The opinions of the author are his own; they do not reflect those of GovSight, a non-biased news outlet.
The Democratic National Convention was a bit unconventional this year, to say the least. But COVID-19 didn’t stop top Dems from making their rallying cry heard behind Democratic Nominee Joe Biden and recently-announced running mate Kamala Harris. So live, from everyone’s respective bubbles, it’s the D.N.C.!
Night 1: Aug. 17, 2020
9:20 pm EST: The Democratic Party is at its best when it harkens itself to the party of Bruce Springsteen. The montage to his song “The Rising” is easily the most relatable early moment of the DNC.
GUEST NOTE! 9:22 pm EST: Almost 40% of Democrats are non-Christian or non-religious. It seems kind of awkward to me to open with a prayer. Plus, it is hard to tote that Democrats are the party of “separation of church and state” when the first thing you do is pray. -Andrew McKinney, GovSight Co-President
9:23 pm EST: Many young people may question the choice of Eva Longoria to host the convention as an example of the Democratic Party being out of touch with young voters. However, Longoria will appeal to the demographic the Democrats really need to win the election: suburban women.
9:32 pm EST: I’m sure this was recorded before this week… but in light of Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago, handling the BLM protests in her city this past week very poorly is sure to face backlash from organizers.
9:41 pm EST: Clyburn was excellent and he just touched on a theme that helped him bring Joe Biden the huge victory in the South Carolina primary, the idea that “we know Joe, but Joe knows us,” is a concept this convention should focus on.
9:44 pm EST: I cannot believe that Cuomo just said that “Covid is a symptom” of larger issues… that was not a good line.
9:49 pm EST: No one outside of New York is going to understand the “America Tough” Cuomo reference.
9:55 pm EST: It’s really important for many dedicated Democrats to keep in mind that a lot of this programming is not explicitly for them. The goal is to reach undecided voters and expand the Democratic voter base.
9:57 pm EST: Woah, I’m shocked to see Sara Gideon, Dem Nominee for Senate in Maine, introducing Maggie Rogers. That is a significant amount of time to offer a Senate Candidate in this shortened convention format.
10:03 pm EST: Governor Whitmer is highlighting another key Democratic strategy. It is no longer the Obama administration, it was the Obama Biden Administration. Look for a lot of credit being given to Biden for accomplishments under President Obama.
10:04 pm EST: Governor Whitmer keeps mentioning the Auto Workers Union; she even had a UAW flag up on the side. Considering the Auto Workers could literally decide the entire election, this is something that should have been expected, especially from Whitmer’s speech.
10:08 pm EST: A little surprising to see the late GOP additions, both of the Whitmans and Rep Molinari, to the schedule.
10:10 pm EST: That Kasich visual was very goofy. What is not goofy however is the former incredibly popular Governor of the quintessential swing state, Ohio, endorsing Joe Biden wholeheartedly. This is the best speech so far, and the underlying message of Kasich crossing party lines, underscores it even more.
10:15 pm EST: Senator Doug Jones by far and away faces the toughest Democratic reelection battle of 2020. However, as an early endorser of Biden and someone who has worked to build his relations in the Capital and Capitol, look for him to be a key cabinet candidate if he doesn’t beat Tommy Tuberville.
10:20 pm EST: Catherine Cortez-Masto hammers home two huge things Democrats want people to take away from their convention: both the dismantling of the USPS AND the importance of winning down ballot races.
10:22 pm EST: In 2016 when clearly angling for the Attorney General’s job Chris Christie’s speech at the RNC focuses significantly on issues relating to Hillary Clinton’s past record and “Law and Order”... things Republicans wanted to see from prospective AGs at that point. Klobuchar, one of the leading candidates to be Joe Biden’s AG, is taking a very different approach and giving a solid speech discussing her fondness of Joe Biden.
10:30 pm EST: Rep Cedric Richmond makes a crucial point on the Democratic message: the economy is about a lot more than just the stock market, it’s about how valued, included, and empowered people feel within the economy.
10:32 pm EST: Surprised it took us an hour and a half to get to Amtrak. I think positioning this segment about being “more than a job” is an incredible way to spin it to be relatable as well.
10:36 pm EST: Bernie Sanders wants no part in the narrative that occurred in 2016 that he did not do enough to help Hillary Clinton and led to Trump winning. He’s going all out for Biden and this speech shows it.
10:41 pm EST: Bernie is now doing what is most likely to get his supporters to vote for Joe: going through a laundry list of progessive policies that Biden supports.
10:47 pm EST: Michelle Obama is, quite literally, the most popular politically associated person in America. She is the obvious choice to headline tonight and her draw certainly kept viewers watching. Using her to hammer down how important it is to simply go out and vote is an excellent way to use her popularity.
11:02 pm EST: This speech is going to be nearly impossible for anyone to top this week. Michelle Obama, even four years later, remains the Democratic Party’s top asset.
Night 2: Aug. 18, 2020
9:03 pm EST: A keynote’s goal is to highlight a key member of the party who is usually either a rising star or overlooked for whatever reason. The ability to use the keynote in these times to highlight SEVERAL key rising stars within the party is an excellent decision.
9:07 pm EST: Another great tactic by the Biden campaign in splitting this speech up essentially allowed them to write the whole thing. No wonder it is so focused on Joe Biden’s story.
9:17 pm EST: Stacey Abrams followed by Sally Yates? That’s a lot of Georgia at the DEMOCRATIC Convention. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Georgia is a swing state this year.
9:21 pm EST: I understand that conventions are a place in which the old guard reign supreme, but Chuck Schumer has no national appeal. Like yes, I understand that the Senate Leader is going to speak, and this speech in which he lays out what he’ll do with Biden in charge and a blue senate is actually pretty good, it’s just… no one wants this.
9:26 pm EST: On a night that started with young stars, going from Schumer to Kennedy’s is… interesting. This feels like they are trying to lay a foundation for Caroline Kennedy’s son to run for something. Also, will this have an impact on the Kennedy v Markey race?
9:29 pm EST: On a night that highlights “respect” as one of the key values of the Democratic Party, the DNC offers… Bill Clinton. No further comment.
9:33 pm EST: It is really interesting that Bill Clinton is discussing rural issues. It makes a lot of sense that as the former Gov of Arkansas would certainly be an excellent messenger on the issue, but I do wonder, does anyone still think of the Clinton’s as hailing from Arkansas? I feel like they are firmly understood to be East Coast Elite now.
9:35 pm EST: Tom Perez discussing the progressive movement is pretty rich.
9:39 pm EST: Progressives are pretty angry that AOC has only been given 1 minute at the DNC. While she may be a rising star, she has yet to endorse Biden. Not the way you secure a large speaking spot at his convention.
9:41 pm EST: Jaquelyn’s endorsement meant way more than the New York Times’ endorsement ever did for Joe Biden.
10:23 pm EST: Hammering home how Donald Trump has tried to take away health care during the pandemic, especially after what having health care has allowed his family, hit close to home. It is one of the best points everyone is sure to trust him on.
10:39 pm EST: The foreign policy montage with Biden standing with American allies, followed by the images of Trump standing with American enemies, especially Kim Jong UN, was just a stunning contrasting visual. Following it with Colin Powell crossing party lines makes it that much better too.
10:49 pm EST: Jill Biden is beloved by so many. This introductory video is amazingly well done, and the Biden campaign has a serious political talent on their hands with Jill. Using “American Girl” as a song to have in the background of this montage was perfection.
10:58 pm EST: With so many Americans going through unthinkable tragedy due to the pandemic, Jill Biden discussing how to make a family whole again following loss is certainly to be heard by so many facing the hardships of the pandemic. This speech is incredibly relatable.
Night 3: Aug. 19, 2020
9:01 pm EST: Using Kamala to make a direct appeal about voting for her speech makes the message cut through that much more. Good use of the VP Nominee.
9:07 pm EST: An overwhelming number of Americans support universal background checks and gun control measures. Gun reform is a winning issue for Democrats.
9:17 pm EST: Already, with the early focus on Gun Control and Climate Policy, this has been the most policy oriented evening of the convention so far.
9:18 pm EST: Part of me is surprised that Gov Lujan Grisham is getting to give the speech on climate change over Gov Inslee. However, Gov Lujan Grisham is perhaps someone whose name we should start learning. She was a leading VP contender and she is sure to end up in the Cabinet.
9:21 pm EST: I’m shocked that it took so long for a Democrat to use a line tying clean energy and climate change specifically to jobs. Some of the best his comms team has come up with.
9:46 pm EST: This segment highlighting women’s rights has me once again thinking about who the headliners were for the first three nights of the convention: Michelle, Jill, and Kamala. All women.
