From Obamas to Clintons — Top speakers at US Democratic National convention

The Democratic Party presented a parade of passionate speakers making the case for electing Joe Biden president of the United States, a virtual convention to formally nominate him as the party's nominee to face President Donald Trump in November.

Take a look:

The convention

The Democratic Party has officially anointed the 77-year-old Biden as its presidential candidate.

Michelle Obama was given the primetime slot on the opening night of the Democratic convention, which was to have been held over four days in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but which is now taking place almost entirely online because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Michelle Obama

Former first lady Michelle Obama launched a blistering attack on President Donald Trump on Monday and urged Americans to elect Democrat Joe Biden in November to end the chaos she said had been created during the four years of Trump's presidency.

She said: "Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

"So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: 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. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it," she added. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Kristin Urquiza

Kristin Urquiza, who lost her father to COVID-19 and wrote a scathing obituary blaming failed leadership for his death:

“My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life.”

"One of the last things that my father said to me was that he felt betrayed by the likes of Donald Trump. And so when I cast my vote for Joe Biden, I will do it for my Dad."

(Photograph:Twitter)

Kamala Harris

US Senator Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, imploring Americans to elect Joe Biden in November and accusing President Donald Trump of failed leadership that had cost lives and livelihoods during a pandemic.

Making history as the first Black woman and Asian-American on a major US presidential ticket, Harris said Trump's divisive leadership had brought the country to an "inflection point" and made a direct appeal to the party's diverse electorate whose vote is crucial to defeat Trump on November 3.

“The constant chaos leaves us adrift, the incompetence makes us feel afraid, the callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot,” the California senator and former prosecutor said, speaking from an events center in Biden's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that was largely empty because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We must elect a president... who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want. We must elect Joe Biden," she said.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Bill Clinton

Former president Bill Clinton said: "Joe Biden wants to build an economy far better suited to our changing world. Better for young people. Better for families, working and raising their kids. Better for people who lost jobs and need new ones. Better for farmers tired of being collateral damage in trade wars. Better for workers caring for the sick, elderly, and people with disabilities.

"Joe won’t just put his signature on a check and try to fool you into thinking it came from him. He’ll work to make sure that your paycheck reflects your contribution to, and your stake in, a growing economy. In this job interview, the difference is stark. You know what Donald Trump will do with four more years: blame, bully, and belittle. And you know what Joe Biden will do: build back better," he added. 

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Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, who was Biden's leading rival for the party's nomination, said: "This election is the most important in the modern history of this country. In response to the unprecedented set of crises we face, we need an unprecedented response - a movement, like never before, of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency — and against greed, oligarchy and bigotry."

"If Donald Trump is re-elected, all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy. At its most basic, this election is about preserving our democracy. During this president's term, the unthinkable has become normal, " he added.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose state was the early US epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, said: "Now we need a leader as good as our people. A leader who appeals to the best within us, not the worst. A leader who can unify, not divide. A leader who can bring us up, not tear us down. I know that man. I've worked with that man. I've seen his talent. I've seen the strength. I've seen his pain, and I've seen his heart. That man is Joe Biden."

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said: "Over the past few months, we've learned what's essential, rising to the challenge, not denying it. We've learned who is essential, too, not just the wealthiest among us, not a president who fights his fellow Americans, rather than fight the virus that's killing us and our economy. It's the people who put their own health at risk to care for the rest of us. They are the MVPs."

 

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Meg Whitman, chief executive of Quibi

Meg Whitman, chief executive of Quibi: "I'm a longtime Republican and a longtime CEO. And let me tell you, Donald Trump has no clue how to run a business, let alone an economy. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a plan that will strengthen our economy for working people and small- business owners. For me, the choice is simple. I'm with Joe."

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said: "We have to undo the laws and systems that have codified racism for far too long. But we have to do something too. Each and every one of us. Challenge our own biases. If we see something, do something. Together, we can turn this reckoning into a reimagining of a nation where ‘We The People’ means all the people.”

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Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis police custody in May sparked waves of anti-racism protests across the country said: "Please join me in a moment of silence to honor George and the many other souls we lost to hate and injustice. And when this moment ends, let’s make sure we never stop saying their names."

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Former Ohio Governor John Kasich

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is a Republican said: “Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree. But that’s OK because that’s America. Because whatever our differences, we respect one another as human beings, each of us searching for justice and for purpose.”

“We can all see what’s going on in our country today and all the questions that are facing us, and no one person or party has all the answers. But what we do know is that we can do better than what we’ve been seeing today, for sure. And I know that Joe Biden, with his experience and his wisdom and his decency, can bring us together to help us find that better way.”

