Night 2 of the 2020 DNC Is Highlighted by Jill Biden’s Closing Speech and a Virtual Roll Call

By A.J. Katz 

Joe Biden, 77, has officially secured the 2020 Democratic Party nomination for president.

Night 2 of the 2020 Democratic National Convention might not have delivered the punch that first lady Michelle Obama did on the opening night, but a strong case can be made that its lineup of speakers was deeper.

Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, closed the evening with some poignant remarks about her husband from the Delaware high school at which she taught from 1991-1993.


“We have shown that the heart of this nation still beats with kindness and courage,” she said. “That’s the soul of America Joe Biden is fighting for now.” She added: “If you listen closely, you can hear the sparks of change in the air. … Americans of all walks of life are putting their shoulders back, fighting for each other. We haven’t given up”

An interesting tidbit about Jill Biden’s video:

Remarks from former president Bill Clinton were more fiery than those from the former second lady. Clinton slammed the president’s response to the pandemic. “Our choice is Joe Biden. At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos. One thing never changes: His [Donald Trump] determination to deny responsibility and shift  … the buck never stops there,” he said.

Former secretaries of state, both Democrat (John Kerry) and Republican (Colin Powell), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, ALS patient and activist Ady Barkan and Cindy McCain (wife of the late Sen. John McCain) were other high-profile personalities who participated in Night 2.

Sen. Bernie Sanders was formally nominated by the aforementioned Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, who promoted the progressive movement within the Democratic Party during her remarks. She shared a positive message in support of Biden later in the evening.


The opening keynote wasn’t a traditional one. It featured videos from 17 new state senators and representatives from across the nation, talking about why they ran for local office, the issues they support and why they support Joe Biden. Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams also checked in, remotely.

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross, best known for her role on ABC’s Black-ish, then joined the broadcast as the moderator of Night 2, beaming in from Los Angeles to provide opening remarks.

Other high-profile personalities to speak during the 9 p.m. ET hour included former acting AG Sally Yates, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Caroline Kennedy with her son, DNC chairman Tom Perez and former presidents Jimmy Carter and Clinton.

A virtual roll call followed, and it was perhaps the most interesting part of the convention.

The roll call consisted of videos, some live and others taped, showing delegates from 50 states and seven territories, and a mix of politicians and diverse, everyday citizens providing messages from their respective states, and doing so before expressing their support for their candidate. The participants then cast the number of delegates for Sen. Sanders and the number of delegates for Biden.

Delaware initially passed on its nomination (so they could go last). At the conclusion of the video, per convention tradition, the nominee’s home state, Delaware, put Biden over the top. Gov. John Carney and Sen. Tom Carper beamed in from the Amtrak station in Wilmington, Del., a station to which Biden famously rode home each night to be with his family while serving in the Senate.

The Delaware senator-turned vice president, Biden was officially nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate—and the DNC video showed a nationwide virtual party for him, with delegates in all U.S. states and territories celebrating. Biden accepted the nomination from a high school library where his wife taught, joined in person by Jill Biden and his grandkids.

Needless to say, this television production maneuver of going state to state, many times live, was far from easy. In a sign of the socially distanced times, many appeared solo to speak or with people who stood far apart and many wore masks.  There were some technical hiccups but overall it moved briskly.

A speaker from one state even came with a plate of calamari (we’ll expound on that later).

What did the media Twittersphere think of Night 2? There was love for the roll call:


Rhode Island’s memorable roll call:

Dr. Biden’s walk to a camera cut got a well-deserved shout out.