Democrats have formally nominated Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential nominee, as party officials and activists gave the former vice president their overwhelming support to take on Donald Trump.
The moment marked a political high point for Biden, who had sought the presidency twice before and is now cemented as the embodiment of Democrats’ desperate desire to defeat Trump in autumn.
The roll call of convention delegates formalised what has been expected for months since Biden took the lead in the primary elections’ chase for the nomination.
It came as he worked to demonstrate the breadth of his coalition for a second consecutive night at the virtual national convention.
Former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state John Kerry – and former Republican secretary of state Colin Powell – were among the heavy hitters emphasising the importance of leadership.
Clinton said: “Donald Trump says we’re leading the world. Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command centre. Instead, it’s a storm centre. There’s only chaos.”
Tuesday’s speaking programme underscored Biden’s challenge as he seeks to inspire a new generation of voters.
But just 77 days before the election, Biden has neither history nor enthusiasm on his side.
Only one incumbent president, George H W Bush, has been defeated in the last four decades and Biden’s supporters consistently report that they are motivated more by opposition to Trump than excitement about Biden, a 77-year-old lifelong politician.
That deficit could hurt turnout among less consistent voters, particularly minorities and younger voters, whom Biden needs to show up in great numbers in November.
Biden formally captured his party’s presidential nomination after being nominated by three people, including two Delaware lawmakers and 31-year-old African American security guard who became a viral sensation after blurting out “I love you” to Biden in a New York City lift.
Meanwhile, Trump continued to court battleground voters in an effort to distract from his opponent’s convention.
Appearing in Arizona near the Mexican border earlier in the day, the Republican president claimed a Biden presidency would trigger “a flood of illegal immigration like the world has never seen”.
Such divisive rhetoric, which is not supported by Biden’s positions, has become a hallmark of Trump’s presidency, which has inflamed tensions at home and alienated longstanding allies around the world.
Kerry said, in an excerpt of his remarks: “Joe understands that none of the issues of this world – not nuclear weapons, not the challenge of building back better after Covid, not terrorism and certainly not the climate crisis – none can be resolved without bringing nations together.”
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