Carla Marinucci, star California correspondent for Politico, brings her high energy chops and savvy insight to Newsmakers TV, for a fast-moving post-mortem on the highlights and lowlights of the just-concluded Republican National Convention.
Bottom line: as a political matter, it was a good week for Donald Trump.
Violating the 1939 Hatch Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, not to mention nearly every ethical norm in the history of U.S. governance, Trump brazenly and strategically appropriated the White House, military personnel and the labor of an unknown number of federal employees to use as props and gorgeous sets in producing a four-day reality TV show with spectacularly high-quality production values, to drive a two-track message aimed at erasing Democratic rival Joe Biden's longstanding lead in national and battleground state polls.
Trump himself delivered a 72-minute, Orange Castro White House oration packed with right-wing red meat and lies, the final in a weeklong series of slashing personal attacks aimed at fraudulently defining Biden as a weak, anti-police captive of crazed socialists, violent urban protesters and anarchists whom he would empower to invade and ravage the suburbs.
In between the inflammatory demagoguery, the convention presented a parade of speakers who sought to redefine and humanize Trump's character -- black men who testified that he's not a racist, white women attesting that he's not a misogynist and, perhaps most remarkably, an out member of the Administration proclaiming him a great "friend" of the LGBTQ community.
Aside from energizing and motivating base voters, the double-barreled messaging targeted wavering white suburban women, independents and moderate Republicans, exhausted by Trump's toxic emissions, not only to scare them with visions of a chaotic, Red Guard Biden presidency but also to create a permission structure for them to stick with the incumbent.
Carla and Jerry discuss whether Trump will get a convention bump in the polls - and the need for Biden and running mate Kamala Harris to respond fast, hard and effectively to avoid the trap that befell 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, who was leading in the polls until a brash and spirited Republican convention defined him as a weak-kneed left-wing liberal and put him on the defensive all the way to a crushing defeat in November.
Watch our entire conversation with Carla Marinucci below...and the podcast version is here.
Images: Coronatrump (Twitter); Carla Marinucci (Expressnews.com).