SALT LAKE CITY — Former Vice President Joe Biden was officially nominated as the Democratic candidate for president on Tuesday, the second night of Democratic National Convention.
The first 30 minutes of the Day 2 was a whirlwind of staccato speeches from junior and senior members of the party, like 21-year-old New Hampshire state Rep. Denny Ruprecht to former President Bill Clinton, before the traditional roll call vote to nominate the party’s candidate.
- The roll call showed delegates from various locations across the country and other U.S. territories, as delegates announced their vote count. The quick cuts were something of a brief tour of the country. (And yes, Hawaii looked great).
- Sen. Bernie Sanders, an early front-runner in the Democratic primary, received nearly a quarter of the delegate roll call vote, a signal to Biden that the progressive wing of the party will be watching.
- We learned more about the nominee’s spouse, Jill Biden, at the end of the night with a short video that explained her life story, how she met Joe Biden and the challenges she faces in life.
- Jill Biden capped the night with a speech about her husband, describing him as a hard-working, family-first man.
- Former President Bill Clinton contrasted a future Trump presidency with a future Biden presidency.
- Multiple speakers promoted Biden as a family man who takes care of others. This message was hit a little harder than it was the previous night.
Quotes of the night:
- Biden “will restore our moral compass by confronting our biggest challenges.” — Stacy Abrams
- “There are countless stories of Joe Biden reaching out to someone in their moment of need. This is our country’s moment of need.” — Sally Yates
- “I support Joe Biden because beginning on day one he will restore America’s leadership and moral authority.” — Colin Powell
- “We’re coming together and holding onto each other. We’re finding mercy and grace in moments we once might have taken for granted.” — Jill Biden
Jill Biden paints her husband as an working, family man
Jill Biden finished the night with a speech about her husband from her former classroom — Room 232 — at Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware. “I have always loved the sounds of a classroom,” Biden began her speech.
She portrayed her husband as a hard-working man and someone who cares about the big and small moments of family life.
- “We (her and Joe) found that love holds a family together. Love makes us flexible and resilient. It allows us to become more than ourselves, together.”
- “We’re coming together and holding onto each other. We’re finding mercy and grace in moments we once might have taken for granted.”
- “Joe’s purpose has always driven him forward. His strength of will is unstoppable and his faith is unshakable.”
- “And with Joe as president, these classrooms will ring out with laughter.”
Biden appeared at the end of the speech, hugging his wife with a mask in hand.
- “Hey everyone, I’m Jill Biden’s husband.”
- “You can see why she’s the love of my life, the rock of our family.”
Delegates formally nominate Biden and Harris ticket
Joe Biden is now officially the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
Carrying on a long tradition in a very nontraditional convention, Democratic delegates officially cast their votes to formally nominate Biden as the party’s presidential candidate and Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate to lead the party’s ticket in November.
It is the honor of my life to accept the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States of America. #DemConvention— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 19, 2020
- A total of 2,374 delegate votes were needed to win the nomination.
- Biden received 3,558 votes and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., received 1,151 delegate votes.
Biden appeared briefly after the roll call, thanking the delegates and viewers. He said he will see everyone on Thursday when he is expected to speak to delegates and the nation.
- Because of the pandemic, delegates didn’t travel to Milwaukee, the originally scheduled host city, but the convention’s viewers were able to travel digitally to 57 states and territories to hear from delegates.
- Biden had been the presumptive nominee for months after Sanders — the last-standing primary contender — endorsed Biden in April. This prevented a brokered convention and allowed for the party to craft a message of unity that has permeated the convention.
Utah’s delegates support Sanders
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson announced Utah’s votes, but not before speaking to the state’s success in mail-in voting.
“Here in Utah we’ve had mail-in-voting for years,” she said,. “If you’re registered to vote you automatically get sent a ballot.” She said the system is fast and reliable and ”it’s easy for everyone to participate.”
“That why Democrats and Republicans here in Utah agree, mail in voting strengthens our democracy.”
Utah’s delegates supported Sanders, who received 17 votes to Biden’s 16 state delegate votes.
Keynote addresses galore
The list included: former Georgia House member and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Tennessee state Senator Raumesh Akbari, Texas Congressman Colin Allred, Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan Boyle, Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, former Ohio state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, South Carolina state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, Pennsylvania Congressman Conor Lamb, Michigan state Rep. Mari Manoogian, Texas state Rep. Victoria Neave, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Georgia state Rep. Sam Park, New Hampshire state Rep. Denny Ruprecht and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.
- “We’re fighting for you, Joe’s fighting for us,” a banner proclaimed between speakers, summarizing the themes of each of the speeches.
- “Take it from me, when you’re in the trenches, you want Joe Biden right there next to you,” said Lamb, a United States Marine Corp veteran.
- “This nation belongs to all of us. And in every election we choose how we will create a more perfect union. .. This year’s choice couldn’t be more clear,” said Abrams, who concluded the machine gun fire of speeches from each of the “rising stars.”
How Sally Yates sees Trump
Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates blasted President Donald Trump and praised Biden.
Yates — appointed attorney general by former President Barack Obama — was fired as acting attorney general by Trump just days into the new administration’s tenure after she ordered the Justice department not to enforce Trump’s immigration ban.
- “(Trump) treats our country like it’s his family business. This time bankrupting our nation’s moral authority at home, and abroad.”
- “Our country doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to all of us.”
- “There are countless stories of Joe Biden reaching out to someone in their moment of need. This is our country’s moment of need.”
- “Rather than standing up to Vladimir Putin,” Trump “fawns over a dictator who tries to interfere in our election.”
Schumer says Democrats need to take the Senate back
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, speaking from Brooklyn, talked of unifying the different factions of the Democratic Party, while declaring the party needed to “take back the Senate.”
- “We will make health care affordable for all”
- Schumer said Democrats could “restore” the United States Supreme Court
- “And once and for all, defeat COVID19, this evil disease.”
Former President Bill Clinton compares Biden and Trump presidencies
Clinton, who has been somewhat left behind by the Democratic Party, used his time to signal how he still fits into the party’s initiatives moving forward.
Clinton compared Biden and Trump, picking moments from Trump’s presidency and remixing them with how Biden would respond. Clinton promoted a united Democratic Party, leaning into how the party is pushing for a family-first candidate like Biden.
- Biden can create a better America for families who are raising their children, people with disabilities and those seeking “paid family medical leave,” Clinton said.
- Clinton said Trump is a good president for those who want one who watches TV and spends time “zapping” people on Twitter.
- Clinton said COVID-19 pandemic hit the country harder than it needed to. He said the Trump administration’s response did not help.
- “The buck never stops there.”
Colin Powell says America needs a commander-in-chief with Biden’s values
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell — a Republican, retired Army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — said the United States needs a commander-in-chief who takes care of military personnel the same way they would their family.
- “I support Joe Biden because beginning on day one he will restore America’s leadership and moral authority.”
- “He will restore American leadership in the world..from climate change to nuclear proliferation.”