What Happened at the 2020 Democratic National Convention?

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Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic Party was forced to turn its plans for the four-day Democratic National Convention (DNC) into a TV and online streaming event. The DNC broadcasted this week from studios across the country – here are several highlights.

Day 1

Former first lady Michelle Obama, received nearly 19 minutes of airtime on Monday — the longest speaking slot of the night — to voice her disapproval of President Trump’s time in office. “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” she stated during her speech. She further explained why she believes he should not be elected for a second term and used Trump’s now-infamous “It is what it is” quote against him.

Day one of the DNC also included modern Republicans’ testimonies in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The Republicans who spoke were former Ohio governor and 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Republican California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, former Staten Island House of Representatives member Susan Molinari, and the former Republican governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman. Their speeches endorsed Biden in efforts to convince Republicans to vote for Biden.

Day 2

On Tuesday, the convention featured 17 of the Democratic party’s youngest politicians. Among the speakers were Congress members from swing districts, a county commissioner, state legislators, state agriculture commissioners, mayors — most from swing states — and the president of the Navajo Nation. They were highlighted in a compilation speaking from the same script to showcase the diversity of the Democratic party. 

The Tuesday portion of the convention also caused controversy and confusion due to New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s short speech. Ocasio-Cortez had just over one minute to speak, and she voiced her symbolic support of Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for the convention’s required roll call.

Day 3

Wednesday night, former President Barack Obama, former 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and other Democratic advocates expressed their opinions on climate change, immigration, and gun violence. 

Kamala Harris made history with her acceptance of the vice-presidential nomination as the first Black and South Asian-American woman to appear on the Democratic party’s presidential ticket. Harris’ speech was about her personal story and values, and she made the case for why it is necessary to elect Joe Biden and herself this fall. Harris also admonished President Trump’s character for his “incompetence” and “callousness.”

Day 4

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke on the fourth and last day of the Democratic National Convention. Biden took the stand to formally accept the Democratic nomination for president. In Biden’s speech, he outlined what he had described as four critical challenges facing the United States — a pandemic, an economic crisis, a struggle to address racial injustice, and the possible threats from climate change. Additionally, he vowed to deny President Trump a second term while uniting the country. 

“Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst,” said Biden, who first ran for president in 1988. “While I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president.”

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