DNC to make history with Kamala Harris nomination: Live updates

Democratic stalwarts including Pelosi, Clinton and Obama to make a case for newly nominated Biden on Wednesday night.

  • Democrats nominated former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday night. Wednesday will see Democratic luminaries like former State Secretary and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak, along with Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, the first Black, Asian American vice-presidential candidate.
  • The convention has seen an unexpectedly high number of Republicans endorse Biden with an outsized share of screentime for members of the opposing party. The endorsements have caused some to question whether the Democrats’ rising progressive wing, headed by Senator Bernie Sanders, is being sidelined.  
  • Former President Barack Obama, the party’s lionised figurehead, will give the final speech about his former vice president. Obama is expected to touch on Biden’s decency, a common theme of the convention, along with his policy proposals. 

Here are the latest updates: 

Wednesday, August 19 

00:05 GMT – DNC viewership trails 2016 numbers 

US television ratings for the second night of the DNC fell short of the same night in 2016, according to Nielsen data, even as Democrats formally nominated Biden.

The event, which was held virtually for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was watched by roughly 19.2 million people on 10 US broadcast and cable television networks, said Nielsen.

That represented a 22 percent decline from the convention’s second night in 2016, when Clinton was running for president.

Nielsen’s numbers did not include online viewing options popular with younger audiences.

Tuesday’s television audience dropped by 500,000 from opening night on Monday, which featured appearances from former first lady Michelle Obama and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Monday’s viewership of 19.7 million was down 24 percent from 2016. 

23:38 GMT – Clinton to stress the need to vote  

Former State Secretary Clinton, who challenged Trump in 2016, is expected to call on voters to turn out for Biden during her speech at the DNC.

“For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realise how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst, ‘I should have voted.’ Well, this can’t be another woulda coulda shoulda election. If you vote by mail, request your ballot now, and send it back as soon as you can”, she will say, according to prepared remarks released before the event. 

Clinton was heavily favoured to win in 2016 and did win the popular vote, but Trump’s victory in several “swing” states, often by razor-thin margins, clenched his victory in the Electoral Colege. 

“If you vote in person, do it early. Bring a friend and wear a mask. Become a poll worker. Most of all, no matter what, vote. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are.”

22:23 GMT – Obama to deliver harsh criticism of Trump

Former President Barack Obama looks poised to deliver his sharpest critique of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, after three years of largely upholding the political norm that presidents not criticise their successors.  

“He’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves,” Obama will say, according to prepared remarks released ahead of the event. 

Obama’s comments echo those of his wife, Michelle, who delivered a speech sharply critical of Trump’s demeanour and handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday night, saying, “he’s in over his head.” 

Trump has long criticised the Obama administration as corrupt and incompetent. 

Obama will also speak about his relationship with Biden.

“Twelve years ago, when I began my search for a vice president, I didn’t know I’d end up finding a brother,” he was expected to say. “Joe and I came from different places and different generations. But what I quickly came to admire about him is his resilience, born of too much struggle; his empathy, born of too much grief.”

21:36 GMT – Harris expected to use prosecutorial skills on Trump 

Vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor from California who made history as the first Black woman and Asian American on a major US presidential ticket, is expected to aggressively press the case against Trump’s re-election on November 3 during her speech at the convention.

Harris will likely aim to speak directly to millions of women, young Americans and voters of colour, constituencies the party needs if Biden is to defeat Republican Trump.

At our core, @JoeBiden and I share the same values: it all starts with family.https://t.co/4ReInUXHSJ

She gained prominence in the Senate for her exacting interrogations of Trump nominees, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General Bill Barr.

Harris is sure to continue with criticisms over Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn.

She provided a preview of her role as Biden’s VP candidate last week, when she argued that the case against Trump, 74, and Vice President Mike Pence, 61, was “open and shut”.

21:15 GMT – What to expect on the DNC’s third night 

Democrats are going to make US history with Kamala Harris as the vice-presidential nominee, backed by party heavy-hitters like former State Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. 

Clinton, who challenged Trump in 2016 as the US’s first female presidential candidate, is likely to speak on the importance of women voting as 2020 marks the 100-year anniversary of the success of the women’s suffrage movement.

Obama is likely to use his significant oratory skills to motivate voters to turn out for Biden, for the sake of his former vice president – and his own legacy. 

Read more here. 

21:02 GMT – DNC’s second night watched by 18.2 million people 

A total of 18.2 million people watched the second night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, according to early Nielsen Media Research.

Tuesday evening featured a keynote address delivered by 17 rising stars of the Democratic Party, a coast-to-coast roll call of delegates, appearances by former US President Bill Clinton and former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and John Kerry, and a headline speech from Joe Biden’s wife, Jill.

Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden for president, more than three decades after his first unsuccessful run for the White House.

The viewership total dropped by about 500,000 from the first night, Nielsen said. 

20:32 GMT – Trump lashes out at Goodyear

US President Donald Trump used his Twitter account to “cancel” Goodyear Tires over an image reportedly from one of their factories which “banned” Make America Great Again hats and “Thin Blue Line” apparel, which is used to show support for police, according to the president. 

Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).

“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!),” Trump tweeted, in an apparent reference to “cancel culture”, which liberal activists call on others to stop supporting a person or brand whose conduct they find problematic. 

Goodyear released a statement following the publication of “the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate.” 

Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. pic.twitter.com/oO6jUg2rTR

The company did ask associated to “refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues”.

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