Washington: Republicans accused DNC of ignoring violence on the streets. RNC all but ignored the pandemic raging in the country. Then First lady Melania Trump strode into her newly renovated White House Rose Garden on Tuesday.
Melania Trump immediately shared the kind of heartfelt empathy for victims of the worst health crisis in a century that President Trump has rarely offered. She offered her gratitude to first responders, nurses and doctors who have cared for Americans sickened by the virus, and attested to her husband’s concern for all those afflicted by it. She also attempted to humanize the President at a time when he is facing a huge deficit with female voters.
“My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering. I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone,” she said. The direct reference to the virus was notable since earlier speakers, if they mentioned the virus at all, portrayed it as a vanquished threat.
While the first lady’s compassion was touching, it also fulfilled a political purpose, since she pledged that “Donald will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic.”
The first lady also acknowledged racial unrest — another issue largely ignored at the RNC except to lump it into criticisms of looting, protesting and a need for law and order.
“I have reflected on the racial unrest in the country. We are all one community,” Melania Trump said, and she encouraged Americans to “take a moment, pause and look at things from all perspectives. Stop the violence, and the looting being done in the name of justice.”
Melania also refused to attack the Biden campaign, arguing that only makes the divide and partisanship worse.
The first lady’s staff told CNN that she did not clear the speech in advance with the West Wing or the Trump campaign, so it is difficult to know the extent of the political calculation and cooperation involved.
Melania spoke on a night that featured the president’s daughter Tiffany Trump and son Eric Trump — all pushing the Trump family’s carefully scripted storyline that mostly avoided mention of the more than 178,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus.