5 takeaways from day 4 of the Democratic convention

For the first three nights of the Democratic National Convention, speaker after speaker hammered Donald Trump over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as what they portrayed as the president’s defective character. As they contrasted Trump’s failings with what they touted as Joe Biden’s decency and good judgment, the proceedings leading up to Thursday’s acceptance speech for the nomination painted the current state of the union in generally gloomy terms. That set up Biden to explain his plans to steer the nation in a more hopeful direction and to try to convince skeptics that he is up to the task of seeing them through.

Here are the key takeaways from day 4 of the DNC.

Biden lays out a plan to renew American ‘purpose’

Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, a goal that he set his sights on decades earlier. In a forceful speech, he did not sugarcoat what awaited him should he defeat Trump in the general election, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the sharp economic downturn resulting from it, the systemic racism that continues to endure in the United States, and the unfolding disaster of climate change. Biden used his speech to make the case that he would govern with a steady hand and would not follow Trump’s lead in inciting partisan division.

“While I’ll be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I’ll work hard for those who didn’t support me, as hard for them as I did for those who did vote for me,” Biden said, adding, “I will draw on the best of us, not the worst of us. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”

His speech, in which he avoided using Trump’s name, was classic Biden. It was aimed at the American middle class and at blue-collar workers, steering clear, for the most part, of identity politics and instead appealing to voters across the political spectrum.

If Trump were to be reelected, Biden said, “working families will struggle to get by, and yet the 1 percent will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks, and the assault on the Affordable Care Act will continue until it is destroyed, taking insurance away from more than 20 million people — including 15 million people on Medicaid.”

Some of the strongest sections of his speech dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed more than 174,000 Americans.

