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Updates and analysis from Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention

Jill Biden, Bill Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were among those on the schedule.
Image: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Bill Clinton.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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.

NBC News aired a special report from 10 to 11 p.m. ET, and MSNBC will have convention coverage from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., with special coverage beginning at 9 p.m. NBC News Now will livestream the convention, with special coverage starting at 8 p.m. Follow us here on for breaking news, analysis and fact checks.

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading DNC news from August 19, 2020.

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.

Politicians, they're just like us...

Trump levels new attacks responding to Michelle Obama's criticism

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump criticized Michelle Obama on Tuesday, calling her Democratic National Convention speech "divisive" and inaccurate.

"It was a divisive speech. Devoid of facts and it wasn't current. It was all old. It was done probably two, three weeks ago," Trump said in Yuma, Arizona, where he was receiving an update on construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Trump was responding to the series of criticisms he faced Monday on the first night of the Democratic convention. Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign staged an event that largely focused on delivering a scathing rebuke of Trump and his first term in office, with a series of speakers making the case to the American public that the president is unfit to hold the office.

Trump continued his criticism of the former first lady during a campaign speech at the Yuma airport, telling supporters that Democrats "want to bring unity, and then you listen to Michelle Obama’s speech, which was obsolete by the time it got there."

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Colin Powell latest Republican to be featured during Democratic convention

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized Trump and offered support for Biden in a speech during the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, the latest Republican to be featured as part of the Democratic program.

"The values I learned growing up in the South Bronx and serving in uniform, were the same values that Joe Biden's parents instilled in him in Scranton, Pennsylvania," Powell said. "I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States, because those values still define him."

"And we need to restore those values to the White House," he continued. "Our country needs a commander in chief who takes care of our troops in the same way he would his own family. But Joe Biden doesn't need teaching. It comes from the experience he shares with millions of military families, sending his beloved son off to war and praying to God, he would come home safe."

Powell's inclusion comes after a number of former Republican officials and GOP voters spoke Monday. Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will also be featured in a video Tuesday in which she details her husband's "unlikely friendship" with Biden.

Powell was former President George W. Bush's secretary of State when the U.S. invaded Iraq. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he planned to vote for Biden in June. Trump, meanwhile, retweeted a Twitter user Tuesday calling Powell a "neocon [weapons of mass destruction] hoaxer."

"Today, we are a country divided, and we have a president doing everything in his power to make it that way and keep us that way," Powell said. "What a difference it will make to have a president who unites us, who restores our strength and our soul. I still believe that in our hearts, we are the same America that brought my parents to our shores, an America that inspires freedom around the world. That’s the America Joe Biden will lead as our next president."

Biden campaign calls for a 'full airing' from DeJoy about USPS changes

The Biden campaign said Tuesday that the decision by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to suspend his  operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service until after the election “a positive step.”

DeJoy has been sharply criticized by Democrats and some Republicans for making changes to the Postal Service, which resulted in mail being slowed down and raised serious concerns about the integrity of the Nov. 3 election as election officials employ mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus.   

Despite the assurance from DeJoy to halt the changes, Biden's campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said "important questions remain" and called on him to be more transparent about the reasoning behind the changes when he testifies to the House next week. 

"The President of the United States has explicitly declared that he is blocking coronavirus relief funding because he wants to impede Americans' right to vote by mail," Bates said in a statement.

"We must have a full airing of the background to these changes and the Postmaster General’s clear and unequivocal commitment that he will not take these or any actions like them that will undermine mail service for voters," the statement said. "Americans need to be reassured that the right to vote and the delivery of prescription medicines and other vital mail will not be impacted by partisan politics."

Cindy McCain to tell DNC viewers about 'unlikely friendship' between her husband and Biden

Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is taking part in a video highlighting her husband's "unlikely friendship" with Biden that is set to air during the convention on Tuesday.

In a teaser of the video released Tuesday afternoon, Cindy McCain said, "It was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them" joke around with each other.

"My husband and Vice President Biden enjoyed a 30+ year friendship dating back to before their years serving together in the Senate, so I was honored to accept the invitation from the Biden campaign to participate in a video celebrating their relationship," McCain tweeted.

McCain is the latest Republican to be featured at Biden's nominating convention, after former Govs. John Kasich and Christine Todd Whitman, former Rep. Susan Molinari and ex-California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman addressed the convention on Monday.

Donald Trump had an icy relationship with the longtime Arizona senator and Vietnam War hero and has on a number of occasions criticized him over voting against repealing the Affordable Care Act in 2017. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, and former President George Bush, who carried the GOP banner in 2000 and 2004, will not be taking part in next week's Republican National Convention.

Bill Clinton speech to excoriate Trump: 'Chaos...storm center'

Bill Clinton will rip Trump's handling of the job he once held during his speech Tuesday night.

Paraphrasing Harry Truman's famous maxim that the buck stops with the presidency, Clinton will say Trump's only consistent goal during his almost four years in office is trying to blame others for his own mistakes.

"At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it's a storm center. There's only chaos," Clinton will say, according to an excerpt released by organizers. "Just one thing never changes — his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there."

Read more here.