11:02 GMT23 September 2020
Listen Live
    US
    Get short URL
    238
    Subscribe

    The second night of the virtual gathering officially handed the Democratic presidential nomination to Joe Biden and tried to pitch his candidacy as a show of cross-generation accord.

    The Democratic National convention – the most unusual such convention in almost two centuries – is half-way through, with a two-hour broadcast wrapping up Tuesday night.

    Here’s what happened on Day 2.

    Biden Gets the Nomination

    The centrepiece of yesterday’s online spectacle was a roll call vote to officially nominate Joe Biden for president.

    A series of back-to-back videos showed delegates cast their votes for the former vice president from their home states and territories.

    It ended with delegates from Biden's home state of Delaware finally handing him the nomination he has sought since first running for president in 1988.

    A jubilant Biden gave a 10-second acceptance speech to the tune of "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang, standing alongside his wife Jill.

    "Thank you very, very much from the bottom of my heart", he said. "It means the world to me and my family, and I'll see you on Thursday". Biden is scheduled give a keynote speech on the last night of the event.

    Rising Stars

    Day 2, under the theme of "Leadership Matters", attempted to present the party leadership under a President Biden as a coalition of generations.

    The broadcast highlighted 17 (relatively) young politicians billed as the "rising stars" of the Democratic Party, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 30-year-old freshman New York Rep., to Stacey Abrams, the 46-year-old former Georgia gubernatorial candidate.

    Ocasio-Cortez, whose pre-taped speech was aired before the roll call, notably did not say a word about Joe Biden and seconded the nomination of fellow "progressive", Senator Bernie Sanders.

    "If you were confused, no worries!", she tweeted after her 1-minute address. "Convention rules require roll call & nominations for every candidate that passes the delegate threshold. I was asked to 2nd the nom for Sen. Sanders for roll call. I extend my deepest congratulations to Joe Biden – let’s go win in November".

    Party Elders

    Appeals to young voters might be Joe Biden's weak spot, but, it must be owned, he has a much stronger bond with the establishment.

    Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were among the highest-profile speakers on Tuesday night, alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

    The notoriously verbose Clinton, who took 48 minutes to make the case for Barack Obama in 2012, was given just five minutes this time.

    He fired a broadside at Donald Trump, saying the incumbent "defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media".

    "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", he added, criticising Donald Trump's track record on the coronavirus pandemic.

    In what became the 11th convention speech for Clinton was the first appearance at a party convention in eight years for Jimmy Carter.

    The 95-year-old ex-president and his wife, Rosalynn, avoided chastising Trump and chose to focus on Biden's abilities as a leader and a parent.

    "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", said the former first lady. "He knows caregiving is hard even on the good days".

    Chuck Schumer, perhaps not the most rousing speaker in town, spoke live against the backdrop of a blurry Statue of Liberty. Nothing of note differing from his common diatribes against Donald Trump.

    ​John Kerry, who was secretary of state during Obama’s second term, claimed that Trump "doesn’t know how to defend the troops" and his foreign policy is a "blooper reel".

    Never Trumpers

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the man who famously lied to justify George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, was among several Republicans to endorse Biden at the convention.

    "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", said Powell. It wasn't exactly clear from his speech whether those values included integrity.

    Cindy McCain, the widow of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, narrated a video documenting her husband's 30-year-long friendship with Biden.

    Common Folks

    Apart from big names from both sides of the aisle, this year's convention features short stories by Americans from all walks of life.

    Tuesday night followed the story of Ady Barkan, a 36-year-old activist diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and his push for a healthcare reform that which includes Medicare for All (part of Biden's platform too).

    Another notable moment was the message of Jacquelyn Brittany, the security guard who blurted "I love you" to Biden in a video that went viral last year.

    Would-be First Lady

    Jill Biden capped the night with a 10-minute keynote address from her former classroom, which centered around her husband’s personal losses, family, and education.

    "How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding and with small acts of compassion. With bravery. With unwavering faith", said the educator, recalling how she met her future husband shortly after his first wife and baby daughter died in a car crash in 1972.

    Jill also stated that her husband's faith is "unshakable", deflecting the Evangelical favourite Donald Trump's claim that Biden is "against God".

    Tags:
    US Election 2020, Jimmy Carter, Jill Biden, election, Democratic National Convention, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden
    Community standardsDiscussion