Tonight’s event is being broadcast by most major networks and streaming services, but with one notable exception. Over on Fox News, Donald Trump Jr is currently having a chat with Sean Hannity.
The channel’s usual programming was spotted by CNN’s Brian Stelter earlier:
However, Fox News has been listed as a broadcaster for the event, so this may still change.
A virtual choir representing every US state and territory sang the Star-Spangled Banner to mark the beginning of the Democratic convention.
Reverend Gabriel Salguero, the president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, then gave an invocation.
When the virtual event returned to actress Eva Longoria, she acknowledged the disappointment of not being able to convene in person this week.
“We had hoped to gather in one place,” Longoria said, going on to say that the safety of a virtual convention would still allow them to prepare for the November election.
Maanvi Singh reports:
George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd will deliver remarks tonight, virtually from Texas, according to CNN. There will also be a moment of silence for George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked nationwide protests and a reckoning with racism policing in the US.
Philonise Floyd testified before a Congressional hearing in Washington in June. “I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now, and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another Black person is killed for no reason,” he said, addressing lawmakers. “I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain.”
Back then, Floyd spoke of the pain of seeing video footage of his brother’s final moments, pinned under the knee of a police officer, over and over again in the news. “I just think about that video over and over again,” he said, as he wiped tears from his face. “You don’t do that to a human being, you don’t even do that to an animal.”
Actress Eva Longoria offered an introduction to the convention before a video of lawmakers and celebrity Democratic supporters was played.
Congressman Bennie Thompson, the convention chairman, then gaveled in the official start of the event.
Virtual Democratic convention begins
The Democratic convention, the first nominating convention to ever be held virtually, has started.
Maanvi Singh reports:
Ahead of the convention this week, Joe Biden holds a significant lead over Donald Trump in national polls — though his advantage has slightly declined over the past month.
On average, Biden has a 7.7 point lead in national polls, per the RealClearPolitics. Last month, surveys often found the Democratic contender with a double-digit lead. Conventions typically give candidates a bump in polls — though it’s unclear how this year’s virtual format will affect that trend.
Biden’s dampened polling numbers have coincided with a slight bump in Trump’s job approval rating, which increased from about 40% one month ago to 42% now, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Michelle Obama is expected to deliver an urgent warning against reelecting Trump when she addresses the Democratic convention tonight, according to CNN.
An adviser to Obama told CNN that the former first lady would use her remarks to cast Trump as “the wrong president for our country” who is “in over his head” amid a global pandemic.
“It’s very strong, tough and personal,” the adviser said. “Tonight, she doesn’t hold back.”
In an excerpt of her prerecorded speech released by the DNC, Obama described Joe Biden as the right man to confront the multiple crises facing our nation.
“I know Joe. He is a profoundly decent man guided by faith,” Obama says in the video. “He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic and lead our country.”
Trump has just arrived back in Washington, after hosting a series of small campaign events in Minnesota and Wisconsin earlier today.
During the Air Force One flight back to DC, the president spoke to the White House press pool off the record, but he allowed two things to be on the record.
First, Trump said he intended to issue a pardon to someone “very, very important” tomorrow, a likely attempt to pull attention away from the Democratic convention.
The president also lashed out against former Ohio Governor John Kasich, a fervent critic of the president who will be speaking at the convention tonight.
“He was a loser as a Republican, and he’ll be a loser as a Democrat,” Trump said of his former primary rival. “People don’t like him, people don’t trust him, his healthcare in Ohio was a disaster. He hasn’t done too well with Trump. He’s been easy pickings.”
Democrats kick off virtual convention with speeches from Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders
Hello, live blog readers, and welcome to the first-ever virtual presidential convention.
Democrats were supposed to meet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this week in order to nominate former vice-president Joe Biden and the california senator Kamala Harris for president and vice-president.
But the coronavirus pandemic upended both parties’ convention plans, so the Democratic convention will instead unfold virtually over the next four days.
Democrats will almost certainly use the convention to highlight what they describe as Donald Trump’s failure to adequately respond to the pandemic and the nation’s recent reckoning over racism and policing.
The convention also comes amid widespread concerns about proposed changes to the US Postal Service, with Democrats accusing Trump of trying to slow mail delivery in order to hamper voting by mail.
All of those issues will likely be mentioned during tonight’s events, which will include speeches from former first lady Michelle Obama, the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and several anti-Trump Republicans, such as former Ohio governor John Kasich.
That all starts in about a half an hour, so stay tuned.