Melania Trump
U.S. first lady Melania Trump delivers her live address to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 25, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

In stark contrast to other speakers at the Republican National Convention this week, First Lady Melania Trump expressed sorrow and pride at the pandemic’s cost to Americans and their response to it. “I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation,” she said Tuesday evening on Day Two of the convention. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it the “China Virus,” and President Donald Trump’s top ecomomic adviser, Larry Kudlow, spoke about COVID-19 in the past tense, as did many other speakers so far this week. Melania offered sympathy and kindness to the friends and family of the more than 178,000 Americans who died from the virus and said she believed her husband would lead the country through the crisis. “I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless,” she said. “I want you to know, you are not alone.”

The First Lady also called for unity and reflected on the racial unrest, in another break from many of the speakers’ grievance-ridden remarks, including those from President Trump’s son, Eric, and their daughter, Tiffany. 

“My father ran not because he needed the job, but because that he knew hard-working people across this great country were being left behind,” Eric said. “The media mocked these patriots in the flyover states in which they lived.”

Here are other notes from the convention:

• Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is Black, invoked Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden for his May comment that Black voters torn between voting for him and Trump “ain’t Black.” “Mr. Vice President, look at me. I am Black. We are not all the same, sir,” Cameron said. “I am not in chains. My mind is my own and you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin.”

• Nicholas Sandmann, a Catholic high school student, said he would have delivered the same speech at the Democratic National Convention last week had the DNC “cared about holding the media accountable.” Sandmann previously settled with many media outlets after he filed suit for being portrayed as an aggressor in a viral confrontation with an elder Native American. 

• House Democrats launched an investigation into whether Pompeo was breaking the law by delivering his Tuesday night convention speech from Jerusalem during an official visit. Democrats believe he may have violate the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from participating in specific political activities. 

• Here’s a guide on what to watch tonight. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

First, she renovated the Rose Garden. Then, Melania spruced up her husband. – Politico – 8/26/2020
On Tuesday night there were still plenty moments of gloom, but the emphasis was on personal testimonials from Trump’s family members (Melania, Eric and Tiffany) and political stunts from the White House (a presidential pardon and a naturalization ceremony) that seemed designed to soften — if not outright contradict — Trump’s core beliefs on crime and immigration policy.

America’s got talent, just not political talent – Al Jazeera – 8/26/2020
Like the reality TV show, they are entertaining, emotional and highly competitive, and focus exclusively on the candidates’ talent and character or lack thereof, rather than anything that resembles political substance or agenda.

R.N.C. Revives a Trump Persona: Reality-TV Prize GiverThe New York Times – 8/26/2020
On the one hand, the blunt, fearsome boss cutting the deadwood; on the other, the beaming benefactor, handing out boons. The recipients would thank him, praise him, compliment him. He was the center of the story; he got a piece of the deal, too. In a series of taped segments, the Republican National Convention has tried to resurrect that Donald Trump for prime time.

Cops Shoot Another Black Man, And the Republicans Don’t Even Notice – DCReport – 8/26/2020
As the Donald Trump Party was bombarding the airwaves with warnings about Democrats allowing cities to burn, a video captured police in Kenosha, WI, shooting a Black man named Jacob Blake seven times in the back at point-blank range as he opened a car door.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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