After being pushed back from July due to the pandemic, the Democratic National Convention will finally kick off on Monday, August 17. The DNC has planned four nights of virtual programming, culminating in Joe Biden's acceptance speech on Thursday, August 20. The televised portion of the event has been condensed to just a few hours of "prime time" programming, set to run from 9 to 11 p.m. ET. Headliners include Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Jill Biden, Barack Obama, and of course, Biden's running mate Kamala Harris. Here's everything you need to know about the convention, and how to tune in.
Where is the convention being held?
At a location of each speaker's choosing? The New York Times reports:
To add more visual pizazz for viewers, Democratic officials have encouraged their remote speakers to set up cameras in symbolic and visually interesting locations, rather than drab Zoom backgrounds, like bookcases and spare rooms, that are common to cable talk shows.
While some limited party business will still take place in Milwaukee, the convention will be mostly virtual. Both Biden and Harris will address the convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. A Biden campaign official told The Hill that none of the speakers will appear before a crowd.
How can I watch it?
The events will stream online at the DNC's website, and on social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook. You can also tune in the old fashioned way, on an actual television, but as the New York Times reports, coverage will be limited:
The major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, plan to carry an hour of the convention live each night, from 10 to 11 p.m. on the East Coast. Cable news channels will air the two-hour nightly proceedings in full, but the Democrats' jampacked schedule poses a risk that local affiliates in swing states could cut away at 11 p.m. if speakers aren't wrapped up.
Monday, August 17th Lineup
Theme: "We the People." Here's what that means, according to the DNC:
This country is confronting a series of monumental challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic continues its rampage, tens of millions of people are out of work, and America is confronting the racial injustice that has marginalized too many people. Throughout our history, when we stand united, we can overcome anything. On Monday, we'll hear from the many Americans who are rising up to take on these three crises, unite our country, and join Joe Biden in rebuilding the country and moving it forward.
9 p.m. ET: Speakers include Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Catherine Cortez Mastro, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Representative Jim Clyburn, Representative Gwen Moore, and Senator Doug Jones.
10 p.m. ET: Keynote speeches from Senator Bernie Sanders and former first lady Michelle Obama.
Tuesday, August 18th Lineup
Theme: "Leadership Matters." What that means, according to the DNC:
Leadership means rising to meet the nation's challenges, not making them worse. To Joe Biden, it's about putting the country ahead of yourself, and taking on the tough fights even when it's unpopular. It's about making sure the government—the military, the judiciary, the scientists, everyone—is working in the national interest, not a president's political interests. Tuesday's focus is on the leaders and the experts, the veterans and the activists, all those who seek to unite and not divide, and who step up—not back down—from a fight over what's right.
9 p.m. ET: Speakers include former acting U.S. attorney general Sally Yates, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former secretary of State John Kerry, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, and former president Bill Clinton.
10 p.m. ET: Keynote speech from former second lady Dr. Jill Biden.
Wednesday, August 19th Lineup
Theme: "A More Perfect Union." What that means, according to the DNC:
America is not going back to where it was before Donald Trump's mismanagement of the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis, because for too many people, that wasn't good enough. As he leads us out of crisis, Joe Biden will help build back better. He will have a historic partner in these efforts: the first female vice president. On Wednesday, you will hear from the Vice Presidential nominee and many others who are committed to working alongside Joe Biden to achieve his goals to form a more perfect union.
9 p.m. ET: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Governor Tony Evers, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
10 p.m. ET: Keynote speeches from Senator Kamala Harris and former president Barack Obama.
Thursday, August 20th Lineup
Theme: "America's Promise." What that means, according to the DNC:
A former public defender, a leading senator, and two-term vice president, Joe Biden is one of the most experienced candidates to ever seek the office. Throughout his career, he has been tested by historic recessions, global conflicts, pandemics, divisive politics, and the never-ending quest for justice and fairness in America. Every step of the way, he has risen to the moment with steady and effective leadership. Being president doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. Joe Biden is a man of character and decency, and of empathy and compassion who believes in America's promise. On the final night of the convention, we will hear from those who can speak to Joe Biden's leadership and character. Joe Biden will speak about his vision for uniting America to move us forward out of constant chaos and crisis, and for delivering on that promise for all.
9 p.m. ET: Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Cory Booker, Governor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Chris Coons, and the Biden Family.
10 p.m. ET: Former vice president Joe Biden's acceptance speech.
Margaret Hartmann, New York Mag. August 14, 2029
August 15, 2020
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