Whether it was the heartfelt appeals by Maximo Alvarez or Andrew Pollack, the eloquence of Tim Scott or Sean Parnell, or the well-produced videos that ran throughout, the first night of the Republican National Convention was an unqualified success.

Opened in prime time by Cardinal Dolan with a nod to the Catholic vote, first up was fiery Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. Good, yet a tad solemn. It became apparent early that, opposite of the DNC, the speeches would be concise and to the point.

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Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Kimberly Klacik followed. Both did very well, especially Klacik. She is a new star in the GOP firmament. Party Chair Ronna McDaniel did well, as did the several presidential spots that featured unscripted time with supporters. The president is always best in personal encounters with voters. His charisma was very strong with these people. They responded in kind.

Jim Jordan was good, though his delivery rushed. The personal story of his phone call with the president was touching. Herschel Walker and Democrat Vernon Jones were superb and poignant. Walker’s testimony for Trump’s character was excellent. Andrew Pollack was one of the high points of the evening. His powerful story and memory of his innocent daughter moved all. In short, he was amazing. The St. Louis couple, the McCloskeys, who got their 15 minutes of fame recently, were stilted and robotic. And then came an interesting case.

Kim Guilfoyle looked great. She always does. But her delivery was so over the top it got many bad reviews, especially from women. More on that in a upcoming article. Sean Parnell’s story of battlefield honor was compelling and his delivery was spot on.

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Then came the best and most moving speech of the night. Cuban-born American citizen Maximo Alvarez of Florida gave an emotional defense of the president and nation—it brought tears to the eyes of many viewers. He also did not mince words when it came to the Democrats, linking them with Castro and communists.

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Nikki Haley passed a big audition for the 2024 race. Though some conservatives are not thrilled with her. But she looked perfect and her delivery was good. She looked presidential. Donald Trump Jr. seemed to wow the crowd so much that some went so gaga that they want him on the 2024 ticket. Nice sentiment, fat chance. Junior’s tag of Biden as “Beijing Biden” may stick. Tim Scott rounded out the night with a superb speech about his background and his rise to success. His line, “cotton to Congress in one lifetime” was brilliant.

The convention differed from the Democrats’ in most ways. The RNC tone was optimistic, the DNC’s grim. The RNC speeches were personal, the DNC’s automated. The RNC production values were superior, the DNC’s amateurish. A very good night for the Republicans. Can they top it over the next three evenings? Let’s hope so. Though the first night will be very hard to beat.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on August 25, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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