Responses To Tiffany Trump's RNC Speech Were Refreshingly Positive
On Tuesday night, Donald Trump's lesser-known daughter, Tiffany, made her big debut. Though she's mostly stayed out of the limelight on the campaign trail, she stepped onto a national stage to support her father with a speech at the Republican National Convention. And, in the midst of an election that has gotten nasty and horrible in so many ways, responses to Tiffany Trump's RNC speech were refreshingly positive.
After the controversy over Melania Trump allegedly plagiarizing Michelle Obama's convention speech from 2008 on Monday, the media was watching closely as Tiffany took the stage. But, at least immediately, she did not provide fodder for any new scandals, and many praised her speech for being one of the most personal and seemingly heartfelt of the convention so far.
Trump is her father's only child from his second marriage to actress Marla Maples. Her parents' relationship was a tumultuous one, regularly making the tabloids, and when they divorced, Tiffany Trump moved with Maples to California. Though she may not have spent as much time with her father as her half-siblings, she made sure to highlight the good parts of their relationship in her speech, saying,
Many watching the convention praised her, even if they were reluctant to praise her subject matter:
The Tiffany Trump speech was impressive; helpful to her dad. sharing warm and personal anecdotes that have been rarely heard. #RNCinCLE— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 20, 2016
Bashing Tiffany Trump is like bashing a Panda Unicorn...you need an exit strategy and new identity pic.twitter.com/63PYtJSqT3— joshingstern (@joshingstern) July 20, 2016
Tiffany Trump did a better job than Melania in humanizing Trump. But it wasn't a home run, because hello. It's Trump.— Sarah Reese Jones (@srjones66) July 20, 2016
Tiffany Trump gave the best Trump speech: from the heart, personal citing examples from her childhood. Well done #RNCinCLE— Sue Strong (@strong_sue) July 20, 2016
Tiffany Trump provided the personal anecdotes and insights entirely absent in Melania's speech— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 20, 2016
Tiffany did what Melania didn't: told "sweet" stories about her father, @realDonaldTrump. Think it'll get good reviews.— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiPrzybyla) July 20, 2016
Tiffany Trump doing a much better job than Melania at humanizing Trump. Still short of sweet anecdotes, perhaps because there aren't any.— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) July 20, 2016
Pretty sure I'd never have predicted Tiffany Trump would be the best speaker through two nights of this but ... here we are.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) July 20, 2016
Of course, not everyone was wild about the speech. Some pointed out the strangeness of Trump praising her father's devotion, when Maples told People that she raised her daughter as, basically, a "single mom" after the divorce.
Tiffany Trump: ‘I Met My Dad At A New York Fashion Week Party' #RNCinCLE— Onion Politics (@OnionPolitics) July 20, 2016
TIFFANY: my dad is nice. he once called me when I was sad. and wrote nice things on report cards growing up. am i done? god bless america.— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) July 20, 2016
Others, of course, made plagiarism jokes, while still others compared Trump's appearance to that of Amanda Seyfried's less-than-bright character in Mean Girls.
Tiffany Trump giving the GOP Convention advice pic.twitter.com/dmsU77e7c0— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 20, 2016
Tiffany Trump was great in Mean Girls— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) July 20, 2016
But for many people, the most important question of the night was whether or not Trump would sing her pop single, "Like A Bird." No, it's not the Nelly Furtado song. It's a strange, autotuned relic from 2011 about trying to find "serenity while living it up."
wait is anyone talking about tiffany trump's music career??https://t.co/K1nFNhittA— physical therapy (@fysicaltherapy) July 20, 2016
Alas, she did not sing. But for many, her speaking was better than expected. And even many others who may not have been the biggest fans of her speech decided to focus their ire on the more problematic parts of the convention and the Republican platform, rather than on a young woman saying nice things about her father.
And that's important, because those scared by what Donald Trump's rise says about discourse in American politics should not fall into the same patterns of bullying he demonstrates so problematically.