Former U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., won the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. Presidency on Tuesday night U.S. time (Wednesday morning India time). The nomination was expected and confirmed on Day 2 of the virtual Democratic Convention by way of a virtual roll call across 57 States and territories.
Also read: Tracing Joe Biden's journey to Washington
The “Roll Call Across America” was a virtual substitute for what normally happens: an in-person roll call at the Convention venue (in Milwaukee this year), which could not be held due to the pandemic. Delegates from diverse locations, including one standing in front of livestock on a Montana ranch and some on a beach in American Samoa, declared, for their respective territories, the number of votes cast for Mr. Biden and his main challenger, progressive candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.
Prior to the roll call, former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, delivered messages of support for Mr. Biden’s candidacy. Day Two of the Convention was also forward looking: featuring young and future leaders of the party. The keynote address was unconventional: video messages from close to 50 individuals, including 17 elected Democratic officials, most of them young leaders.
Continuing a theme introduced by former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who said, “It is what it is” about U.S. President Donald Trump’s fitness for the top job, Mr. Clinton elaborated on the origins of that phrase — an Axios interview of Mr. Trump in early August.
“When asked about the surge in deaths, he [Mr. Trump] shrugged and said, ‘It is what it is,’” Mr. Clinton said.
“If you want a President who defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media, he’s your man. Denying, distracting, and demeaning works great if you’re trying to entertain and inflame. But in a real crisis, it collapses like a house of cards,” Mr. Clinton said.
“COVID doesn’t respond to any of that. To beat it, you’ve got to go to work and deal with the facts. Our party is united in offering you a very different choice: a go-to-work president. A down-to-earth, get-the-job-done guy,” he said.
‘Right person for this moment’
Mr. Carter spoke of Mr. Biden’s experience as a family caregiver, as a young widower – and more recently when his son Beau Biden died of cancer in 2015. Calling Mr. Biden a “loyal and dedicated friend,” he said Mr. Biden was the “right person for this moment” in America’s history.
“He understands that honesty and dignity are essential traits that determine not only our vision but our actions. More than ever, that’s what we need,” Mr. Carter said. Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter also delivered an audio message.
Also featured was one of the potential future leaders of the Democratic party, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Queens, New York. Ms. Cortez spoke for about a minute and a half to second the candidacy of Mr. Sanders.
She used her time to praise the political “movement” headed by Mr. Sanders, which she characterised in part as, “a mass people's movement working to establish 21st century social, economic and human rights, including guaranteed health care, higher education, living wages and labour rights for all people in the United States.”
Other speakers for the evening included former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, daughter of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy Caroline Kennedy and her son, as well as former Republican Secretary of State Staff Colin Powell.
“With Joe Biden in the White House, you will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and stand up to our adversaries — never the other way around. He will trust our diplomats and our intelligence community, not the flattery of dictators and despots,” Mr. Powell said.
The programming ended with a segment on former Second Lady of the U.S. Jill Biden (Mr. Biden’s wife).
This featured clips of how Mr. and Ms. Biden met, after the former Vice President’s daughter and first wife were killed in a car crash and Mr. Biden was raising two boys.
“How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole,” Ms. Biden said. “With love and understanding — and with small acts of kindness. With bravery. With unwavering faith.”
A live shot of Ms. Biden, a professor of English and a former school teacher, standing in an empty classroom followed.
“Yes, so many classrooms are quiet right now,” she said.
“…With Joe as president, these classrooms will ring out with laughter and possibility once again.”
Mr. Biden and his running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will formally accept their nominations on Thursday (Friday, India time).