Republicans are set to shatter political norms, stir controversy and attract attention during the second night of the party’s national convention on Tuesday.
Mike Pompeo will address the convention from Jerusalem, a decision that may be a breach of federal law and has prompted accusations that the secretary of state is abusing his position for political purposes. Donald Trump will pardon a man who was convicted of robbing a bank. And the first lady, Melania Trump, will deliver a speech from the White House, four years after she was accused of plagiarism after using lifted remarks from Michelle Obama’s speech to the Democratic national convention.
Pompeo will be the first sitting secretary of state to address a national convention in 75 years, a longtime break with tradition. Pompeo himself has large political aspirations and has been mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024.
Trump’s pardon is expected to show that he is both a hardliner on crime but also believes in second chances.
And Melania Trump’s speech will be scrutinized closely. Her speech also comes during the debut of a new book that says Melania and Ivanka Trump, the president’s oldest daughter, have clashed during their time in the White House.
The convention is also including Republicans who embrace the QAnon conspiracy theory. Mary Ann Mendoza, who was set to speak on Tuesday, urged her Twitter followers to look into an antisemitic QAnon conspiracy about a Jewish plot to take over the world. She was reportedly taken off the list of scheduled speakers shortly before Tuesday night’s program began.
On Tuesday, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican presidential candidate in Georgia with a long record of engaging in QAnon circles, was invited to attend Trump’s nomination acceptance speech on Thursday.
Tuesday night’s lineup comes after a set of speeches on Monday’s opening night that painted an almost apocalyptic picture of the stakes in the 2020 election. Speakers such as Kimberly Guilfoyle, Charlie Kirk and Donald Trump Jr portrayed the president as the only stopgap between chaos erupting in the streets, coronavirus infections surging and the country’s economy crashing.
But Trump has presided over an administration that has severely struggled to corral the coronavirus pandemic compared to other countries, unemployment has risen, and multiple cities with both Democratic and Republican mayors, have seen violent clashes between the police and activists.
Tuesday’s events come as protests continue over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an African American man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Trump campaign described Tuesday’s events as focused on honoring “the opportunities all Americans now have thanks to President Trump’s policies and his leadership empowering all Americans to achieve their full potential”.
The priority for Republicans throughout the convention is to give Donald Trump a much needed boost in approval ratings.
His Democratic presidential rival, Joe Biden, enjoyed a small polling boost after the Democratic national convention last week and Trump’s advisers are hoping the four-day Republican convention will help close Biden’s polling lead across the country.
But conventions usually only attract only voters who have already picked their candidate. Organizers for these events take that into account and instead try to use the political events to energize the party’s base and juice voter turnout.
Originally published: 2020-08-25 19:31:30