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Highlights and analysis from Day 4 of the Democratic National Convention

Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tammy Duckworth, Andrew Yang and Michael Bloomberg also spoke on Thursday.
Image: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on a blue background with white stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention brought presidential nominee Joe Biden's acceptance speech, a host of remarks from more party officials and musical performances by John Legend, Common and The Chicks.

In broad remarks, Biden presented his vision for uniting America to move the country forward from "constant chaos and crisis."

Other speakers Thursday included former presidential primary rivals Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Andrew Yang and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and several erstwhile vice presidential contenders, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

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ANALYSIS: Biden sticks landing to close cautious convention

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden stuck the landing on a four-day virtual party convention Thursday, giving an acceptance speech that rebuffed in its delivery and content President Donald Trump's charge that he is a "sleepy" captive of the "radical left" who is "against God."

At turns optimistic, impassioned and admonishing — and using the words of the civil rights activist Ella Baker as a bridge to an implicitly biblical frame — Biden cast himself as an "ally of the light" and Trump as a figure who has "cloaked the nation in darkness" for nearly four years.

He was much more the cagey veteran than a lion in winter.

But as much as anything, Biden's closing remarks reflected the caution of a Democratic Party that suddenly rallied around its most well-known, even-keeled and centrist candidate after the threat of a relative newcomer or a familiar democratic socialist winning the nomination became more tangible in February and March.

Read the full analysis.

3 key takeaways from DNC 2020, Night 4

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on a night that distilled the mood of the convention: light on policy and heavy on feelings of unity, optimism and wresting the levers of power from President Donald Trump.

The purpose of the convention was to put ideological and other disagreements on the back burner and encourage voters to dispose of a president who was depicted throughout its final evening as a mortal threat to the character of the United States.

The focus was on empathy, compassion, justice and fairness — qualities that the politicians, celebrities, historians and former Republicans who spoke said were embodied in Biden.

Or, as the Republican pollster Patrick Ruffini put it: "Decency porn."

Here are three takeaways.

Fact checking Biden on Trump’s COVID-19 response

“Just judge the president on the facts. Five million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far, the worst performance of any nation on earth,” Biden said on Thursday night. “More than 50 million people have filed for unemployment this year. More than 10 million people are going to lose their health insurance this year. Nearly 1 in 6 businesses have closed this year.”

Biden’s numbers, used to paint a critical picture of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, largely check out:  More than 5 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 this year. More than 170,000  people have died. As of last month, more than 50 million people had applied for unemployment since the pandemic began, and researchers at the nonprofit Urban Institute recently estimated that 10 million will lose employer-sponsored health care by the end of the year. 

His final data point — that nearly 1 in 6 businesses have closed this year — is a bit harder to verify because there’s no centralized data. The Biden campaign, however, pointed to two sources: a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey that estimates that 1 in 7 businesses were still closed in July, and an economic recovery tracker from Opportunity Insights, a nonprofit research group affiliated with Harvard and Brown Universities, that says that nearly 1 in 5 small businesses had shuttered. 

But is it the ”worst performance of any nation on earth?” The U.S., under Trump’s administration, has struggled to combat the virus in part due to a decentralized response that was slow and bungled from the start. Compared with the success countries like Japan, Germany and New Zealand have seen in controlling the virus, the U.S. response has been deeply flawed. But other nations, albeit less prosperous ones like India and Venezuela, are suffering acutely and struggling to respond to the virus, too.

Trump criticizes Biden's DNC acceptance speech as 'just words'

OLD FORGE, Pa. — President Donald Trump sought to depict rival Joe Biden as out of touch with the working class as he campaigned near the former vice president's Pennsylvania hometown Thursday and delivered real-time criticism of the Democrat's speech.

"In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks. He will never change, just words!" Trump wrote on Twitter as Biden spoke.

Biden's campaign has made Trump the central theme of this week's Democratic convention, producing a program that featured a series of speakers offering blistering criticisms of his presidency. Trump has served as a one-man rebuttal team, including firing off real-time responses during former President Barack Obama's speech Wednesday.

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Biden avoids mentioning Trump by name

Joe Biden went to great lengths to avoid mentioning President Trump's name during his lengthy acceptance speech.

Instead, Biden used various euphemisms to deliver pointed attacks aimed at Trump’s leadership and character.

Biden referred to Trump as "this president" and the "current occupant of the White House," while also comparing him to "darkness."

"He will wake up every day thinking the job is all about him, never about you," Biden said.

Biden discussed George Floyd and ‘rooting out systemic racism’

Toward the end of his speech, Biden detailed a private conversation he had with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s young daughter, the day before her father was laid to rest. 

Biden recalled the child saying, “Daddy changed the world.” 

“Her words burrowed deep into my heart,” he said.

 Biden then called for a societal shift in the wake of Floyd's killing. 

“George Floyd’s death was the breaking point” for the country to wake up to racism in America, Biden said. He quoted the late John Lewis in doing the work to address injustice. 

“America is ready in John’s words to ‘lay down the heavy burden of hate’ and do the hard work of rooting out systemic racism,” he said. 

'Welcome to Wilmington'

An enthusiastic Joe Biden ended his evening with his running mate and their spouses and a spectacular fireworks display. After the grande finale, Biden lowered his mask, pointed to nearby reporters and said: "Welcome to Wilmington!"

After a reporter asked how he felt, he pumped his fist before walking off stage.

Biden speech gets rave reviews, even from conservatives

Biden says #ThanksObama

Biden honored Obama in his acceptance speech, while taking a dig at Trump.

"Let me say something we don’t say enough, 'Thank you, Mr. President.' You were a great president. A president that our children could and did look up to," Biden said. "No one is going to say that about the current occupant of the White House."