Democrats marked Day 2 of their unconventional, nearly all-virtual Democratic National Convention with another all-star lineup that saw Joe Biden officially becoming the nominee.
Former President Bill Clinton, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jill Biden, the former vice president's wife, were among the high-wattage speakers who took the virtual stage Tuesday, with the former second lady delivering the night's keynote speech.
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AOC nominates Sanders for president in brief remarks
Progressive star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday nominated Bernie Sanders for president. Her appearance was a part of the procedure of the convention to give a nod to the person who came in second place in the delegate count, and she was asked to second Sanders' nomination.
She has previously endorsed Biden and she later congratulated Biden in an explanatory tweet.
“In a time when millions of people in the United States are looking for deep systemic solutions to our crises of mass evictions, unemployment, and lack of health care, and espíritu del pueblo and out of a love for all people, I hereby second the nomination of Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America,” she said.
It’s not a surprise that Ocasio-Cortez, who has spoken explicitly about her morals driving her politics, nominated Sanders, whom she also endorsed during the primaries. The self-described democratic socialist, known for stinging her critics on social media, is one of the most outspoken, progressive and youngest members of Congress.
She spoke to those who are actively participating in social justice protests around the country and those who want a nationwide movement that fights for “social, economic, and human rights,” including health care for all, tuition-free higher education, a higher minimum wage and protecting unions. Ocasio-Cortez notably did not mention by name any of the signature policies that she and Sanders champion, including the Green New Deal or Medicare for All. She also does not mention Biden or Trump by name.
Sanders has backed Biden, and in a speech Tuesday night noted many of the policies both candidates agree on, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making it easier for workers to join unions and affordable child care.
UAW worker nominates Sanders for president
Bob King, the former president of the United Auto Workers union, nominated Bernie Sanders for president during the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, as Sanders has delegates from the primary that allow for him to be nominated as a purely symbolic act.
"Bernie’s moral clarity has emboldened the Democratic Party’s fight for justice," King said in nominating Sanders. "The grassroots energy of his supporters has cemented important advances in our platform. Bernie will continue to lead a movement that helps defeat Trump and delivers transformational change."
Bill Clinton lambastes Trump's presidency as 'only chaos'
Bill Clinton eviscerated Trump in his speech before the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, with the former president panning Trump's handling of the pandemic and saying his presidency is "only chaos."
"Donald Trump says we’re leading the world," Clinton said. "Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple. At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos. Just one thing never changes — his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there."
"If you want a president who defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media, he’s your man," Clinton added. "Denying, distracting, and demeaning works great if you’re trying to entertain and inflame. But in a real crisis, it collapses like a house of cards."
Clinton said Democrats are "united in offering you a very different choice: a go-to-work president."
"Joe won’t just put his signature on a check and try to fool you into thinking it came from him," Clinton said, referencing Trump having his signature placed on direct COVID-19 relief checks to Americans. "He’ll work to make sure that your paycheck reflects your contribution to, and your stake in, a growing economy."
"You know what Donald Trump will do with four more years: blame, bully, and belittle," Clinton added. "And you know what Joe Biden will do: build back better. It’s Trump’s 'Us vs. Them' America against Joe Biden’s America, where we all live and work together. It’s a clear choice. And the future of our country is riding on it."
Clinton has spoken at every Democratic convention for more than three decades, including giving the nominating speech for Barack Obama in 2012. But a number of progressives have expressed dismay with Clinton having a featured speaking slot post-#MeToo era.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter praise Bidens for work helping unpaid caregivers
Former President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter praised Joe and Jill Biden Tuesday night, highlighting the work they have done together helping unpaid caregivers juggling a job and other responsibilities.
"Joe knows well, too well, the sorrows and struggles of being a family caregiver, from Joe’s time as a young widower thrust into single parenthood with a demanding job to he and Jill caring for their own parents and their son Beau at the end of their lives," Rosalynn Carter said. "He knows caregiving is hard even on the good days."
Speaking of his own presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter remembered Biden as "my first and most effective supporter in the Senate."
"Joe Biden must be our next president," Mr. Carter concluded.
Schumer slams Trump: 'America, Donald Trump has quit on you'
Schumer gave a scathing speech assailing Trump at Tuesday night's DNC, telling the American people "he has quit on you," citing the administration's policies and its COVID-19 response.
With the Statue of Liberty behind him, Schumer said Trump has "divided our country, diminished our greatness, and demeaned everything that this statue represents."
"Millions are jobless. 170,000 Americans have died from COVID. And Donald Trump says, 'It is what it is," Schumer said. Presidents should never say, 'It is what it is.' President Lincoln, honoring the great sacrifice at Gettysburg, didn’t say, 'It is what it is.' President Roosevelt, seeing a third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-nourished, didn’t say, 'It is what it is.'"
He added, "America, Donald Trump has quit on you. He has quit on you." He called Biden “a man with a steady hand and a big heart who will never—ever—quit on America.” Schumer also noted that the White House is not the only goal, but Democrats have to keep control of the House and win a majority of Senate seats.
