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Democratic Convention viewer’s guide: Obamas, Clintons to speak

Democratic Convention viewer’s guide: Obamas, Clintons to speak
Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 12, 2020

For four days starting Monday, the Democrats will hold their national convention virtually after canceling their in-person convention slated for Milwaukee due to the coronavirus.

The Democrats will attempt to keep a familiar format for its convention, with several keynote speakers scheduled to speak each night.

The Republicans will also hold most of their convention activities virtually, starting for four nights on August 24.

What’s different

The conventions are generally a spectacle with thousands of party supporters gathered in a large arena amid pomp and circumstance. While conventions are a way for parties to energize their leaders for the stretch run of a campaign, the gathering of delegates allow for the party to develop its platform.

While conventions officially serve the purpose of nominating a candidate for vice president and president, the nominations are generally a formality at the convention. With a virtual convention, the most visual component of the convention is gone. Will the addresses just be seen as more stump speeches?

The event will also be pared down some. The speeches will run from 9 to 11 p.m. ET nightly. At previous conventions, festivities generally began in the late afternoon. With a shortened timeframe, a number of lower profile Democrats – think members of Congress without a national profile – won’t make it on the convention stage.

What’s the same

The format will still be a familiar one for those who follow conventions. A number of speeches will be given by top Democrats to promote Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and the party’s platform.

Tuesday will also feature the official nomination for president and vice president. Wednesday will include the traditional vice presidential nominee acceptance speech, following by Thursday’s traditional presidential nominee acceptance speech.

Like at a customary convention, the virtual Democratic Convention will have themes each night. Monday’s theme will be “We the People,” Tuesday’s theme will be “Leadership Matters,” Wednesday’s theme will be “A More Perfect Union,” and Thursday’s theme will be “America’s Promise.”

The speakers

The Democratic Party has released a list of speakers for each night. Here is sampling of the speakers for this year’s convention.


Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Sen. Bernie Sanders

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Former First Lady Michelle Obama


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Former Secretary of State John Kerry

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Former President Bill Clinton

Former Second Lady Jill Biden


Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris

Former President Barack Obama


Sen. Cory Booker

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Members of the Biden Family

Presidential Nominee Joe Biden

Counter programming

While the Democrats hold their convention, NBC News reported that President Donald Trump plans on campaigning in four battleground states next week. Trump is slated to visit Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania, NBC reported.