103 PHOTOSDNC 2020See GalleryDNC 2020Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband Doug Emhoff are joined on stage by Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife Jill Biden, during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)In this image from video, former President Barack Obama speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden leads a conversation on racial justice with Art Acevedo, Jamira Burley, Gwen Carr, Derrick Johnson and Lori Lightfoot during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former First Lady Michelle Obama addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)In this image from video, Eva Longoria, serving as moderator, speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris speaks in a video recorded montage during the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Republican, Former Ohio Governor John Kasich addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, CEO of Quibi Meg Whitman addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)In this image from video, Megan Rapinoe of Orlando, Fla., not seen, leads a discussion with Michelle Boyle of Pittsburgh, Bradley Driefuss of Tucscon, Ariz., and Trung Le of Simsbury, Conn., and Aldo Martinez of Fort Myers, Fla., participate in a conversation with frontline workers battling the coronavirus pandemic speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Megan Rapinoe of Orlando, Fla., Michelle Boyle of Pittsburgh, Bradley Driefuss of Tucscon, Ariz., and Trung Le of Simsbury, Conn., and Aldo Martinez of Fort Myers, Fla., participate in a conversation with frontline workers battling the coronavirus pandemic during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Megan Rapinoe of Orlando, Fla., speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Maggie Rogers performs “Back In My Body” during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Maggie Rogers performs “Back In My Body” during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Kristin Urquiza of San Francisco, speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., speaks from Charleston, S.C., during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks from Albany, N.Y., during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden leads a conversation on racial justice with Art Acevedo, Jamira Burley, Gwen Carr, Derrick Johnson and Lori Lightfoot during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)Rep. Gwen Moore, D-WI., waits her turn to speak during the Democratic National Convention at the Wisconsin Center on August 17, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(Scott Olson/Pool via AP)Rep. Gwen Moore, D-WI., speaks during the Democratic National Convention at the Wisconsin Center on August 17, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(Scott Olson/Pool via AP)In this image from video, Leon Bridges performs “Sweeter” during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Leon Bridges performs “Sweeter” during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)Rep. Gwen Moore, D-WI., speaks during the Democratic National Convention at the Wisconsin Center on August 17, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(Scott Olson/Pool via AP)In this image from video, Philonise Floyd, right, and Rodney Floyd speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., speaks at the Democratic National Convention Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)In this image from video, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, farmer Rick Telesz of Volant, Pa., speaks with Eva Longoria, serving as moderator, during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Marley Dias of West Orange N.J., speaks with Eva Longoria, serving as moderator, during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Michelle Beebe of El Paso, Texas, speaks with Eva Longoria, serving as moderator, during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, grandchildren of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, including Finnegan Biden, Hunter Biden, Natalie Biden, Naomi Bisden and Maisy Biden, lead the Pledge of Allegiance during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Scott Richardson of Swarthmore, Pa., speaks as he talks with Eva Longoria, serving as moderator, during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rev. Gabriel Salguero delivers the invocation during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Eva Longoria, serving as moderator, speaks during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)The control room for the Democratic National Convention is seen before the start of the convention Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)The control room for the Democratic National Convention is seen before the start of the convention Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)The control room for the Democratic National Convention is seen before the start of the convention Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, actress and activist Eva Longoria speaks to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) during the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 17: In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020.The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)(Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)In this image from video, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Mariska Hargitay of New York, speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Billie Eilish performs “My Future” during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Prince Royce performs “Stand By Me” during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Katherine Lorenzo of Las Vegas, speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Katherine Lorenzo of Las Vegas, speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisc. (Stephen Voss/Pool via AP)In this image from video, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks in front of solar panels during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Kerry Washington, serving as moderator, speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, DeAndra Dycus of Indianapolis, speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Kerry Washington, serving as moderator, speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)State name signs near the stage where Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will speak on third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)The outside of the Chase Center where Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will speak during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)In this image from video, Aliitama Sotoa and Petti Matila of American Samoa speak during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Gilbert Alaquinez of Arkansas speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Reuben Gill of Missouri speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Carmen Walters, president of Tougaloo College, speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rachel Prevost of Montana speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Geraldine Waller of Nebraska speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, New Mexico State Rep. Derrick Lente speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Marisol Garcia of Arizona speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., left, and rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., speak during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Cozzie Watkins of North Carolina speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, North Dakota delegate speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Nola Kileleman His of the Northern Mariana Islands speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Alicia Andrews speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Travis Nelson of Oregon, right, speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Carmelo Rios-Santiago of Puerto Rico, speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Keely Sage of Tennessee speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Jamie Harrison, South Carolina Senate candidate, speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Kellen Returns From Scout of South Dakota speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and his wife Jane, right, watch as Vermont votes in state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, John Legend performs “Never Break” during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Georgia State Sen. Nikema Williams speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Jill Biden, is joined by her husband, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, after speaking during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Jill Biden, wife of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Jill Biden, wife of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Sarah Thomas Nededog of Guam speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Amy Agbayani of Hawaii, speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Ady Barkan, speaking from Santa Barbara, Calif., during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, former Secretary of State John Kerryspeaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., speaks during the roll call during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, Tracee Ellis Ross, serving as moderator, speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is joined on stage by her husband Doug Emhoff after she spoke during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)In this image from video, former President Barack Obama speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)In this image from video, former President Barack Obama speaks during the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)Up Next

See Gallery

Biden pledged that, if elected, his “first step will be to get control of the virus that has ruined so many lives. Because I understand something this president hasn’t from the beginning: We will never get our economy back on track, we will never get our kids safely back in schools, we will never have our lives back, until we deal with this virus.”

This week, Biden proposed a nationwide mask mandate to slow the spread of COVID-19, and on Thursday he argued that the lack of leadership on this issue has made the pandemic worse.

“The tragedy that we face today is that it didn’t have to be this bad. The president keeps waiting around, looking for a miracle. Well, I have news for him: Mr. President, no miracle is coming,” Biden said.

If he wins, Biden, who is 77, would be the oldest person ever inaugurated as president of the United States. He has been repeatedly attacked by Trump, the current holder of that record, who likes to claim that the former vice president is not cognitively “all there.” But Biden’s speech, with the exception of a few minor stumbles, came off as persuasive and well-organized, somewhat like the Democratic convention itself, the first ever virtual political convention in the nation’s history.

That left Trump to try a different tack in responding to the attacks being made against him.

Brayden Harrington gives emotional speech on Biden’s gift for empathy

On a night when it sometimes felt as though the speakers who preceded Biden were instructed not to overshadow the Democratic presidential nominee on his big night, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington turned in a stand-out performance.

“About a few months ago, I met [Joe Biden] in New Hampshire. He told me that we were members of the same club: We stutter,” Harrington said in a courageous appearance at Thursday’s convention. “It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president.”

