Aug 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Stacey Abrams among 17 Democrats giving joint keynote speech at convention

Barack Obama at 2004 convention
Barack Obama at 2004 DNC. Photo: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

In a group headlined by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, 17 Democrats will jointly deliver a single keynote address at the virtual Democratic National Convention on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The illustrious speaking spot, which was famously given by little-known Senate candidate Barack Obama at the 2004 convention, is often awarded to rising stars within the party. Due to limited time for programming at the pared down convention, no member of the keynote lineup was given a solo speaking slot.

Between the lines: Convention planners are avoiding a difficult decision on who gets a coveted spot, but they are giving more than a dozen up-and-comers a shot to make their case on why they should be the fresh voice of the party. It's a participation trophy — if everyone speaks at the keynote address, no one speaks at the keynote address.

What they're saying: "The convention keynote has always been the bellwether for the future of our party and our nation, and when Americans tune in next week they’ll find the smart, steady leadership we need to meet this critical moment," Democratic National Convention CEO Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

Details ... The speakers include:

  • Stacey Abrams and Georgia state Rep. Sam Park
  • Texas Rep. Colin Allred and Texas state Rep. Victoria Neave
  • Pennsylvania Reps. Brendan Boyle and Conor Lamb, Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
  • South Carolina state Sen. Marlon Kimpson
  • Nevada state Sen. Yvanna Cancela
  • Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach, Calif., and Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Ala.
  • New Hampshire state Rep. Denny Ruprecht
  • Tennessee state Sen. Raumesh Akbari
  • Michigan state Rep. Mari Manoogian
  • Portage County, Ohio Commissioner Kathleen Clyde
  • Florida Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried
  • Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
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