Progressives get prime speaking spots as Biden aims to unite party
Coming next week to a computer screen or TV set near you: speeches by Michelle Obama, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joe Biden … and his newly announced running mate, Kamala Harris.
Democrats on Tuesday announced the speaking lineup for their Aug. 17-20 convention, an almost entirely virtual event that the party says will be about “uniting America.” The list contains familiar, party-stalwart names like Bill Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, and also reflects an effort by Biden to join progressives and establishment Democrats.
To that end, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist who fought Biden for the nomination, has been given a speaking spot on Monday night, before Mrs. Obama. The former first lady will give that evening’s keynote, the Biden campaign said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another progressive standard-bearer, will speak Tuesday night. President Donald Trump’s campaign, eager to paint Biden as beholden to the far left of his party, seized on the New York congresswoman’s inclusion on the roster:
Former President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, as is Harris. Biden announced his pick of the California senator as his running mate late Tuesday, choosing her over other candidates that included former national-security adviser Susan Rice and Rep. Karen Bass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who had been another possible pick, is also slated to speak Wednesday.
Biden will deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday night, from Delaware. The exact location hasn’t been announced.
The speeches will air from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time.
Below is a selection of speakers for each night.
Monday, Aug. 17:
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York
Former Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, a Republican
Former first lady Michelle Obama
Tuesday, Aug. 18:
Former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York
Former President Bill Clinton
Former second lady Jill Biden
Wednesday, Aug. 19:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Sen. Kamala Harris of California
Former President Barack Obama
Thursday, Aug. 20:
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois
Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware