The 2020 Democratic National Convention officially kicks off Monday night, though like most things in our lives, the quadrennial celebration will be dramatically altered by the coronavirus pandemic.
While the convention was scheduled to take place at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, all speakers will appear remotely, delivering short speeches with no cheering crowds to egg them on. Think less C-Span, more Tik Tok, with musical acts and testimonials (including a former Trump voter from Pennsylvania who is supporting Biden) tying each night together for something that will have more in common with this year’s NFL Draft than the balloon-dropping mega-events we’re accustomed to watching.
Former Vice President Joe Biden won’t be traveling to Wisconsin, opting instead to deliver his acceptance speech Thursday night from the Chase Center on the Wilmington Riverfront in Delaware. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris will also speak from Delaware, delivering Wednesday night’s final speech in what will be the California Democrat’s largest audience since being announced as Biden’s vice presidential nominee.
The four-day convention is packed with notable speakers, including former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who is scheduled to deliver Monday night’s final speech. There are also several local lawmakers scheduled to appear, including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons. Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Philadelphia native who was on the committee that helped steer Biden to select Harris as his running mate, is scheduled to speak Tuesday, in what will easily be her largest audience since she was elected in 2016.
In addition to speeches, the DNC is rolling out a star-studded lineup of musicians scheduled to perform across all four nights. Among the headliners are The Chicks, Billie Eilish, John Legend, Stephen Stills, and Jennifer Hudson.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the first night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention:
The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Eastern and last two hours, and frankly, it will be hard for anyone awake to miss it.
The convention will stream live on the DNC’s official website and across all their social media channels. In Philadelphia, it will also air live on NBC, ABC, CBS, and WHYY, with most networks opting to carry the final hour beginning at 10 p.m. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News will also offer live coverage starting hours before the event begins, each offering analysis.
Comcast Xfinity X1 subscribers can watch all the programming by simply saying “DNC” into their remote.
You can also stream it live on Inquirer.com, courtesy of the DNC:
Eleven speakers are scheduled to deliver speeches Monday night, headlined by former First Lady Michelle Obama. The full list of speakers includes:
The Democratic National Convention will take place over four nights this week, from Monday to Thursday. Convention programming is scheduled to air live each night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern.
Here are the most notable speakers for the remaining nights of the convention, including local lawmakers:
While political conventions have largely grown into television events designed to promote political parties and their leaders, the business of the convention includes formalizing a party platform, which was updated at the end of July. It is based on a report issued by joint task forces organized by Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who garnered the second most delegates during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
To the dismay of some of the party’s more progressive members, the platform doesn’t include a plan for a single-payer health care system, like “Medicare for all.” Instead, it calls for the addition of a public option to the existing Affordable Care Act.
There will also be a formal vote of delegates to officially nominate Biden as the party’s presidential nominee.
The 2020 Republican National Convention is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 24. President Donald Trump said he plans to deliver his acceptance speech from the lawn of the White House, and is expected to be the central focus each night.