President Trump has commuted the life sentence of Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandmother who had served 21 years in prison for a first-time drug offense. Trump had met with Kim Kardashian last week, who made a plea for clemency on behalf of Johnson.
There will be a LOT of cynical reaction to this meeting and subsequent commutation - but this moment is important for the Trump Administration in the same way that the support of Trump by Kim's husband, Kanye West, is important.
BOTH Kanye and Kim are social media influencers. in fact. support for the president among black men doubled from 11 percent during the week AFTER Kanye began to go public with his pro-Trump views - including posting about his “love” for POTUS and his “dragon energy” — and posting a selfie in which he wore a MAGA hat.
From the beginning, President Trump has found ways to appeal to audiences - and potential voters - outside the bloc of traditional support. He's winning the support of the working class formerly championed by Democrats - Kanye and Kim could improve his standing among African-Americans and young people. That would spell doom for Trump's opponent in 2020.
"While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance,” the White House said in a statement.