Donald Trump supporters in the small city of Winchester feel optimistic about the president and Republicans in the Capitol seem almost perfectly in tune
The controversies swirling around the Trump administration have been constant and fast-moving in the past 44 days, but the turbid waters have not swept away his supporters.
From the halls of Congress to the rustic Virginia streets where George Washington first campaigned for office over two and a half centuries ago, Republicans are still willing to give their new president a chance.
Since Donald Trump took the oath of office and warned of American carnage on a drizzly January day, his White House has careened from scandals over contacts with Russia to massive outcry over the botched roll out of its travel ban but supporters in the historic town of Winchester, Virginia this week remain unfazed.
Standing on streets scarred by civil war battles and within view of the site of the courthouse where George Washington won his first election by plying voters with alcohol in 1758, conservatives in the town were confident in Trumps performance so far. To be fair though, they werent all paying attention.
Cindy Grove, a Winchester resident who worked in a real estate agency in town, said I dont listen to the news. She thought Trump was doing a good job because so far, I havent heard of anything horrible. A registered independent, she said she voted for Trump because he says the things out loud that I say to myself. Grove added: They say government is big business, and hes a businessman, and ought to know how to take care of things.
Others just simply thought Trump, who has been in office now for six full weeks, simply needed to be given some slack.
Virginia senator welcomes everyone in our country with bilingual address as Clinton and running mate take aim at Donald Trump and Mike Pence
Tim Kaine, Hillary Clintons newly minted running mate, had barely taken his place at the podium in Miami when he started speaking Spanish.
Bienvenidos a todos en nuestro pais, porque somos Americanos todos, the senator from Virginia said. It translated to: Welcome to everyone in our country, because we are all Americans.
Of Clinton, he said: Were going to be compaeros de alma [soulmates] in this great lucha [fight] ahead.
A crowd of thousands had queued for hours under the sweltering sun, lines snaking around the campus of Florida International University. They erupted into cheers.
Not long after, Kaine asked those who were naturalized US citizens to raise their hands. A sizable chunk of the audience obliged in a county that is home to a majority Hispanic population.
Thank you for choosing us, Kaine said, to another rousing reception.
Such moments captured dramatically a tale of two elections: Clinton and Kaine embracing the changing demographics of America, Donald Trump surging to the Republican nomination on a staunch anti-immigration platform and a pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
In Miami, one voter, Michael Paul Massaria, turned to his wife and remarked: Were not hearing all that doom and gloom like we did at the Republican convention in Cleveland.
On multiple occasions, Kaine was interrupted with chants of USA! USA! the sort of patriotism often on display at Republican events where time is dedicated to the projection of American strength.
But the supporters who packed into this basketball stadium were celebrating a different vision, one in which America is defined by its diversity and multiculturalism.
Weve got this beautiful country that should be a country of welcome, a country of inclusion, Kaine said.
He later vowed to advance comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, in the first 100 days of a Clinton presidency. Such promises could be seen as wishful thinking, as Barack Obama has learned during his time in the White House. But Massaria, from nearby Davie, was quick to observe the benefit.
Kaines fluency in Spanish, he said, will help down the line with bringing in the Latino vote, especially here in south Florida.
Attendees like Anna Alvarez, a 67-year-old naturalized citizen who moved to Miami 43 years ago, were a testament to the potential appeal of a vice-presidential candidate campaigning for the first time in English and Spanish.
He will get in his pocket the millions and millions of Hispanics that Trump lost, she said.
Alvarez had never seen Kaine before, a fact the senator invoked with the self-deprecating declaration: Let me be honest: for many of you this is the first time youve heard my name.
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