Biden — who has spoken frequently about his struggles with stuttering when he was younger — met Harrington at a February campaign rally in Concord, N.H., chatting with the boy on the rope line before inviting him backstage.

“I’m just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that bothered me my whole life,” Harrington said at the convention. “Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us.”

A stand-up defense of voting by mail

Comedian Sarah Cooper, whose Trump lip-sync impersonations have made her a household name among Democrats, took on a serious issue Thursday night: the president’s efforts to cast doubt on the integrity of voting by mail.

“I’ve heard Donald Trump say some pretty unhinged things. I’ve heard them over and over and over again. But nothing is more dangerous to our democracy than his attacks on mail-in voting during a pandemic,” Cooper said. “OK, here’s the truth: Donald Trump doesn’t want any of us to vote, because he knows he can’t win fair and square. So whether you plan to vote by mail or in person wearing a mask, it is your vote, and it is your right. Don’t let Donald Trump take that away from you.”

Next up, two top state election officials, Alex Padilla of California and Jocelyn Benson of Michigan, took aim at misconceptions spread by the president.

“So let’s talk about this election,” Padilla said. “Despite what he says, Donald Trump can’t cancel it, but he and Republicans are making it too hard for so many to cast their ballots, and now he’s attacking vote by mail, to distract and confuse voters.”

Benson, who has warned of potential chaos surrounding election results this year, noted that the president himself had voted by mail.

“Let’s be clear: There is absolutely no difference between voting by mail and absentee,” Benson said. “Millions of Americans have been voting absentee for decades. Donald Trump, his family, his staff, they all vote by mail.”

At the same time Democrats at the convention were vouching for the integrity of mail-in voting, the president was being interviewed on the Fox News program “Hannity.”

“It’s a fraudulent election,” Trump said, of the mail-in ballots being sent to voters. “Everybody knows it.”

Democratic primary election: The reunion show

For a moment, the DNC felt as though it had morphed into a reality television show bringing back the former Democratic presidential candidates, along the lines of a reunion episode of shows like “Real Housewives” or “The Bachelor.”

Sen. Cory Booker, who had delivered a stand-alone speech earlier in the evening, hosted the Zoom-style call, which included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and businessman Andrew Yang. It was meant to interject some levity into the proceedings after the focus on the pandemic and on Trump’s time in office, and the candidates reminisced about moments on the campaign trail, many of which reflected positively on the man who finally won the primary race.

“You can think of this sort of like ‘Survivor’: the interviews with all the people that got voted off the island,” Booker said, to laughter from the panel.

“Bernie, don’t you laugh,” Booker quipped, “because I’ve got questions for you, like: ‘Why does my girlfriend like you more than she likes me?’”

“Because she’s smarter than you, and that’s the obvious answer,” Sanders responded.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus tells jokes

Thanks to the choice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of the TV comedy series “Veep,” as host of Thursday’s proceedings, a lighter tone pervaded from the start. But it quickly became apparent how difficult an assignment Louis-Dreyfus had been given, in part because the subject at hand was not exactly a laughing matter.

“I’m here tonight to remind you that Joe Biden not only knows how to read, he reads everything,” Dreyfus joked, alluding to Trump’s assertion that he had not read his presidential daily briefing on the U.S. intelligence finding that Russia had paid bounties for killing U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.

“Just remember, Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he doesn’t even need tear gas and a bunch of federal troops to help him get there,” Dreyfus quipped of Trump’s decision to use federal troops to clear protesters from Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., before posing for a photo opportunity in front of St. John’s Church. The joke came just moments after a heartfelt video about Biden’s faith had finished playing.

With debate raging on social media about whether Louis-Dreyfus’s jokes were landing, the host pressed on, urging viewers to send a text to the number 30330, a line the Biden campaign has set up to help people vote.

“30330. That would be the president’s golf score if he didn’t cheat,” the actress said. “OK, look, I’ll admit that was a little nasty. But we all know he’s a cheater. And I’m proud to be a nasty, nasty woman.”

 

 

Read more from Yahoo News:

  • You don’t need the U.S. Postal Service to deliver your mail-in ballot

  • Trump says children are ‘almost immune’ to COVID-19. Doctors don’t agree.

  • Memorable moments from past conventions

  • Should you send your child back to school? Here’s how to weigh the coronavirus risks

  • How the coronavirus could change college sports forever

Source: Read Full Article