The 2020 Democratic National Convention, held virtually August 17-20, declared Joe Biden the official Democratic presidential nominee for the 2020 election. Thousands tuned in to watch speakers such as Republican and former Ohio Governor John Kasich,former first lady Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama talk about a wide range of topics. Here are some takeaways from the convention:
Bridging the gap
Many of the speakers at this year’s DNC discussed the importance of working together to bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats. They said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is the right person to foster bipartisanship because he has experience working with both sides as a senator.
Former Republican Congress members, such as Susan Molinari and other self-described lifelong Republicans, spoke about why they were supporting Biden over President Donald Trump. Kasich talked about how Trump has “pitted one against the other” and how Biden could work to unify the country.
“I’m sure there are Republicans and independents that couldn’t imagine crossing over to support a Democrat," Kasich said. "They fear Joe may turn sharp left and leave them behind. I don’t believe that.”
Biden campaigned as a moderate candidate, opposing candidates with more progressive views such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who had the ability to relate to and work with Republicans and Democrats alike. In his final speech, he talked about wanting to work with both sides to move forward.
“While I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president,” Biden said. “I’ll work hard for those who didn’t for me, as hard for them as I did for those who did vote for me.”
Pete Buttigieg, former presidental candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said it’s important to work together to move forward on certain issues, such as gay rights.
“Imagine what we could achieve,” he said in his speech, "The coalition we are building this very season, gathering progressives and even former Republicans, to help build a future where everyone belongs.”
Throughout the convention, speakers such as Barack Obama also spoke to Biden’s character and ability to work with others, contrasting this with Trump’s partisan actions that have seemed to further the divide between Republicans and Democrats.
“What I quickly came to admire about him is his resilience, born of too much struggle; his empathy, born of too much grief," Obama said. "Joe’s a man who learned — early on — to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity."
Speakers at the 2020 DNC also spoke about the importance of voting.
Every night, hosts such as Kerry Washington and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and speakers such as Michelle and Barack Obama encouraged people to submit their absentee ballot applications as soon as possible and start working now to figure out the best way to vote.
Barack Obama and other speakers accused Trump of attempting to suppress votes and undermine the U.S. Postal Service.
In her speech, formerSecretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about how every vote counts.
“This can’t be another woulda coulda shoulda election,” she said. “Don’t forget, Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million votes and still lose. Take it from me.”
Some of the key issues discussed by Biden and the Democratic party included climate change, immigration reform and childcare for all.
Warren, who spoke on day three of the convention, told a personal story about struggling through work and motherhood because she couldn’t find good childcare and how her Aunt Bee helped by staying home with her kids.
“If you have a baby and don’t have an Aunt Bee, you’re on your own,” Warren said. “It's time to recognize that childcare is part of the basic infrastructure of this nation — it's infrastructure for families.”
Social issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, were also discussed. Buttigieg talked about his fight to be accepted as a gay politician and how it is important to make America a welcoming place for everyone. He mentioned Biden’s role in making gay marriage legal across the country.
“Love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible — including that of Joe Biden, who stepped out ahead of even this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land,” Buttigieg said.
Biden talked about his plan to tackle current issues, such as the pandemic and climate change.
“We can and we will deal with climate change,” Biden said. “It’s not only a crisis — it’s an enormous opportunity. An opportunity for America to lead the world in clean energy and create millions of new, good-paying jobs in the process.”
With 74 days until Election Day, Biden will continue to campaign virtually with Harris, some of Biden’s advisors said to reporters Thursday. His website and Facebook did not state plans for a next campaign event.