President Bill Clinton describes Trump’s Oval Office as a “storm center,” during his address at the Democratic National Convention. Here are the main highlights of what happened at today’s convention.
Lorraine Miller and James Roosevelt Jr., co-chairs of the credentials committee, confirmed that all delegates’ credentials were approved, as expected, given the party’s unification around nominee Vice President Joe Biden. Miller emphasized the party’s commitment to ensuring, “that participants of this convention highlight a core value of our party that is ensuring that all Americans regardless of sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic identity or physical disability, have a role in this important process.” The platform committee, co-chaired by Julia Chavez Rodriguez and Denis McDonough, reported engaging Democratic voters to get their input on Biden’s 2020 platform.
Most notably, the rules committee announced it will conduct a comprehensive review of the presidential nominating process, recommending reforms to make the process more, “democratic, with a small ‘d.’” This review will end by March 31st, 2021.
Stacey Abrams, the first speaker at day two of the convention, opened the convention powerfully, and said, “in every election, we choose how we will create a more perfect union… This year’s choice could not be more clear.”
“America faces a triple threat, a public health catastrophe, an economic collapse, and a reckoning with racial justice and inequality.” Abrams implored voters to choose Biden, who she described as a“steady, experienced public servant who can lead us out of this crisis just like he’s done before,” over a “man who only knows how to deny and distract.”
Former Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, was an unlikely speaker. Yates began her speech remarking on her own surprise. “Speaking at a political convention,” she said, “is something I never expected to be doing.” Yates was “fired for refusing to defend President Trump’s shameful and unlawful Muslim travel ban.” Trump’s rejection of the constitution and political norms is why, Yates believes, Americans must vote for Joe Biden.
Trump, “treats our country, like it’s his family business. This time, bankrupting our nation’s moral authority at home and abroad. But our country doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to all of us.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer accused President Trump of giving up on the American people. “America, Donald Trump has quit on you,” he said. “President Lincoln, honoring the great sacrifice of Gettysburg, didn’t say it is what it is. President Roosevelt, seeing a third of the nation ill-housed and ill-nourished, didn’t say it is what it is.”
Schumer pledged his support for Biden and promised Biden would not quit on America.
President Jimmy Carter dubbed Biden “the right person for this moment in our nation’s history.”
President Bill Clinton described Trump’s Oval Office as a “storm center,” that should be a command center in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. “If you want a president who [spends] hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media,” Clinton joked, Trump “is your man.”
Despite Sanders’ concession in the Democratic primary, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Labor Leader Bob King gave nominating speeches for Sanders’ campaign. King promised, “Bernie will continue to lead a movement to help defeat Trump.” Ocasio symbolically ended Sanders' bid, thanking his supporters for their participation in “a mass people’s movement, working to establish 21st century social, economic, and human rights.”
Senator Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester delivered similarly symbolic statements for Biden’s candidacy. Coons, a Senator from Delaware, praised Biden for “never [forgetting] where he’s from.” Rochester said American students learn, and will continue to learn, how Biden “restored decency to our government and integrity to our democracy.”
Following the nomination, Democratic delegates from across the country read aloud their states’ votes for candidates Sanders and Biden. Every state and territory went for Biden, with the exception of Democrats abroad, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Delaware, which passed on the roll call.
Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, appointed by President George W. Bush, and a Republican politician endorsed Biden tonight, and told viewers, “Joe Biden will be a president we will all be proud to salute.” Biden “will stand up to our adversaries with strength and experience, they will know he means business.” Biden, Powell concluded, will “restore American leadership and our moral authority” on day one of his presidency.
Dr. Jill Biden, Joe Biden’s wife and potential First Lady of the United States, was the final speaker of the Democratic National Convention, day two. Dr. Biden pitched her husband as a dedicated family man, whose experience with grief and loss prepare him to heal a broken nation. She recounted Biden’s loss of his first wife and daughter to a car accident, and later loss of his son Beau to cancer.
When she made the decision to join the Biden family, Dr. Biden recalled asking herself: “how do you make a broken family whole?” Her answer now is: you make a broken family whole “the same way you make a nation whole, with love and understanding, and with small acts of kindness.” After Beau’s death, Biden “went back to work. That’s just who he is.”
Jill promised Democrats “if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family, what he did for ours: bring us together and make us hope.”
Biden stepped on-camera, embracing his wife and addressing the viewer a final time “see you Thursday.”
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