The US Democratic National Convention has voted to officially nominate Joe Biden as the party’s 2020 presidential candidate, formally designating the Washington veteran as the party’s challenger to incumbent President Donald Trump in the November election.
In an unprecedented roll call vote that took place entirely online due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all 50 states and seven territories announced their vote tallies that cemented Biden’s role as the party flag-bearer on Tuesday.
Biden was nominated following speeches by US Senator Chris Coons and US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, both Democrats from Biden’s home state of Delaware.
“Joe has tackled gun violence and climate change,” Coons said.
“He stood up to dictators and supported our troops. He led the recovery effort after the last recession and delivered on a promise to make our health care system fairer and stronger.”
“Well thank you very, very much, from the bottom of my heart,” a beaming Biden said in a live video link as he celebrated the nomination.
“It means the world to me and my family,” he added, reminding the viewers that he will deliver a formal acceptance speech on Thursday at the conclusion of the four-day jamboree.
Also, in a tweet, Biden said, “It is the honor of my life to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States of America”.
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
The nomination was a formality as he had already won the majority of the more than 3,900 delegates back in June.
The roll call came on Day 2 of the mostly virtual Democratic National Convention aimed at celebrating the party’s candidate and welcoming independents and frustrated Republicans into their political movement to oust Trump from the White House.
The proceedings included a series of presentations by party leaders past and future who unleashed their own arguments against the White House incumbent and urged voters to rally around Biden.
The lineup featured president Jimmy Carter, who served one term from 1977, and 1990s commander-in-chief Bill Clinton, who warned that the Trump White House is swirling with chaos instead of the competence necessary to address the nation’s crises.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos,” Clinton said.
“Just one thing never changes — his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame,” Clinton said. “The buck never stops there.”
On Day One of the virtual Democratic convention, ie, on Monday, former US First Lady Michelle Obama, in an 18-minute speech tore into President Donald Trump painting a picture of a man who simply does not understand what she described as the “immense weight and awesome power of the presidency”.
“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job but he is clearly…over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us,” Obama said, revealing a string of what she called “cold, hard truths”.
Michelle Obama was seeking to show the sharp differences between Trump and former vice president Joe Biden, with less than 80 days to go before the November election.
Later Tuesday, on a visit to battleground state Arizona, Donald Trump knocked Obama for delivering taped remarks.
“Thursday night I’m doing it live,” Trump said, referring to his speech next week when he formally accepts his party’s nomination at the Republican convention, which has also shifted online.
The quadrennial event began on Monday and will end on Thursday.
The four-night program themed “Uniting America”, beginning at 9 pm and ending at 11 pm is being live-streamed on the DNC website and its social media handles, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Originally, the in-person convention with the number of attendees expected to be around 50,000 was planned for July, but organizers postponed it due to safety concerns during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden will give his acceptance speech on Thursday night and his running mate Kamala Harris will deliver hers on Wednesday night.
The DNC comes as a latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found Biden leading Trump by 53 per cent to 41 per cent among registered voters.
As Democrats look to boost Biden with the convention, Trump and the Republican Party have scheduled many counter-programings, on and off line, in several battleground states this week, including Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona.
On Monday, Trump travelled to Wisconsin and Minnesota to deliver remarks on jobs and the economy.
On August 12, Joe Biden attended a campaign event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, together with Kamala Harris, his choice of Democratic vice presidential candidate, in what was the duo’s first public appearance as running mates.
In a historic move that marks a breakthrough for Indian Americans in US politics, Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden selected Kamala Devi Harris as the nominee for vice president.
In the joint address, Harris declared that the United States is “crying out for leadership”.
As the first woman of color to be a presidential running mate for the Democratic Party, Harris said the country in particular needed to face up to the enduring problem of racism.
She ripped into President Donald Trump for his alleged mismanagement of Coronavirus and also vowed to defeat him to repair the racial divisions that have roiled the country.
At the campaign event, Joe Biden praised Kamala Harris as the “right person” for the Vice President role.
Biden further cornered Trump for calling Kamala Harris “nasty” and a “leftwing fanatic”. “Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem with strong women?” he asked.
In a brazen attack on the vice president nominee, US President Donald Trump had last week called Kamala Harris the “most horrible” member of the US Senate and said he was “surprised” Joe Biden had picked her as his running mate.
(With agency inputs)