A 'loving father' and 'man of the people'

Eric Trump, his wife Yana Yunaska, Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr, his wife Vanessa, and Tiffany Trump (far right) wait for Donald Trump to arrive in Cleveland, Ohio, US on July 20.
Eric Trump, his wife Yana Yunaska, Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr, his wife Vanessa, and Tiffany Trump (far right) wait for Donald Trump to arrive in Cleveland, Ohio, US on July 20. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Donald Trump's children, Tiffany and Donald Trump Jr, stole the show on the second day of the Republican National Convention, giving delegates a rare glimpse into the more personal side of their presidential nominee.

On a night when speakers focused their remarks more on attacking Mrs Hillary Clinton than supporting Mr Trump, the Trump siblings littered their speeches with personal anecdotes of their father. They painted a picture of a loving father who at the same time made sure not to spoil them. Ms Trump, 22, for instance, said he used to write notes in her report cards.

"I still keep all of my report cards, some dating back to kindergarten, because I like to look back and see the sweet notes he wrote on each and every one of them," she said, adding that her father was surprisingly not all that fussed about her grades.

"Contrary to what you might expect... my dad's comments referred often to the sentiments expressed by my teachers about how I acted in and out of the classroom - just not even focusing on the letter grades themselves."

Ms Trump, the only child from her father's second marriage to Ms Marla Maples, also made it clear that he continued to be a loving father even after the divorce. "A few years ago, someone very dear to me passed away, and the first call I got - as I knew I would - came from my father. Without his unwavering support and care for me during such a challenging time, I don't know how I would have made it through," she said.

DAD'S SWEET NOTES

My dad takes such pride in all that I've done so far, no matter how big or how small. I still keep all of my report cards, some dating back to kindergarten, because I like to look back and see the sweet notes he wrote on each and every one of them.

'' MS TIFFANY TRUMP, giving the audience a glimpse into her father as a family man.

Mr Trump's eldest son, Donald Jr, now an executive vice-president in the Trump Organisation, spoke about his father's approach to business. He also described his father as an excellent judge of character.

"He didn't hide out behind some desk in an executive suite. He spent his career with regular Americans. He hung out with the guys on construction sites pouring concrete and hanging sheetrock. He listened to them and he valued their opinions as much and often more than the guys from Harvard and Wharton locked away in offices away from the real work," he said.

His speech was arguably the best received of the night as he showed a poise and comfort with policy that attendees said seemed to exceed his father's.

Addressing his father's brash comments, he said a President Trump would be one "who speaks his mind, and not just when it behooves him to do so; who doesn't have to run a focus group or use data analytics to be able to form a simple opinion".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2016, with the headline 'A 'loving father' and 'man of the people''. Print Edition | Subscribe