Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden for president on Tuesday, vowing his election would repair a pandemic-battered America and put an end to the chaos that has defined Republican President Donald Trump’s administration.
The second night of the party’s four-night national convention, under the theme “Leadership Matters,” featured elder statesmen like former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, rising stars of the Democratic Party as well as prominent Republicans, who made the case that Biden would return integrity to the White House and normalcy to American lives.
Biden’s wife, Jill, an educator, delivered the headline speech from a Delaware high school where she once taught, offering a deeply personal account of how their love helped him heal after his first wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident.
“I never imagined at the age of 26 I would be asking myself, ‘How do you make a broken family whole?’” she said. The answer, she said, is the same for a broken nation: “With love and understanding.”
“If we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole,” she said.
Throughout the evening, Democratic leaders contrasted Biden’s long experience with what they described as Trump’s deadly mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak and his willingness to corrupt democratic institutions.
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“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center,” Clinton said in a prerecorded video. “Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos. Just one thing never changes – his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame.”
With the four-day convention largely virtual due to the coronavirus, delegates from around the country cast votes remotely to confirm Biden as the nominee in a coast-to-coast roll call that drew instant raves on social media.
In clips that showcased the party’s diversity, Democrats explained why they were supporting Biden while putting their own state-specific spin on the proceedings, from a calamari appetizer in Rhode Island to a herd of cattle in Montana.
After hearing from his home state of Delaware, which went last in his honor, Biden appeared live alongside Jill Biden to thank the party for nominating him, more than three decades after his first unsuccessful run for the White House.
“Thank you very, very much from the bottom of my heart,” said Biden, who will deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday. “It means the world to me and my family.”