Former Vice President Joe Biden will accept the nomination for president from The Wisconsin Center, rather than the larger Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, while state delegations are being told to not to plan to travel to the city out of ongoing concerns over the coronavirus. The changes raise the prospect that delegates will cast their votes for president and vice president, as well as other party business, remotely.
As it stands now, the Aug. 17-20 convention will look different than the Republican National Convention scheduled a week later, with plans proceeding for an event in which President Donald Trump will accept the nomination before rally-sized crowds. The Republican National Committee recently moved part of the event to Jacksonville, from Charlotte, after North Carolina’s governor Roy Cooper told them that they would have to plan for a smaller event.
The Democrats’ event is being dubbed “Convention Across America,” with a mix of live broadcasts and “curated content” from Milwaukee and other locations.
“The city of Milwaukee has been an incredible partner and we are committed to highlighting Wisconsin as a key battleground state at our convention this August,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager. “This will be a convention for all Americans who wish to join our mission to win the battle for the soul of this nation and build a fairer, more united country for us all.”
The event also will likely be heavy in a degree of showmanship, as it has been in recent cycles. Ricky Kirschner is returning as executive producer. Kirschner has been the longtime executive producer of the Tony Awards and the Super Bowl Halftime Show. One of the entertainment highlights of the 2016 convention in Philadelphia was a gathering of Broadway stars doing a performance of What The World Needs Now.
The convention planners said that public health officials are still determining how many people can gather in person, so it is still unclear what kind of a crowd will be present in the arena itself. Already being nixed are events that usually are held during the week, like a welcome reception and an event for volunteers.
DNC Chair Tom Perez got in a dig at the Trump campaign’s plans for a large-scale event.
“Unlike this president, Joe Biden and Democrats are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people,” he said in a statement.
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