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Highlights and analysis from Democratic National Convention Day 3

Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi were among those who spoke.
Image: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Hillary Clinton
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The third night of the Democratic National Convention featured a must-see lineup of former and would-be presidents and a historic acceptance speech.

Sen. Kamala Harris, the first Black woman and Asian American on a major party ticket, delivered her vice-presidential acceptance speech Wednesday night, and former President Barack Obama spoke shortly before her. Former 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also took the virtual stage during a night that was heavy on policy specifics.

NBC News will air 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 NBCNews.com for breaking news, analysis and fact checks.

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading DNC news from August 20, 2020.

Clinton to offer 'sobering indictment' of Trump

Hillary Clinton will offer a “sobering indictment” of the Trump presidency while reminding voters not to take anything for granted this election season, a person familiar with her remarks says. 

The speech is expected to be 5-7 minutes and will be delivered live from the living room of her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

“This is a hard format for most, but this is her bread and butter, speaking directly to people, making the case: this country deserves a better president,” the source said. 

Clinton will praise communities that have come together during the coronavirus pandemic, finding strength and resilience through crisis — and will argue that the same should be expected of the White House. 

She will implore Democrats to vote early and “overwhelm” Republicans, whom she'll characterize as trying “to cheat, lie and steal their way to victory,” the source said. 

The former presidential candidate and secretary of state will spend little time on her own historic candidacy and loss in 2016, instead focusing on her relationship with Joe Biden, both personally and professionally, the source said. She will stress that she has seen his true character in many settings, from their time together in the Situation Room to persevering through family tragedies. 

And unlike her husband Bill’s speech, which was pre-taped and didn’t mention Kamala Harris, Clinton is going to talk about the California senator’s “grit and compassion,” offering examples. That includes when Tyrone Gayle, Harris’ former national press secretary, was near the end of his battle with colon cancer in 2018, and Harris dropped everything to be by his side in the hospital in the final hours of his life.  

Miles Taylor says criticizing Trump 'is going to be bad for my pocketbook'

Miles Taylor, the former Homeland Security chief of staff in the Trump administration who threw his support behind Joe Biden this week, said Wednesday that many of his former White House colleagues share his views on the president.

“Those colleagues that I served with in the administration know very, very well how I felt about the president,” he told Hallie Jackson on MSNBC. “And many of them felt the same way about the president. In fact, I would be willing to go as far as to say I can think of very few people that I served with in the Trump administration that don't feel the same way about the president as I do.”

When asked why he chose to speak up about the president at the start of the Democratic convention, Taylor said it’s because he thinks now is the best time for him to get on the air.

“If I had spoken out a year ago, the president would have buried it. He is a master of distraction. But right now, voters are paying attention.”

He also insisted his support for Biden is selfless, and he is not vying for his 15 minutes of fame as the president and skeptical liberals claim.

“This is going to be bad for my pocketbook, bad for me professionally, bad for me personally, so I'm not getting a whole lot out of this,” Taylor said.

Kamala's sister, step-daughter and niece to deliver speeches to nominate her as VP nominee

Kamala Harris' sister, step-daughter and niece are expected to deliver speeches Wednesday night to officially nominate her as the 2020 vice presidential nominee. 

A press secretary for Joe Biden's presidential campaign announced the plan on Twitter. 

Maya Harris, Kamala's sister, was a fixture on the senator's 2020 presidential campaign as its chairwoman during the primary cycle. Meena Harris held an event for her aunt in Iowa, and this will be the first time that the public will hear from Kamala's step-children, specifically from Ella Emhoff. Ella and Cole Emhoff are from the first marriage of Kamala's husband, Doug Emhoff. 

DNC 2020, night 3: Harris' big speech, Obama's the closer and more to watch for

WASHINGTON — It's Kamala Harris' big night Wednesday as the vice presidential nominee addresses the third night of the all-virtual Democratic National Convention, along with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.

Harris is the first woman of color nominated to the presidential ticket of a major political party and will accept the nomination to be Joe Biden's running mate in a speech just before remarks by Obama, the first person of color to win the White House.

The two-hour program, whose theme "A More Perfect Union" will focus on efforts to make the American promise a reality for everyone, will be emceed by actress Kerry Washington and feature performances by singers Billie Eilish and Jennifer Hudson, as well as speeches by Nancy Pelosi and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who became a gun control activist after she was shot in 2011.

Here’s what to watch.

Obama and Harris are country's two most popular political figures

WASHINGTON — Tonight’s main speakers at the Democratic convention — former President Barack Obama and V.P. nominee California Sen. Kamala Harris — happen to be the two most popular political figures in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll when it comes to their net-positive ratings (though Obama is much more popular than Harris is).

Digging inside Obama’s 54 percent positive, 34 percent negative rating (+20), the former president gets high marks among Black voters (84 percent to 6 percent), Latinos (63 percent to 19 percent), women (60 percent to 29 percent), voters 18-34 (59 percent to 24 percent), independents (51 percent to 23 percent), and he even breaks even with white women without college degrees (44 percent to 44 percent).

Compare those numbers with Biden’s among those same subgroups: Black voters (65 percent to 10 percent), Latinos (38 percent to 31 percent), women (47 percent to 36 percent), independents (25 percent to 42 percent), voters 18-34 (30 percent to 43 percent), and white women without college degrees (36 percent to 53 percent).

The NBC News/WSJ Poll was conducted between Aug. 9-12, with a margin of error of +/-3.3%

ANALYSIS: The old guard is still in charge at the Democratic convention

WASHINGTON — For Democrats, the future will have to wait.

A parade of prominent establishment Baby Boomers — and pre-Baby Boomers — reminded voters their set is in firm control of the party as more than a dozen rising stars were crammed into delivering a single quilted speech on the second night of the Democratic convention Tuesday.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., by far the most recognizable young Democrat in the country, was given her own one-minute speaking slot, but only because she was chosen by runner-up Bernie Sanders to act as a "second" for putting his name in nomination.

The message the Biden campaign sent to the rest of the country is that now is not the time to test out new leaders or pursue ideological aims. That's consistent with the way Biden ran his primary campaign, claiming the turf of the Obama administration he served in as vice president and challenging competitors — mostly younger and to his left — to define what was wrong with it.

Read the analysis.

A vision for a more inclusive nation: Aide previews Harris' remarks

An aide to Kamala Harris provided a short preview of the VP pick's remarks Wednesday night, saying the senator “hopes for people to see themselves in her speech.”

“You'll hear her tell her own story and highlight the examples and experiences of others," the aide said. "She will set out a vision for a more inclusive nation in which everyone is welcome and given equal opportunity and protection under the law. Senator Harris will make the case for electing Joe Biden, showing why he’s uniquely the leader for this moment and drawing a clear contrast with the failed leadership of Donald Trump.”

Acknowledging that some voters might have an implicit bias against a woman in power, an adviser told NBC News that Harris will show strength and demonstrate a capability to lead and to be an equal partner.

The adviser said it’s important to restore the idea of a return to “normalcy, without a crazy crisis every day,” noting people don’t want to think about their president every day, they want them to lead and do the job.

What to expect from Barack Obama's keynote speech

Barack Obama is expected to go to bat for his former vice president in his keynote speech Wednesday night, outlining why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can lead the U.S. out of its current crises and emphasizing that Democracy itself is on the line in this election, an aide to the former president said. 

"He will speak live tonight, outlining why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris possess the experience and character to lead us out of the ongoing economic and health care disasters that the current administration has  blundered into," the aide said. 

"He’ll talk about watching Joe’s success firsthand in helping to lead America out of a dire recession and jump-start our economy, expand health care for tens of millions of Americans, and restore our standing in the world," the aide added.

Obama is expected to highlight how the Trump administration and Republican Party are trying to "discourage Americans from voting," the aide said. 

The president will also emphasize that the 2020 election is too important to sit out, and will call on Americans to vote early and turn out on Election Day on Nov. 3. 

Jill Biden calls Trump's attacks on husband's cognitive abilities 'ridiculous'

WASHINGTON — Former second lady Jill Biden said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s attacks against her husband and his cognitive abilities are “ridiculous.”

In an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show, host Savannah Guthrie asked Jill Biden whether a new Trump ad attacking the former vice president’s mental fitness is fair.

“No, no, it’s ridiculous. I mean Joe’s on the phone every single minute of the day, talking to governors who are calling him, and Nancy Pelosi,” she said.

“He’s on the Zoom, he’s doing fundraisers, he’s doing briefings. I mean, he doesn’t stop from 9 in the morning to 11 at night. So, that, you know, that’s ridiculous,” she added.

Read what else Jill Biden said.

Top moments from Night 2 of the DNC

Former presidents helped make the case for now-official Democratic nominee Joe Biden — and against President Donald Trump, while  the virtual roll call delighted audiences with a digital tour of the U.S.

But it was Jill Biden who stole the show on Tuesday's second night of the Democratic National Convention. Here are some of the most notable moments from Night 2.

Read more on the second night's highlights.