Last night my wife and I both watched the first night of the Republican Convention mainly to hear Melania Trump’s speech. Although we worried that the beautiful but inexperienced speaker might somehow mess up, I have to say that that she hit the proverbial ball out of the park. It wasn’t just her striking appearance but what she said was simple, direct and a refreshing change from some of the harsh rhetoric of the preceding speakers.
She mentioned her Slovenian heritage but said that she loved her adopted country and was proud of her American citizenship. She praised her husband as a kind, loving man who was also a wonderful father to his children. But he was also a man who gets things done and never quits.
What else was there to say? As so often happens, the messenger was more important than the message. Her appearance on stage made every one else, both male and female, in the huge convention hall seem like they were on the second team. Her confident, assured delivery matched her appearance. Her smile was winning. My wife put it best when she said that despite Melania’s wealth and glamour, she could not help but like her.
We were certainly surprised afterwards when the commentators on PBS could not bring themselves to admit that Melania had done a good job. They all believed that she should have revealed more personal information about her husband, but it was her reticence in this regard that appealed to us. Not one mentioned how the speech was received by the crowd in the convention hall, or how it might have been received by the millions watching on prime time.
I have to admit that the preceding speeches were a mixed bag. Although Rudy Giuliani was on fire, I thought that Senator Cotton from Arkansas was the best. I was a little embarrassed by the speech of the Italian immigrant who gained wealth and fame in America as a model for Calvin Klein underwear. Like most immigrants he loves America but does it ever occur to him to wonder why it was legal for him to come to this country from Italy but illegal for other Latins to come from Mexico?
Stay tuned to the Weekly Bystander for more reports on what promises to be an interesting and exciting convention. After last night’s speech one friend wrote to me and said that he now prefers Melania to Hillary. I replied that I suspected his feelings might be shared by Bill Clinton.
I was born today 77 years ago. Here is a picture of Miss America from 1939. A lot has changed since then but the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Then, as now, a pretty girl is still like a melody. ###