Key Takeaways from the Democratic National Convention

The DNC concluded with Biden and Harris as the official Democratic nominees. Here are four takeaways from the historic event.

What Happened:

The first remote Democratic National Convention (DNC) ran from Monday, August 17th through Thursday August 20th. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris accepted their respective nominations to the Democratic ticket this November. Let’s take a look at what happened across the four days of coverage. 

1. Emphasis on Biden’s Decency

Numerous DNC speeches delivered by political figures and everyday people touted Biden’s decency, character, and empathy. During her speech, Michelle Obama called Biden a “profoundly decent man” who will “tell the truth and trust science”. 

Biden’s own experience overcoming tragedy, including the death of his first wife, Neilia, and son, Beau, were drawn upon to emphasize his compassion and ability to comfort grieving gold star families. This is a clear contrast to Trump’s feud with the Khan family, whose son died in the Iraq War. 

2. Effort to Appeal to Women

Throughout the Democratic primary debates, Biden was criticized for his track record on women’s issues, namely the treatment of Anita Hill during her testimony during Justice Thomas confirmation hearings and accusations of inappropriate touching by several women.  

The DNC provided the Biden campaign an opportunity to showcase his work on the Violence Against Women Act. Numerous anti-sexual assault activists delivered speeches and endorsements citing Biden’s role in shining the political spotlight on domestic violence. Biden is calling for the renewal of the legislation, which was signed in 1994, but lapsed in 2019 and has not been brought to the Senate floor. 

3. A Broad Coalition

From indigenous leaders to former Republican Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, the DNC showed a diverse coalition in terms of race, gender, and political ideology. While this newfound coalition has shown a commitment to working together to defeat Trump and forge a better response to COVID-19, it’s less clear how much further this cooperation will go. 

4. The Obamas Join the Campaign Trail

Both Michelle and Barack Obama were successful at blending intimate, calm storytelling with criticism against Trump and highlighting what’s at stake this election. Near the end of her opening night speech, Michelle Obama stated “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can, and they will if we don’t make a change in this election”.