At the end of a long journey (the RNC), we have arrived upon a Land of Greatness (the theme for night four of the RNC). If the message is adhered to, it would be a clear departure from the previous three nights, which have “made a strong case for believing the American Republic isn’t long for this earth,” as New York’s Eric Levitz notes.
Naturally, President Trump’s acceptance of the nomination from the White House lawn will be a defining point in the evening, though other flashes of Greatness could be found in the speeches of Ben Carson, Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Ivanka Trump, and Rudy Giuliani — whose 2016 convention plan, i.e., yelling, has already been taken. Follow along right here for the final showing as Intelligencer staffers provide live updates on day four of the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Updates will appear in reverse-chronological order.
And then this happened, to finish everything off
It’s over. The best was not to come.
Fact check: so true
A good point, as Trump’s speech nears the one-hour point
He’s had no practice:
One of the ad-libs
It may be a record-breaking speech
A note on the names
Some reporting on the lack of precautions in effect today at the White House
During a reporting trip to the White House in late May, I passed through a magnetometer and met a government agent who pointed an infrared thermometer at my forehead. At that point, the United States was seeing about 21,000 new coronavirus cases a day. Had I been coughing or experienced any recent headaches? the agent asked. No, I said, and was allowed into the building. Today, the country is experiencing about twice as many new positive cases each day. Yet when I arrived at the White House this morning, I was struck by the lack of safety protocols in place.
The most famous address in America now feels like a coronavirus breeding ground. Later tonight, President Trump will address the nation from the White House’s South Lawn, where hundreds of chairs have been arranged with little regard for social distancing.
This afternoon, Secret Service agents checked to see if I was armed, but no one asked if I was ill. Upon reaching the entrance to the press-briefing room, I found the first indication that the nation is in the midst of a historic pandemic. A sign posted by the White House Correspondents’ Association instructed journalists to wear a mask and “spend as little time here as possible.” Beyond that, it was business as usual.
Trump is giving a long, slow State of the Union speech
And it’s even more boring. The president is listing all of his supposed accomplishments, repeating a million things he has said before — a droning celebration of himself, without even the energy that he typically draws from the large crowds at his rallies.
So this totally happened
While Trump speaks…
Protesters are blowing air horns from deep behind the barricades.
It actually works in concert with the monotony of Trump’s tone as he reads his prepared remarks, frequently punctuated by (time-wasting) applause.
The air horns were also part of the plan by protesters, who came to make noticeable noise.
Trump’s big moment
They played the whole song, as Trump walked out, then stood there
Ivanka is live in front of the (illegal, pandemic-irresponsible) audience at the White House
And for the first time in two weeks, there is crowd reaction and applause breaking up a speech. It is an awkward, jarring change.
An overlong movie trailer for Trump makes a bold claim
Some importance context
As John Avalon pointed out earlier today at CNN, the diverse optics of the RNC don’t even come close to reality:
[B]y the end of this convention, Trump will have put three times as many African Americans on stage as he has appointed to his West Wing, Cabinet and US Attorney’s offices…combined. It’s a sign that the rhetoric doesn’t remotely match the record.
What about the repeated claim that President Trump has put “far more” women in significant positions than “any other president in US history”?
It’s just not true. About 25% of Trump’s Senate-confirmed positions have been filled by women. But 37% of the first 512 appointees in former President Bill Clinton’s administration were women, while the count was at 43% at the start of former President Barack Obama’s second term. Trump has also nominated fewer women at the cabinet level than those Democrats did.
Tom Cotton has something to report
Rudy Giuliani hates New York
And another few reality checks
While the tonight segments of the RNC about policing and violence have been going on
Probably the strongest RNC message in support of police
However, some very important context:
Mayor de Blasio gets his own attack segment
And spawns countless tweets paraphrasing the same joke:
UFC Majority Leader Dana White
Working hard, or hardly working?
Dan Scavino is looking at you, America
Quite a trend:
A refresher on Jeff Van Drew
As Ben Jacobs reported for Intelligencer when the congressman switched parties last year:
Jeff Van Drew panicked. Last week, the first-term conservative Democrat polled his district about his opposition to impeachment. The results were very one-sided. Over 70 percent of Democratic primary voters would be less likely to support him if he voted against impeaching Donald Trump.
Van Drew immediately went silent and was unreachable by allies in the party. The next day, he was meeting with Donald Trump at the White House to discuss switching parties. Within 48 hours, word had leaked out about his decision and, within a week, Van Drew was on cable news pledging his “undying support” to a president whom he voted against 93 percent of the time.
And the fourth and final night of the RNC has begun
An elite, symbolic, illegal event that also violates a DC public health order
The protesters are there
The convention choice to ignore the pandemic is taken to the next level
Trump is getting his White House fireworks after all
Though it was unclear earlier this week if the RNC would manage to secure the permits to set off fireworks at the Washington Monument following the president’s speech, on Thursday, the National Parks Service cleared the convention to do so. It could be a busy night throughout D.C., with a “noise demonstration” planned around the White House during Trump’s address.