Her remarks were as much the first volley in her widely expected 2024 presidential bid as they were a case for Mr. Trump’s re-election. She spoke about her childhood in South Carolina as “a brown girl in a Black and white world,” promoted her state’s economic gains when she was governor there and recalled her decision to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House, referring to the banner only as “a divisive symbol.”
Mr. Scott gave perhaps the most carefully crafted speech of the evening, recounting his ascent as a Black Southerner to deliver an optimistic assessment of America’s promise and to ridicule Mr. Biden for his clumsy references to race.
Much as the Democrats sought to do last week with their parade of Republicans at Mr. Biden’s convention, G.O.P. officials were hoping that the presence of people of color would provide something of a permission structure for centrist voters to back Mr. Trump.
At the start of the program’s final hour, Mr. Trump appeared in a video with several people who were held as hostages or prisoners overseas until his administration negotiated their release, and who praised the efforts of his team. Mr. Trump spoke briefly with them in turn, generating at least one dissonant moment in which he told Andrew Brunson, a pastor who was jailed in Turkey, that the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had been “very good” to deal with.
One revealing aspect of the convention was the organizers’ decision not to release a party platform. Platform documents are typically toothless, and few delegates even read them. But that Republicans would skip the process entirely illustrates the degree to which their identity is shaped more by Mr. Trump, and his critics, than by any set of policy proposals.
The degree to which Mr. Trump has reshaped the Republican Party in his own image was on display even in the Democratic Party’s counterprogramming on Monday. Mr. Biden’s campaign used the start of the convention to release a list of Republican dissenters and outcasts who are opposing Mr. Trump’s re-election and backing Mr. Biden, the former vice president, as a suitable alternative.
The most prominent new name on the list, which heavily featured long-retired lawmakers with little to lose through their dissent, was former Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. Mr. Flake, a 57-year-old conservative, was pushed into retirement after just one term because his persistent criticism of Mr. Trump enraged Republican voters.