The Democratic National Convention Is Upon Us: Here’s What You Need To Know

August 13, 2020 by Gaspard Le Dem
(Photo by Dan McCue)

After much deliberation from party leaders, the Democratic National Convention will be happening virtually this year.

Rather than the usual all-day programming, speeches will be packed into two-hour televised segments across four nights, from Monday, August 17, to Thursday, August 20.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris are slated to deliver their convention speeches remotely on Thursday from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. 

Until recently, Biden was scheduled to travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to accept the presidential nomination. But in July, officials canceled most in-person events in the city due to concerns over the coronavirus, opting instead for a mostly virtual convention.

Now, only a handful of democratic officials will travel to Wisconsin for the convention, including DNC Chair Tom Perez. The Milwaukee event will have no audience, though it was initially expected to draw around 50,000 people.

Speakers will make remarks from various satellite locations. The line-up this year features Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Former President Bill Clinton, Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Other prominent names include Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont., Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, and former South Bend mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a vocal Republican critic of President Trump, will also speak at the event in a bid to convince Republicans to vote for Biden.

Teachers, farmers, business owners, factory workers, and health care responders will give short pre-recorded speeches to be aired throughout all four nights.

“Over the last several months in planning this convention, we had two goals in mind: to include more Americans than ever before, and to ensure that all Americans see themselves reflected in what they were viewing,” said Stephanie Cutter, 2020 Democratic National Convention program executive, in a statement.

The convention will air on all major news networks starting 9 p.m. EST, and will be live-streamed on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Prime. The DNC will also broadcast the event on its official website.

Each night will have its own theme with speakers appearing throughout. Delegates are expected to cast their official votes to nominate Biden on Tuesday night. The DNC says it will announce more speakers in the next few days.

In the meantime, you can find the current schedule and list of speakers below.

Official schedule for the 2020 Democratic National Convention:

Monday: We The People

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.)
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.)
  • House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.)
  • Former Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio)
  • Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Tuesday: Leadership Matters

Main event: Delegates cast their official votes to nominate Biden.

  • Former Acting US Attorney General Sally Yates
  • Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.)
  • Former President Bill Clinton
  • Former Second Lady Jill Biden

Wednesday: A More Perfect Union

Main event: Speech by Vice Presidential nominee.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
  • Gov. Tony Evers (D-Wisc.)
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.)
  • Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)
  • Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Former President Barack Obama

Thursday: America’s Promise

Main event: acceptance speeches from presidential and vice-presidential nominees.

  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.)
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
  • South Bend mayor and former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
  • Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, The Biden Family, and Vice President Joe Biden

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