While reactions are mixed, everyone agrees that the six-minute speech delivered on the first night of the Republican National Convention by attorney and former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle was one of the highlights of the proceedings. In what her critics described as loud and supporters as stirring, the 51-year old told the viewers that America faces cultural destruction if Joe Biden wins the Presidency.
"They want to destroy this country, and everything that we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom," Guilfoyle warned. "They want to control what you see and think, and believe, so they can control how you live. Don't let them kill future generations, because they told you and brainwash you and fed you lies that you weren't good enough."
Who is Guilfoyle?
Apart from her career as an attorney and her past experience of hosting 'The Five' on Fox News, what makes Guilfoyle an important personality is her relationship with President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr. She was known to be a close friend of the Trump family and in 2018, it came to light that she and Trump Jr. were dating.
She is currently the national chairwoman of the Trump Victory Finance Committee. What makes her appeal unique is the fact that she is from the Hispanic community, a section of society which has been suspicious of Trump. Guilfoyle, apart from targeting the Democrats, also gave a rousing endorsement of the incumbent President and credited him for 'creating the greatest economy the world has ever seen.'
There was also an indirect jibe at the protest culture that has erupted in USA after the George Floyd killing. "In President Trump's America, we light things up, we don't dim them down. We build things up. We don't burn them down. We kneel in prayer and we stand for our flag," she declared.
As would be expected, the left and anti-Trump personalities on social media described the speech as everything from unhinged to fascist. Trump supporters though, used to a high-octane campaign style from the President, had a more favourable view.
Theme of Kimberly's speech
The Republicans have decided to strike a diametrically-opposed tone in their convention compared to the Democrats' event last week. While Joe Biden and company focused on the need to provide social justice and bring about greater cohesion among different communities, the GOP have decided to celebrate American greatness and appeal to the patriotism and cultural pride of the citizens.
As part of that attempt, Trump Jr also spoke on day of RNC and highlighted his father's achievements as well as targeted the Democrats. Guilfoyle took the offensive a step higher and launched a savage attack on Joe Biden and his party.
At a time, when the American left has been infused with a greater degree of radicalism thanks to arrival of people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, as well as due to the Black Lives Matter movement, this sort of verbal aggression is bound to appeal to those who right of center on the political spectrum.
Born in a Latino household, Guilfoyle has had a diverse career and long-time association with politics. She started out as a lawyer in San Francisco in the 1990s before moving onto television in the early 2000s. She appeared on both Court TV and CNN as a legal expert. Her conservative leanings led her to become a leading personality on Fox News 2006 onward.
She left Fox News in 2018 to get directly involved in politics. Her first experience on this front was working for a Super Political Action Committee (PAC) supporting President Trump. As the 2020 elections got near, she became a leading behind-the-scenes member of the Trump campaign.
On the personal front also, Guilfoyle has had experience with politics. She married the current California Governor Gavin Newsom, of the Democratic Party, in 2001 when he was a local politician in San Francisco. The two got divorced in 2006.
Her second marriage was to businessman Eric Villency in 2006 which also ended with a divorce in 2009. She has a son from her second marriage. Now, with her personal relationship with Trump Jr and ideological commitment to the campaign of his father, her personal and professional life has nicely dovetailed.