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he is the 'guy'. He will never, ever, give up. And, most importantly, he will never, ever, let you down."

Donald Trump unexpectedly emerging to introduce his wife, Melania

Melania was confident and poised

Unfortunately, Melania's speech has been overshadowed by accusations of plagiarism which the Trump campaign has denied. Any resemblance to Michelle Obama's 2008 speech must almost certainly be coincidental, as it would be absurd to plagiarize in such a high profile speech. It's really a shame because Melania's speech was so excellent, and many will miss her incredible story in light of these accusations.

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