“We will stay united, from (Bernie) Sanders and (Elizabeth) Warren, to (Joe) Manchin and (Mark) Warner—and with our unity, we will bring bold and dramatic change to our country,” he said.
Sally Yates eviscerates Trump: 'Trampled the rule of law'
Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general ousted by Trump, said the president is "bankrupting our nation's moral authority" in a fiery speech during the convention Tuesday.
Yates, who was fired 10 days into her stint as acting attorney general after she refused to defend Trump's travel ban, said that policy "was the start of his relentless attacks on our democratic institutions — and countless dedicated public servants."
Trump has "trampled the rule of law, trying to weaponize our Justice Department to attack his enemies and protect his friends," she said, adding. "His constant attacks — on the FBI, the free press, inspectors general, military officers, and federal judges — they all have one purpose: to remove any check on his abuse of power."
Yates' speech fit in with the theme of many over the course of the first two nights — searing criticism of the president, something that was delivered by speakers all over the political spectrum.
In closing, she explained why she's supporting Biden.
Trump "treats our country like it’s his family business — this time bankrupting our nation’s moral authority at home and abroad," Yates said. "But our country doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to all of us. Joe Biden embraces that."
Actress and activist Tracee Ellis Ross hosts second night of DNC
Actress, activist, and businesswoman Tracee Ellis Ross made her first appearance as emcee of Tuesday night's DNC.
Ross, 47, has been an outspoken activist for women’s rights and gender equality for most of her career and involved in Democratic politics. She has also hosted the annual TV special “Black Girls Rock,” which promotes self-esteem among Black girls, multiple times.
She starred in the sitcom 2000s UPN sitcom “Girlfriends,” for eight years and the ABC sitcom “black-ish,” for which she first African-American woman to be nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy in 30 years. (She is also the daughter of pop icon Diana Ross.)
17 young, diverse Democrats give keynote speech
The Democrats opened Tuesday night with a “different kind” of convention keynote address: a video montage of 17 different speakers representing a younger and more diverse generation of the party.
With a septuagenarian nominee, Democrats have worried that young people won’t feel the election is a vehicle for change and opt to just stay home in November. The keynote address is a coveted speaking slot that has a history of catapulting rising stars to national fame, as it did with Barack Obama in 2004. Tuesday marked the first time in memory that a single keynote speaker was not selected.
Instead, this year, the “speech” featured a dozen local elected officials each reading lines of the address. The cast of Democratic officials included men and women of different ethnic backgrounds and highlighted their variety of backgrounds and sexual orientations.
The speakers included national figures such as Stacey Abrams, Colin Allred, Brendan Boyle and Conor Lamb.
Local and state officials such as South Carolina state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, Michigan state Rep. Mari Manoogian and Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, were also part of the montage.
The speakers touched on the struggles their communities around the country have faced during the coronavirus pandemic and criticized Trump for letting the virus get out of hand. They also touched on their own personal stories that inspired them to run for office, ranging from student loans to losing loved ones to gun violence to limited access to health care.
Abrams rounded out the video mashup, making a case for Biden and calling Trump a president of “cowardice.”
“This year's choice could not be more clear,” Abrams said. “We know Joe Biden. America, we need Joe Biden.
Night 2 of the DNC kicks off with a walk down memory lane
The second night of the DNC kicked off with a brief look back at some highlights from previous conventions, including this beloved quote from former Texas Gov. Ann Richards.
Biden, Harris talk 'modern family' and how they will work together in first joint interview
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sat down with People for their first joint interview as the Democratic ticket, discussing their families and the moments that surrounded her being announced as his pick for vice president.
"That’s one of the things we have in common," Harris said, speaking of their families. "My children don’t call me stepmom, they call me 'Momala.' We’re a very modern family. Their mom is a close friend of mine. ... Joe and I have a similar feeling that really is how we approach leadership: family in every version that it comes."
Harris said the day after Biden chose her as his VP, she and her husband "hung out eating homemade chocolate chip cookies" at the Biden's home in Delaware. Biden then called Harris' stepchildren to welcome them to the ticket.
Harris said that she and Biden have an understanding that she will be the kind of vice president to say no and she will "be the last one in the room — and there to give him honest feedback."
The candidates participated in a socially distanced photoshoot with People and a full version of their conversation appears in this week's print edition.
Jill Biden to ask: ‘How can you make a broken family whole?’
Jill Biden will highlight Joe Biden’s deep experience with personal loss on Tuesday night, in an appeal to a nation ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and mourning 170,000 dead.
“How can you make a broken family whole?” she will ask, according to a source close to the former second lady, while sharing her own experience marrying a widowed Joe Biden at 26.
In 1972, Biden’s first wife and young daughter were killed in a car crash that also injured his two young sons. He lost his eldest son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, to a brain tumor in 2015.
These losses were enormously public — Biden was sworn into the Senate in 1973 in a Delaware hospital at his son's bedside and was serving as vice president when Beau died — and voters have connected deeply with him because of it, often sharing their own losses with him.