While many speakers at this year’s Republican National Convention have praised Donald Trump’s policies and professional accomplishments, his youngest daughter was tasked with an even more difficult feat for her speech: make her father seem human.
According to The Cut magazine, Tiffany used unique rhetoric to accomplish this task, by discussing how “encouraging” her father was to her in both her times of success and her times of need.
The only daughter of Donald and his second wife, Marla Maples, Tiffany Trump spoke of appreciating the “sweet notes he wrote on each and every one of” her school report cards, and how empathetic he was when she suffered the loss of a loved one.
“Without his unwavering support, I don’t know how I would’ve made it through,” she said.
However, Tiffany never mentions an anecdote in which Mr. Trump is actually present in her life. This could be because after Marla and Donald divorced, Tiffany lived with her mother in California, seeing Trump just a few times per year. Other pundits also noticed this oddity, some arguing that her stories are weak examples of “fatherly love” that only make the official Republican nominee seem more distant.
Claire Landsbaum at The Cut wrote, Tiffany “describe[s] a father who does the bare minimum for his second daughter: read her report card and call her when someone dies.”
Ruth Graham for Slate even called the speech “vague”and “sad.”
“Tiffany was unable to come up with a single meaningful anecdote about her father or his influence in her life,” Graham wrote. “It was almost too easy to psychoanalyze — to see a young woman eager for the attention and approval of a father she barely knows.” Graham’s words could have some truth to them, considering Trump wasn’t even in Cleveland to watch Tiffany’s first major political speech.
Following Melania Trump’s plagiarism disaster in her address to the RNC, Tiffany was one of Trump’s last hopes to appear human and warm to the Republican Party. The speech garnered a general agreement that Trump was likely, at the very least, kind to his daughter — but definitely distant. You can watch Tiffany’s full speech here and decide for yourself.