Democrats kicked off night one of their convention with a well-orchestrated effort that organizers hope will put them well on the way to galvanizing the party and swaying some on the outside.
A number of big names highlighted the first night of this virtual convention. In addition, so many average Americans spoke that the common man seemed to take center stage. Still, the night will be remembered by the closing speech from former first lady Michelle Obama who did not hold back.
“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” Obama said.
“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what is.”
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It was a speech meant to appeal to humanity, while also making the case that it’s a necessary quality missing from the current Oval Office.
“Whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is utter chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy,” Obama said.
The virtual event was a mix of live and taped segments, including testimonials from citizens like Kristin Urquiza who lost her father to COVID-19.
“My dad was a healthy 65-year-old,” Urquiza said. “His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump and for that, he paid with his life.”
There were Republicans and former Republicans who spoke in support of Biden, including one who ran for president himself.
“In normal times, something like this would probably never happen, but these are not normal times,” former Ohio Gov. John Kasich said.
“I’ve registered as a Democrat for the first time in my life,” said a man named Eric in a taped testimonial.
And, at each opportunity, the party faithful raked President Trump over the coals for his handling of race relations and the pandemic.
“Donald Trump did not create the initial division, the division created Trump,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “He only made it worse.”
“Nero fiddled while Rome burned,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “Trump golfs.”
“We know that what’s going on in this county is just not right, this is not who we want to be,” Obama said.
The night opened and closed with prayer, obviously carefully designed to appeal to the faith audience which is believed by both sides to be a key demographic in this election.