U.S. & World News

Biden, Harris speak at virtual DNC

Biden nominated by all 50 states, Dems and Republicans advocate for unity

Written by: joseph cotton
Photo courtesy of flickr.com
Speakers at the historic all-virtual Democratic National Convention varied from current and former Republican politicians who don’t intend to vote for Trump to social democrats including N.Y. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) was held Aug. 17-20 on a totally virtual platform for the first time ever, marking another way in which the pandemic has affected the historic 2020 presidential election. 

               Day 1

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) delivered a speech on unity between moderates, progressives and conservatives. Sanders focused on Biden’s stance on many issues on which progressives and moderates often align, including abolition of private prisons, climate change research and raising the minimum wage. 

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, who ran for president as a Republican in 2016, criticized Trump’s divisiveness. “I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” Kasich said. 

Three prominent Republican women addressed their reasoning for choosing Biden. “This isn’t about a Republican or Democrat,” former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman said. “It’s about a person. A person decent enough, stable enough, strong enough, to get our economy back on track. A person who can work with everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to get things done. Donald Trump isn’t that person. Joe Biden is.” 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo criticized Trump’s pandemic response as well as his politicization of COVID-19. 

Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, a Black man killed by Minneapolis police earlier this summer, led a moment of silence. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama ended the night with an analysis of Trump’s performance in office. “It is up to us to add our voices and our votes to the course of history… that is the truest form of empathy: not just feeling, but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids,” she said. 

               Day 2

Former Vice President Joe Biden was officially nominated in a role call with delegates from all 50 states. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) nominated Sen. Bernie Sanders as runner-up per DNC tradition. NBC misreported the tweet with the headline, “In one of the shortest speeches of the DNC, Rep Ocasio-Cortez did not endorse Joe Biden,” sparking controversy surrounding sensationalistic journalism.

Jill Biden, wife of Joe Biden, reaffirmed in a keynote speech that she would continue teaching if she becomes first lady. She stressed the importance of education and unity. 

               Day 3

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, endorsed Biden and played a rendition of “My Country (‘Tis of Thee)” on the French horn. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) promoted universal childcare. “Joe and Kamala will make high-quality child care affordable for every family, make preschool universal, and raise the wages for every child care worker,” she said. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) formally accepted the vice presidential nomination. 

Former President Barack Obama spoke about the failures of Trump’s presidency and encouraged undecided voters to choose Biden. 

Pop singer Billie Eilish debuted a new song and  admonished Trump. “Donald Trump is destroying our country and everything we care about,” she said.

Former Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of her 2016 loss. “For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ ‘I should have voted.’ This can’t be another woulda-coulda-shoulda election.’” 

The Republican National Convention is being held Aug. 24-27 and will be covered by the Newswire in full in the upcoming print issue. 

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