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Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who competed with Biden for the Democratic nomination, said: "Now more than ever, we need a president who will unite this country. We need a president who in George Floyd’s memory, instead of using the Bible as a prop, will heed its words – to act justly. We need a president for the workers who have lost their jobs, because this administration is selling American workers out when we need to buy American.”

"The president may hate the Post Office, but he's still going to have to send them a change of address card come January," she added. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Former Secretary Of State John Kerry

Former Secretary Of State John Kerry said: "Before Donald Trump, we used to talk about American exceptionalism. The only thing exceptional about the incoherent Trump foreign policy is that it has made our nation more isolated than ever before. Joe Biden knows we aren't exceptional because we bluster that we are, we are exceptional because we do exceptional things."

"This is the bottom line: Our interests, our ideals, and our brave men and women in uniform can't afford four more years of Donald Trump. Our troops can't get out of harm's way by hiding in the White House bunker. They need a president who will stand up for them," he said. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Former president Jimmy Carter

Former president Jimmy Carter said: "We deserve a person with integrity and judgment, someone who is honest and fair, someone who is committed to what is best for the American people. ... Joe is that kind of leader, and he is the right person for this moment in our nation’s history. He understands that honesty and dignity are essential traits that determine not only our vision but our actions. More than ever, that’s what we need."

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Biden's wife, Jill

Former Second Lady, Biden's wife, Jill said: "There are those who want to tell us that our country is hopelessly divided, that our differences are irreconcilable. But that's not what I've seen over these last few months. We're coming together and holding on to each other. We're finding mercy and grace in the moments we might have once taken for granted."

"We have showed that the heart of this nation still beats with kindness and courage. That's the soul of America Joe Biden is fighting for now," he added. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Former US President, Barack Obama

Former US President Barack Obama on Wednesday assailed his successor, Donald Trump, as deeply unfit for the office he occupies and argued that voting for his former No. 2, Joe Biden, was necessary to ensure the survival of American democracy.

"He's shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves," Obama said of Trump during the third night of the Democratic National Convention.

His assertion that Trump, a Republican, is incapable of meeting the demands of the presidency echoed the remarks from his wife, Michelle Obama, on Monday, that Trump "simply cannot be who we need him to be."

"Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't," Obama said. "And the consequences of that failure are severe."

(Photograph:AFP)

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "This month, as America marks the centennial of women finally winning the right to vote, we do so with 105 women in the House of Representatives. Proudly, 90 are Democrats. To win the vote women marched and fought and never gave in. We stand on their shoulders-charged with carrying forward the unfinished work of our nation advanced by heroes from Seneca Falls, to Selma, to Stonewall."

"We have sent the Senate bills for lower health care costs, for bigger paychecks, for cleaner government, protecting John Lewis' voting rights and enacting George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We've sent the Senate bills to protect our dreamers, LGBTQ equality, to prevent gun violence, and to preserve our planet for future generations, and even more. All of this is possible for America. Who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump," she added.

Pelosi said: "Our nation faces the worst health and economic catastrophe in our history. More than 5 million Americans are infected by the coronavirus. Over 170,000 have died. The science based action in the Heroes Act we enacted three months ago is essential to safeguard lives, livelihood and the life of our democracy. And who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump."

"As Speaker of the House, I've seen firsthand Donald Trump's disrespect for facts, for working families, and for women, in particular - disrespect written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct. But we know what he doesn't: that when women succeed, America succeeds. And so we are unleashing the power of women to take our rightful place in our national life by championing a woman's right to choose and defending Roe v. Wade; securing safe and affordable child care; preserving Social Security and passing equal pay for equal work. Who's standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. So here is our answer: we will remember in November when we will elect Joe Biden President president," she said. 

 

 

 

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

In remarks to the Democratic National Convention, former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton urged Americans to vote, saying "this can't be another woulda-coulda-shoulda election."

Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, offered a ringing endorsement of Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

"And Joe picked the right partner in Kamala - she is relentless in the pursuit of justice and equity, and she's kind. When her press secretary Tyrone Gayle was dying of cancer, she dropped everything to be with him in his final moments. I know something about the slings and arrows she'll face and believe me, this former District Attorney and Attorney General can handle them all," Clinton said.

In 2016, Clinton lost the Electoral College but won the popular vote, a moment she referenced in her remarks.

"And don't forget - Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million votes and still lose. Take it from me. So we need numbers overwhelming so Trump can't sneak or steal his way to victory," she said.

(Photograph:AFP)

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