Democrats formally nominate Joe Biden as US presidential candidate

NEW YORK: US Democrats have nominated Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential candidate, formally designating him to challenge incumbent President Donald Trump in the November election.

With the four-day convention largely virtual due to the coronavirus, delegates from around the country cast votes remotely to confirm Biden as the nominee. The nomination was a formality as he had already won the majority of the more than 3,900 delegates back in June. 

“Well thank you very, very much, from the bottom of my heart,” a beaming Biden said in a live video link as he celebrated the nomination. “It means the world to me and my family,” he added, reminding viewers he will deliver a formal acceptance speech on Thursday at the conclusion of the four-day jamboree.

The Democratic National Convention aimed at celebrating the party’s candidate and welcoming independents and frustrated Republicans into their political movement to oust Trump from the White House.

The proceedings included a series of presentations by party leaders who unleashed their own arguments against Trump and urged voters to rally around Biden.

The lineup featured president Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who warned that the Trump White House is swirling with chaos instead of the competence necessary to address the nation’s crises.

“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos,” Clinton said. “Just one thing never changes — his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame,” Clinton said. “The buck never stops there.”

The president faced a barrage of criticism on opening night too, most notably from former first lady Michelle Obama who said Trump lacks the character and skills for the job. Obama urged Americans to rally behind Biden, her husband’s former vice president, in the presidential election.

Trump’s White House is marred by “chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy,” Barack Obama’s wife said in unprecedented criticism of a sitting US president by a former first lady. “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” she added. “He is clearly in over his head.”

In addition to Clinton and Carter, the lineup featured Jill Biden, who has been married to the candidate since 1977. She delivered a personal testimonial about her husband, including how the personal tragedy of the death of his first wife and daughter in a 1972 car crash has shaped him.

The camp is promoting Joe Biden as a unifier as the convention featured a video of the unlikely friendship between Biden and late Republican senator John McCain, narrated by his widow Cindy McCain.

Republican former secretary of state Colin Powell also delivered videotaped remarks in which he endorsed Biden and said he shared the Democrat’s values.

Former President Obama will speak on Wednesday along with 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California.

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