Local Republican officials say the party's national convention has drawn fitting contrasts with last week's Democratic conference and that they're looking forward to a speech Thursday from the gathering's chairman, Bakersfield native and Minority Leader of the House Kevin McCarthy.
Alternate delegate Cathy Abernathy and Clayton Campbell, a member of the Kern County Republican Central Committee, said Tuesday that convention speakers including Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, set a more positive, pro-American tone than was on display at the Democratic National Convention where former Vice President Joe Biden received the party's nomination.
"Last week was about how horrible America is," said Abernathy, a longtime Republican political consultant in Bakersfield. "This week is about the beauty of this nation."
"It's all about you and what you can make of yourself here," she said, "which is unlike anywhere else in the world."
Campbell, saying his expectations for the Republican National Convention were "greatly exceeded" Monday, saw the event as "all positive, patriotic and filled with hope." He said Monday's speakers were "a much more genuine lineup of speakers" than the Democrats featured last week.
Rep. McCarthy is scheduled to speak Thursday at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. A spokesman said by email that the congressman is still drafting his speech but that some elements have been identified as going into the final version.
There will be a celebration of the nation's greatest moments and figures, spokesman Drew Florio wrote, and a review of Trump's accomplishments in office, including trade deals, modernization of the military, U.S. energy independence, a jobs boom and greater border security.
McCarthy will also address the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump's "all-hands-on-deck approach," Florio stated, as well as "the choice before voters and the GOP agenda to renew the American dream, restore our way of life, and rebuild the greatest economy in the world."
"Overall," he added, "it’ll be a positive outlook on where the country is headed."
Abernathy and Campbell expect nothing less.
Abernathy, a friend the congressman, said McCarthy will talk about the United States being a nation "where you can make your dream come true."
"I can trust that Kevin's words will inspire us that we're good people but we are at a crucial juncture," she said. "You have to take very serious this election."
Campbell said he anticipates McCarthy will deliver a strongly pro-American, positive speech.
"He's going to set forth a plan for an agenda that would be accomplished if we could retain the White House and the Senate and possibly take over the House," he said.
"We can actually get something done" if that all happens, he said, asserting that progress during Trump's first two years, when Republicans controlled both chambers of the Legislature, was limited by Obama administration holdovers in high levels of government.