Jun 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to accept nomination at pared-down Milwaukee convention


Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee announced on Wednesday that Milwaukee will anchor the main events for its August nominating convention, but that state delegations should plan on conducting business remotely in order to avoid "risking public health" through travel.

The big picture: Former Vice President Joe Biden is still set to accept the Democratic Party's nomination in Milwaukee this summer, but organizers are rebranding the event as a “Convention Across America” — with four nights of programming from Aug. 17-20 broadcast from various satellite cities and led by Emmy-award winning producer Ricky Kirshner.

Details: The convention will be moved from Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center to more appropriately fit the smaller crowd sizes.

  • "Specifics regarding delegation representation on the convention floor will be provided after public health officials complete their assessment of the trajectory and impact of the coronavirus pandemic and determine how many people can safely gather in person later this summer," the DNC said in a statement.
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will serve as permanent chair of the convention.

Between the lines: At a Biden fundraiser on Tuesday, former President Obama alluded to the need to adapt to a new world of campaigning in the coronavirus era: “Unlike our current president we recognize that we have a public health crisis going on. It means that we have to show restraint and how we structure campaigns has to be different and take that into account."

What they're saying:

“Leadership means being able to adapt to any situation. That’s exactly what we’ve done with our convention. Unlike this president, Joe Biden and Democrats are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people. I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team has organized and mobilized to get out the vote and ensure a successful convention anchored in Wisconsin, and I’m grateful for the extraordinary leadership of our partners in the city of Milwaukee. Donald Trump’s days in the Oval Office are numbered.”
— DNC chair Tom Perez

The other side: While the DNC has prioritized public health, President Trump is hoping to accept his party's nomination in front of a raucous crowd at the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville.

  • The RNC moved most of its business out of North Carolina after Gov. Roy Cooper placed limitations on planned crowd sizes and convention processes.
  • The Trump campaign was hoping to use last week's underwhelming Tulsa rally as a trial run for massive crowds at RNC events in August.

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