It’s officially game on in the presidential campaign.
That’s after the Republican National Convention wrapped up Thursday to set the stage for the rest of the campaign.
Republicans put their stamp on the pandemic version of the national convention.
There was fanfare and fireworks.
A lot of pre-produced speeches like we saw from the Democrats.
They featured harsh criticism of Joe Biden.
The Democrats did the same to Donald Trump.
One thing the Republicans had for their biggest speakers: Crowds.
First Lady Melania Trump spoke in front of a crowd at the White House Rose Garden, Vice President Mike Pence at Fort McHenry and President Trump in front of about 1,500 people on the south lawn of the White House.
Big breaks in tradition with ethics questioned by the use of federal property for political purposes.
Nevertheless, Trump made his case asking Americans to send him back to the White House for another four years by jabbing the Democrats.
“Together, we have ended the rule of the failed political class and they are desperate to get their power back by any means necessary,” Trump said. “You’ve seen that. They are angry at me because instead of putting them first, I very simply said America first.”
Trump now hopes to build some momentum and get a bump in the polls from the convention.
Republicans put their own twist on the event under the restrictions of the pandemic.
We saw some similarities and differences compared to the Democrats.
Scott County Democratic Party Chair Elesha Gayman and Jan Weber, the Republican Party Chair for the Illinois 17th Congressional District as well as Henry County’s Republican Party Chair, joined 4 The Record this week to discuss the Republican National Convention.
Trump played a very active role in the convention, making more than the usual one public address.
Overall Republicans delivered a stark message like the Democrats, only this was an anti-Biden message sprinkled with some optimism.
Both parties call it the most important election in the country’s history.
Weber and Gayman discussed how Republicans delivered their message and how much the undecided voters both parties are trying to reach are really paying attention to make much of a difference.
We’ve seen both parties put a lot of emphasis on style over substance — at least in the televised portions of the conventions.
One criticism our Republican panelist had last week about the Democrats is that they didn’t talk much about policy.
Well, early in the week they did adopt a platform.
The Republicans overtly went out of their way not to adopt a platform this year.
Gayman and Weber talked about how that is expected to play with voters and what it says about the Republican Party.
They also discussed the use of Mike Pompeo speaking from Israel, since it’s rare — some can say it’s unprecedented — that a foreign diplomat appears at a political convention.
Pence is in charge of the pandemic response for the Trump administration and defended the president’s strategy for COVID-19.
Pence promoted his boss as a man for law and order to manage the demonstrations coming out of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“In these challenging times, our country needs a president who believes in America, who believes in the boundless capacity of the American people to meet any challenge, defeat any foe and defend the freedoms we hold dear,” Pence said. “America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.”
There’s no denying this president is a very polarizing figure.
We’ve seen a lot of turnover in his administration.
I don’t know if you can make the argument of anyone more loyal to the president than Pence — outside of the president’s family.
Pence demonstrated it once again in his speech Wednesday night.
Weber and Gayman addressed how important he is to the president and to the Republican Party for a post-Trump administration.
Watch the video above for the full conversation.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.