9:50 pm EST: This feels like Hillary’s last act. She, more than anyone else, put the largest cracks in the glass ceiling and warned America the most over Donald Trump. She’s focused on the issues, and is not messing around. Her message is simple: Vote for Joe.
9:56 pm EST: This montage has made Nancy Pelosi look cooler than she ever has. This speech is well done too.
10:12 pm EST: With Sherrod Brown making an appearance in this video, it has me thinking how Ohio Democrats must feel after John Kasich, their political foe for decades, got a primetime speaking slot while their appearances have been very limited.
10:19 pm EST: Elizabeth Warren is giving one of the most relatable speeches of the entire convention. So many Americans, especially during the pandemic, understand the struggles of childcare. While she may not be the nominee, Warren is showing that she’s still got a plan for that, and in order to get the, Americans need to vote for Joe.
10:28 pm EST: Obama offers one of the most stunning criticisms any former president has offered of the office’s current occupant. He says Trump has failed and won’t take the job seriously. With as much going on tonight as there is, this is an incredibly direct speech from the former president getting as political as he has in a very long time.
11:10 pm EST: Kamala, in the end, was the perfect candidate to join Biden. Young and Old, they represent exactly what he wants from his administration: a bridge to the future.
Night 4: Aug. 20, 2020
9:05 pm EST: Andrew Yang gets his well-deserved speaking time at the DNC. His candidacy managed to reach so many that were not typical Democrats discussing AI and UBI. Don’t expect him to fade off into the distance as many non-elected also-rans have faded in the past.
9:07 pm EST: Well mark me down as someone not expecting an appearance by President Selina Meyer. And wow, she really is not holding back.
9:15 pm EST: This early part focusing on Joe Biden’s faith is really interesting. This is directly aimed at swing voters, but also walking the line very carefully: I’ve yet to hear the term “God,” yet “faith” is constant. Really interesting, and likely strong, rhetorical choice.
9:24 pm EST: Atlanta has such a rich liberal tradition within a state of deep conservatism. Having Keisha Lance-Bottoms talk about John Lewis’ legacy of battling voter suppression, in a state run by Brian Kemp, may be lost on those who are not serious politicos. However, for those who know that history, this is deep.
9:39 pm EST: I understand why Jon Meacham would get a speaking slot… but that fell flat. That time could have gone, and should have gone, to someone else like Sherrod Brown who could have made a significant impact in Ohio or Val Demmings to help turn Florida blue.
9:49 pm EST: I am still surprised that Cory Booker’s campaign did not do better this time around. He’s sure to be in the discussion for a cabinet position.
9:56 pm EST: If Joe Biden is going to win Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin will be a large reason why. Using her to specifically talk about healthcare, an issue that Democrats believe they can win on, is an excellent use of her time.
10:06 pm EST: Tammy Duckworth has sacrificed more for America than most people can even begin to fathom. She’s the perfect choice for Democrats to discuss the military.
10:11 pm EST: Mayor Pete is one of the brightest young stars in the Democratic Party. When Pete endorsed Joe, Joe said that Pete reminded him of Beau. His speeches are always excellent, and giving this one from where he got married is an excellent rhetorical choice. He will figure very prominently in the next administration.
10:20 pm EST: My guess is that giving Mike Bloomberg a key speaking spot at the convention has to come with the hope that he will spend big money this fall. Otherwise, there are so many better choices for this slot. East coast elites who tend to dominate the Democratic Party have to realize Bloomberg really does not have much national appeal.
10:23 pm EST: Wait how did he not flinch at all after a fly landed on his face!?!?!
10:48 pm EST: Joe Biden, right at the beginning, drives home the main point of his campaign: that he will choose good and try, restore the soul of the nation and be a president for everyone, a uniter.
10:50 pm EST: Biden just used Obama’s “we’re not a collection of red states and blue states” line. That line is the one that propelled Obama to stardom.
10:55 pm EST: The direct thank you to Obama shows another thing Biden’s camp is trying very hard to do: put back together the Obama-Coalition. Considering how popular Obama is in America today, it is not a bad strategy.
10:58 pm EST: Using this speech to directly lay out his National Strategy for COVID-19 is another excellent choice for the Biden Camp.
11:07 pm EST: This is the angriest we have seen Joe Biden on the campaign trail. It is providing an excellent foil to the happy-style he usually brings to the stage by displaying his passion for what he is talking about.
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