USA-ELECTION-CONVENTION: A Republican convention that brings "hope" to revive Trump's campaign

The Republicans will attempt this week to demonstrate that the economic and political future of the United States depends on the re-election of Donald Trump, as part of a convention designed to highlight his presidential record before the pandemic and sow doubt on his opponent Democrat Joe Biden.

As the coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 175,000 people in the United States and triggered a recession resulting in millions of job cuts, the Republican convention provides for both "classic" meetings and video conference events and will be punctuated by interventions from members of Donald Trump's family, who will speak every evening.

In the wake of a "virtual" Democratic convention which validated last week the ticket made up of the former vice-president of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and senator Kamala Harris, the program of the four days of the republican convention aims to emphasize the record of Donald Trump's first term and promise that he will do more if he is re-elected, according to officials from the White House and the Republican Party, who have however provided no details on his program Politics.

For now, Joe Biden, 77, is ahead of Donald Trump, 74, in the polls ahead of the November 3 election.

Faced with the description by the Democrats of an incumbent president symbolizing darkness, chaos and incompetence and a convention emphasizing the unity and diversity of the party, the Republicans, for their part, want to spread a more optimistic message, with an emphasis on "law and order", the right to bear arms, tax cuts and "forgotten" citizens.

"We want to improve the sullen and tense mood" that characterized the Democratic convention, said Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager to Donald Trump in 2016 and an adviser to the president, who will be stepping down from the White House in the end of the month.

"We need to pick ourselves up. We need to hear more optimism and hope," she added.

But the COVID-19 epidemic is still not controlled in the United States and the management of the health crisis by Donald Trump is widely disapproved by the population. So Republicans have little good news to share.

"What (voters) are going to hear from Donald Trump this week is the last thing our country needs: more blatant lies and a toxic divide to try and distract from his incompetence" in managing this crisis, said Andrew Bates, spokesperson for Joe Biden.

"What they will not hear is what American families have been desperately waiting for for over seven months: a coherent strategy to beat the pandemic," he added.

Donald Trump, former host of a reality TV show, plans to participate in several public events during this convention, unlike Democrats who broadcast pre-recorded or delivered speeches in almost empty speakers to avoid spreading the virus.

He must notably go this Monday to North Carolina, where the convention was initially to be held and where some events are still scheduled.

Breaking with the tradition which usually sees the candidate being nominated - whether he is Democrat or Republican - to be discreet during the convention, until his acceptance speech at the end of this meeting, Donald Trump will be express each evening during the four days of the Republican convention.

His wife, Melania Trump, is due to speak Tuesday from the White House and his Vice President, Mike Pence, will follow Wednesday with a speech from Fort McHenry, a historic monument dating from the United States War of Independence, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Donald Trump will accept the Republican Party nomination Thursday night from the White House, a choice Democrats have denounced as partisan use of public property.

"Donald Trump has four days to complete two missions: the first being 'we know what we are doing and we have done a good job, even if this has obviously been interrupted by the virus", summarized Constantin Querard, president of Grassroots Partners , an Arizona-based conservative political consultancy.

"And then he must criticize the Democratic ticket by insisting that they are extreme left," he added.

Donald Trump, who regularly uses nicknames and pejorative images to devalue his opponents, has already replied to the speech, which he considers defeatist, of the one he regularly calls "Sleepy Joe" ("Sleeping Joe" -NDLR) .

 "Joe Biden grimly declared an era of darkness in America. And yet, look at what we have accomplished. Until this scourge comes, look at what we have accomplished," he told his supporters Friday.

"Where Joe Biden sees American darkness, I see America's greatness."

For Peter Trubowitz, professor at the Center on the Study of the United States at the London School of Economics, the Republicans "will engage in a full attack on Joe Biden's ability to be president" throughout their convention.

"It will not be so much about his age (...) but rather to question his 'independence' from the democratic networks, qualified by his campaign team as 'radical', 'socialist' and threats to law and order, "he said in a note.