The Democratic National Convention: Days 2 and 3 in a nutshell
The second and third day of the Democratic National convention amped up the energy of Democrats all across the country, whilst bringing to the stage, political leaders who made surprising and allegedly divisive statements. The host for the second day was Tracee Ellis Ross and for the third day, was Kerry Washington. The middle two days of the convention focused mainly on multiple issues, the second-day addressing immigration, unemployment, economy and foreign policy, and the third: gun violence, women suffrage and climate change. The second day marked the official nomination of Joe Biden as the vice-presidential candidate and the third marked the official nomination of Kamala Harris. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis made a point to affirm in Biden’s strong economic recovery plan, with an emphasis on revitalising the growth of small businesses.
The second day, Stacey Abrams took the stage speaking about the accountability and integrity that Biden would uphold, following a video montage of various small political leaders. Biden’s character became an inherent part of the convention’s second day, whether it was former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalyn Carter calling Biden his “loyal and dedicated friend”, Jacquelyn Brittany (an elevator operator), talking about how she claimed Biden looked out for the common man, and made a life-long friendship with him, a video about the unlikely bipartisan friendship of John McCain and Joe Biden or Jill Biden, narrating Biden’s tragic past and how it shaped his future as a husband and a senator.
Immigration was also a major component of the second day of the convention. Sally Yates (Former Attorney General) spoke about the Muslim Ban and alleged Russian Intervention, claiming that Trump doesn’t want a check on power. Chuck Schumer (Senate Minority Leader), highlighted his speech with the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty, and how it was a sign for immigrants of an American Dream. He called Trump’s term in the Oval Office, a “long national nightmare”.
Many famous and well-known speakers also took the stage on the second day. Former President Bill Clinton addressed Trump’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, claiming that in such times, the Oval Office should be a command centre, not a storm centre. He also addressed the Obama-Biden administration, refered to how all the work done by Biden during his tenure as Vice President, would be increasingly relevant in these times (economic recovery, Ebola outbreak, among others).
Towards the end, different foreign policy and ambassadorial dignitaries spoke about Biden’s foreign policy and the work he did while in office, all affirming that Biden’s experience as Vice- President definitely gave him an edge within maintaining international relations; including John Kerry, former Secretary of State (claiming Trump’s foreign policy is flawed). Other notable speakers included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, representing the growing progressive faction of the party (and also seconding the motion of the nomination of Bernie Sanders), John F Kennedy’s daughter and grandson, talking about American generosity and optimism, Bob King, a labour leader, Chris Coons a senator from Delaware and Lisa Blunt Rochester, who addressed the economy and divisive nature of society, she believed were prevalent during Trump’s tenure.
The third day opened, with moving stories of gun violence, featuring the mother (Deandra Dycus) of a victim of gun violence and the struggles the child has to face every day and Gabriel Giffords, a former congresswoman herself, attacked at a public event, claiming that America is at a “crossroads” about gun violence. She claimed that Joe Biden helped her through her recovery, and that he will help the American people as well.
The convention speakers then addressed climate change, starting with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham(Governor of New Mexico), speaking about the strides made in New Mexico and how Biden’s climate plan is a reflection of futuristic and sustainable ideals. Climate change advocates like Alexandria Villasenor, Andrew Adamski and Katherine Lorenzo, spoke about what they see in Biden’s climate protection plan.
In an emotional video, styled as a letter to Donald Trump, a young girl and daughter of a war veteran, talked about how her proudly American family was torn apart when her mother was taken away from them.
Following a tribute to women in politics, featuring women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Karen Bass, Val Demings, Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Duckworth, Pramila Jayapal, and many more; Hillary Clinton took the stage. She made no hesitation in talking about her failure in the past elections. She spoke about how her winning the popular vote still wasn’t enough, in an attempt to urge people to vote, so that an overwhelming response would get the party’s desired success of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, by saying: “This can't be another woulda-coulda-shoulda election”. She also implied Trump, “stole” his way to victory by not winning the popular vote.
Following a small documentary about the career of Nancy Pelosi, Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses how Mitch McConnel and Donald Trump have been blocking essential legislation, and claiming that Donald Trump’s presidency has been filled with disrespect and ignorance of facts.
The third day also concerned itself with domestic violence, highlighting Biden’s Violence Against Women Act, further emphasised by advocates aiming to curb domestic violence, like Ruth Glenn, Mariska Hargitay and Carly Dryden.
The third day was also host to former President Barack Obama, who made compelling statements about Joe Biden. He claimed Donald Trump was acting as the Presidency was a reality show to gain attention and that President Trump, had gotten the chance to grow into the job, but intrinsically could not. He highlights Biden’s claimed empathy and decency, and how his work with the economic recovery, affordable care act or the Ebola outbreak will heavily contribute to his presidency in 2020. He claimed that the democracy of the country is at stake, and that the people’s actions will echo throughout the generations.
The third day was capped off by Kamala Harris, who formally accepted the nomination, but also spoke about her own ground-breaking history. She spoke about her mother and her family, and the values of public service she grew up with. She spoke about her defining motto “Kamala Harris for the People”, and how the inequalities and broken systems must be changed (mentioning reproductive and maternal care, economy, unemployment, education, housing, inter alia). She claims that structural racism is the cause of the disproportionate effect of the virus on marginal communities. She also referred to Joe Biden’s story, and his grit and passion.
While the middle two days included a lot of direct attacks on Donald Trump, it also gave prospective voters a very clear idea of the values and policies reflected in the ticket, and how Biden and Harris, plan on “building back better”