Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will each make appearances on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, which will be a bit of a feat of staging such a large scale event in a time of COVID-19.
The program lineup will feature a mix of live and taped segments and, in addition to political figures and “real-life” testimonials, will include celebrities such as Eva Longoria and performances by Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers and Billy Porter and Stephen Stills.
Other speakers on Monday will include Bernie Sanders, but more notable are Republicans who will get a prime-time speaking slot: John Kasich, former governor of Ohio; Susan Molinari, former congresswoman from New York; Christine Whitman, former governor of New Jersey; and Meg Whitman, former CEO of Hewlett Packard and 2010 California gubernatorial candidate. The theme of the night is “We the People.”
Whitman is of course now the CEO of Quibi, the short form video platform founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. The former DreamWorks Animation boss was the largest bundler for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. Having formally endorsed Biden earlier this spring, Katzenberg has hosted a number of deep pocket fundraisers for the former VP and emains one of the Hollywood heavyweights financially and otherwise for the Democrats.
The convention runs from 9 PM ET to 11 PM ET, making for a tight time frame. Broadcast networks plan to go live for the final hour, from 10 PM ET to 11 PM ET. How to watch here. The major competition: ESPN, which has the first day of NBA playoffs and coverage of the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers at 9 PM ET.
The speeches will be short: Cedric Richmond, Democratic congressman from Louisiana and Biden campaign co-chairman, said in a press call that Sanders’ speech, at eight minutes, will be one of the longest this evening. He was defending the decision to give one of the young stars of the party, first term congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, just a minute for her remarks, scheduled for Tuesday.
In lieu of a convention crowd, Democrats are planning live feeds from those watching across the country, and the party also has rented out drive in movie theaters in some states to feature live streams of the event.
In advance of the convention, Biden will have another virtual fundraiser, this time with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.
Here’s the rundown:
Introduction: Eva Longoria
Gavel In: “Everyday” Americans read the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution; Bennie Thompson, convention chair and congressman from Mississippi, officially gavels in the convention.
Call to order: Thompson.
Pledge of Allegiance
National Anthem: A multicultural choir performing virtually with singers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Cheyenne Nation and five territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Invocation: Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and co-lead pastor of The Lamb’s Church in New York
Remarks: Gwen Moore, sergeant-at-arms of the 2020 Democratic National Convention and congresswoman from Wisconsin.
Remarks: Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, D.C.
Performance: Leon Bridges
Conversation On “The Path Forward”: Joe Biden engages with, and listens to, social justice activist Jamira Burley, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, NAACP President Derrick Johnson and author Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner.
Remarks: James Clyburn, House Democratic whip and congressman from South Carolina.
Remarks: Andrew Cuomo, New York governor.
Remarks: Kristin Urquiza, a woman whose father lost his life to COVID-19.
Conversation with Healthcare Workers on the Front Lives: A doctor, paramedic and two nurses talk about what they have endured and how they view this election for medical workers.
Introduction: Sara Gideon, speaker of the Maine House of Representatives who is seeking to unseat Susan Collins from her Senate seat, introduces Maggie Rogers.
Performance: Maggie Rogers
Remarks: Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan.
Remarks: Christine Whitman, former governor of New Jersey.
Remarks: Meg Whitman, former CEO of Hewlett Packard
Remarks: Susan Molinari, former congresswoman, New York
Remarks: John Kasich, former governor of Ohio
Remarks: Doug Jones, senator from Alabama
Remarks: Catherine Cortez Masto, senator from Nevada
Remarks: Senator Amy Klobuchar, senator from Minnesota
Remarks: 2020 candidates for president, including Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton, Beto O’Rourke, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang. Other contenders, such as Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg, will speak later in the week.
Remarks: Cedric Richmond, congressman from Louisiana
Remarks: Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont
Remarks: Michelle Obama, former first lady
Performance: Billy Porter and Steven Stills.
Benediction: Rev. Dr. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention