Joe Biden Accepts Democratic Party’s Nomination for President With Fiery, Uplifting Address to the Nation

By A.J. Katz 

It’s official: Joe Biden became the 2020 Democratic Party nominee for president of the United States, and he gave what sounded like a presidential address last night.

Biden closed the four-day Democratic National Convention with a passionate speech at Chase Arena in his hometown of Wilmington, Del., that was, as NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie remarked, “part fireside chat, part ‘fervency of the moment.'”

CBS News’ John Dickerson said that Biden‘s speech showed him taking “the exact opposite” approach to Covid-19 that President Trump has shown: “He took his personal suffering throughout his life, and he spoke directly to the families of those 170,000 Americans who have lost their lives.”

Fox News’ Dana Perino was impressed, saying, “Joe Biden just hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth.”

Bret Baier added: “He’s not known for his public speaking, but this, having seen him speak on the stump many, many times, was the best he’s been as far as his delivery,” adding, “This is what he needed to do for this crowd and for the crowd around the country. The question was, was it enough to affect this race and give him a bounce.”

From CNN’s David Axelrod: “He didn’t look like a guy who was reading a speech. He looked like a president speaking to the country. He owned those words. It was clear he felt those words. He expressed confidence. He brought the indictment against Trump, but he spoke with confidence about the way forward and gave, I think, people watching the confidence that he had the energy and the vision to take them forward.”

Night 4 didn’t feature the political star power that the previous evening delivered, but Biden delivered his own type of star power. The night instead featured a deep bench of fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and one of Biden’s finalists for his vp, including Sen. Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Andrew Yang and Michael Bloomberg, before the former vice president closed the evening.

Needless to say, Biden received a ton of support from the party over these past four days.

The scene outside Chase Arena in Wilmington resembled that of a drive-in movie theater, with scores of cars parked in the lot outside the arena, watching the final night of the 2020 DNC on a big screen.

Rep. Bennie Thompson dropped the gavel at 8:45 p.m., and chairman Tom Perez gave remarks from Milwaukee.

Off we went with remarks from Yang, an amusing, if not slightly awkward back-and-forth between him and moderator for the evening Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The Veep/Seinfeld star made some politics-focused quips, including a zinger at Fox News.

 

Trump was speaking with Hannity at around the same time this joke was made

 

But for Louis-Dreyfus, this wasn’t all fun and games. She brought up the fact that she is a cancer survivor herself, and has since struck up a friendship with the former vice president, who has dedicated much of his recent public work to the Cancer Moonshot Agenda, which endeavors to end cancer.

Next, the National Anthem performed by The Chicks (formerly known as The Dixie Chicks) followed by remarks from Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a good friend of Biden’s who spoke at length about his faith, calling him a “man of faith and conscience.”

Louis-Dreyfus tossed it to Mayor Keisha Lane Bottoms of Atlanta, who spoke about the importance of voting, race and the late Rep. John Lewis.

The DNC then showed a video of Lewis, with contributions from the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, Rev. James Lawson, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Stacey Abrams and Rev. Raphael Warnock. 

The video was followed by a performance from John Legend and Common, who sang “Glory,” their Oscar-winning song from the 2014 movie, Selma.

Then, the presidential historian Jon Meacham gave remarks about the historical implications of electing Biden over Trump. Meacham was followed by Rep. Deb Haaland from New Mexico, beaming in from the indigenous lands outside of Albuquerque. She represents tribal nations, and is one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Later, Sen. Cory Booker gave remarks. Biden then conducted a roundtable with a member of the UAW, IBEW, a fireman and a bus driver about their experiences in the middle class and infrastructure.

Following were the former surgeon general Vivek Murthy and Sen. Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, both of whom spoke about the impact of Covid-19 and how they felt Biden would be the candidate to provide superior leadership in the fight against the disease.

An interesting tale from former 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas:

After Pete Buttigieg spoke from Indiana, he tossed to Sen. Booker, who led a taped Zoom call featuring 2020 presidential candidates talking about their times on the trail, and about their experiences with Biden: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Yang, Sen. Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke. 

A clever idea.

Next, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who reminded viewers he been a registered Democrat, a Republican and an independent, made a case for Biden’s economic proposals while slamming Trump.

The second-biggest star of the night was Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old from New Hampshire. Harrington has a speech impediment and he recalled meeting Biden and talking about their shared experience. He did a heck of a job delivering to the nation live. As someone who also has a speech impediment, his struggles hit very close to home, but it was beautiful and inspirational to watch him pull it off.

Then, it was Biden’s time to talk. His speech might have seemed long, but according to C-SPAN, it ended up being the shortest amount of time for a nomination acceptance speech since 1984.

Biden’s opening:

“The current president has cloaked American anger for far too long. Too much anger, too much division. Here and now I give you my word—if you entrust me with the presidency, I’ll draw on the best of us, not the worst.

“I’ll draw on the light, not the darkness. It’s time for us, for we the people to come together, and make no mistake, we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America. We’ll choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege.”

He spoke at length about the coronavirus.

“Our economy is in tatters, with Black, Latino, Asian American and Native American communities bearing the brunt of it. And after all this time, the president still does not have a plan. Well, I do. If I’m president on day one we’ll implement the national strategy I’ve been laying out since March. We’ll develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately.

“We’ll make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs. And we’ll make them here in America. So we will never again be at the mercy of China and other foreign countries in order to protect our own people. We’ll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe and effective.”

He spoke about racism:

“Just a week ago yesterday was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville. Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s?

“Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it? Remember what the president said? There were, “very fine people on both sides.” It was a wake-up call for us as a country. And for me, a call to action. At that moment, I knew I’d have to run.”

In conclusion:

May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation,” Biden concluded. “And this is a battle that we, together, will win. I promise you … God bless our troops.”

Here were some reactions:

Conservative critiques of the address:

Good night from the 2020 virtual National Democratic Convention:

Good morning after from print media:

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