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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

The Trump Show, Day 2: LAT's Mark Barabak Deciphers "Whiplash" Messaging of GOP Convention

Midway through the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump has served up huge helpings of red meat for his devout followers, blended with big portions of baloney for undecided and wavering voters who may determine the election.

"There's a certain amount of whiplashing" in the messages being sent by speakers at the convention, Mark Z. Barabak, national political reporter for the L.A. Times, told Newsmakers.

Barabak's nightly assignment for the GOP confab, aka The Donald Trump Reality Show, is to produce the "Five Takeaways" column for the Times' web site and print edition, as he distills on deadline hours of speeches, videos and made-for-TV set pieces, starring the president as The President, into tightly and stylishly written nuggets that analytically summarize the evening's events.

For Wednesday editions, the veteran political news hound focused on First Lady Melania Trump's big speech from the Rose Garden; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's norm-shattering address from Jerusalem; the endless string of Trump family member appearances and the convention's two-track strategy of satisfying Trump's political base with tough talk and hardline posturing while reaching out to wavering white suburban voters through efforts to soften Donald Trump's political identity and record as a tribune of white grievance.

"Re-elect Trump or America will become an ashen pit that makes the Seventh Circle of Hell seem like a day at the beach," is how Barabak in the morning paper described the Republican campaign to define the Democratic candidate over the first two days of the convention.

Here's our complete conversation with one of the nation's premier political reporters and...the podcast version is here.


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