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Democrats formally nominate Joe Biden and more DNC highlights

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Joe Biden officially becomes the Democratic nominee for president 22:24

The Democrats officially nominated Joe Biden for president in a virtual roll call vote on Tuesday, the second night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Delegates announced their votes from their home states in locations ranging from a beach in American Samoa to a fire station in Connecticut to the new Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C.

Former second lady Jill Biden closed out the night's events with a speech from the Delaware high school where she used to teach. She spoke about the loss and tragedy her family — and the nation — has faced, and highlighted how hard times can lead to resilience.

"How do you make a broken family whole?" she said. "The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding—and with small acts of kindness. With bravery. With unwavering faith."

Jill Biden said we need "leadership worthy of our nation … that's Joe. He and Kamala will work as hard as you do, every day, to make this nation better." 

Sounding a theme of unity, Cindy McCain narrated a video celebrating the "unlikely friendship" between Joe Biden and her husband, the late GOP Senator John McCain. Her message of support came on the heels of an endorsement by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. On Monday night, four prominent Republicans, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich, also vouched for Biden. 

Former President Bill Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also spoke. In his remarks, Mr. Clinton excoriated President Trump, saying of the Trump administration "there is only chaos."   

The Democratic convention kicked off Monday night and continues through Thursday with keynote speakers from 9-11 p.m. ET each night. Wednesday night features Senator Kamala Harris giving a prime time speech to accept the nomination for vice president, and an address from former President Barack Obama to rally support for Biden, his former VP.

How to watch the Democratic National Convention

  • What: Democratic National Convention
  • Date: Monday, August 17 through Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • Convention coverage on CBSN: 5 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Convention speakers live on CBSN: 9-11 p.m. ET
  • Convention coverage on CBS television stations: 10-11 p.m. ET
  • Post-convention coverage on CBSN: 11 p.m. ET
  • Live blog updates: Follow along on
  • Online stream: Live on CBSN — in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device.

Latest Updates:


What to expect on Wednesday night

Wednesday marks the third day of the convention, and it again is packed with prominent speakers. Wednesday night brings Senator Elizabeth Warren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and former President Barack Obama will address the virtual convention, leading up to Kamala Harris' acceptance of the vice presidential nomination.

By Kathryn Watson

Jill Biden: "He will do for your family what he did for ours — bring us together and make us whole"

Dr. Jill Biden delivered her speech from Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware, where she once taught English. She focused on the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the country and resulted in the closure of schools across the country.

"As a mother and a grandmother, as an American, I am heartbroken by the magnitude of this loss, by the failure to protect our communities, for every precious and irreplaceable life gone," Biden said. 

But though she spoke of the loss and tragedy the nation and her own family have endured, Jill Biden's message was one of resilience and affirmation.

"There are those who want to tell us our country is hopelessly divided, that our differences are irreconcilable, but that's not what I've seen over these last months," she said. "We're coming together and holding on to each other. We're finding mercy and grace in the moments we might have once taken for granted."

Election 2020 DNC
In this image from video, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, and members of the Biden family, celebrate after the roll call vote during the second night of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Convention via AP

Biden emphasized the importance of family. She spoke about her experience becoming a mother to Joe Biden's two young sons after his first wife and daughter were killed in a car crash.

"We found that love holds a family together. Love makes us flexible and resilient," Biden said about her family. She discussed the death of their eldest son, Beau, and said that her husband's response to incomprehensible grief showed his strength of character.

Biden said that her husband drew his strength from "the providence of God."

"There are times when I couldn't imagine how he did it—how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going," Biden said of her husband. "But I've always understood why he did it...He does it for you. Joe's purpose has always driven him forward." 

And that drive is the reason, Biden argued, that the nation should elect her husband president. "He will do for your family what he did for ours — bring us together and make us whole, carry us forward in our time of need, keep the promise of America."

She promised that if her husband is elected, he will address the pandemic, and "these classrooms will ring out with laughter and possibility once again."

Joe Biden joined his wife after her speech, calling her the "love of my life" and "the rock of our family."

Dr. Jill Biden: U.S. needs "honest leadership to bring us back together" 10:03
By Grace Segers

Cindy McCain highlights friendship between John McCain and Joe Biden

Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, highlighted the friendship between her husband and Joe Biden in a video broadcast at the Democratic National Convention. Biden faced off against McCain in the 2008 election, when McCain led the Republican ticket and Biden was the Democratic vice presidential nominee. 

Cindy McCain highlights friendship between John McCain and Joe Biden 03:02

Marie Yovanovitch makes an unexpected appearance at DNC

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who became a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into the president, made a surprise appearance in a video supporting Biden's foreign policy credentials. 

"He is experienced, he has made the tough calls," she said in the video. 

Yovanovitch quickly gained a name during the impeachment hearings as she testified that there was a concerted effort against her led by none other than Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. 

By Kathryn Watson

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, endorses Biden

"I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States," Powell, who also served as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under President George H.W. Bush, said. "He will restore America's leadership in the world."

"With Joe Biden in the White House, you will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and against our adversaries, never the other way around," Powell said, drawing an implicit contrast with Mr. Trump.

Powell is one of several Republicans speaking at the convention, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich on Monday and Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Senator John McCain.

By Grace Segers

John Kerry says the U.S. deserves a president "who is looked up to, not laughed at"

Former Secretary of State John Kerry attacked Mr. Trump's foreign policy and how he's altered the United States' standing in the world. 

The U.S. "deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at," Kerry said. 

The only person Mr. Trump is interested in defending "is himself," he added. 

Biden, Kerry said, understands that none of the world's greatest issues, like terrorism or the climate crisis, can be resolved without bringing nations together. 

"He knows you can't spread democracy around the world if you don't practice it at home," Kerry said of Biden. 

By Kathryn Watson

Ocasio-Cortez nominates Bernie Sanders

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was the highest-profile progressive to endorse Sanders' candidacy, nominated Sanders, who remained on the ballot. She praised the progressive movement Sanders led during his two presidential bids and offered a summation of the role he has played in Democratic presidential politics. 

In her one-minute speech, she said he created "a movement striving to recognize and repair the wounds of racial injustice, colonization, misogyny, and homophobia — and to propose and rebuild reimagined systems of immigration and foreign policy that turn away from the violence and xenophobia of our past. A movement that realizes the unsustainable brutality of an economy that rewards explosive economical wealth for the few at the expense of long term stability for the many."

Although her nomination of Sanders caused a lot of chatter online, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted "If you were confused, no worries!" She explained that she had been asked to second Sanders' nomination.

"Convention rules require roll call & nominations for every candidate that passes the delegate threshold," she wrote. 

In a follow-up, she congratulated Biden and wrote "I deeply look forward to fighting for our future together and reclaiming our democracy in November." 

By Caroline Linton

Democratic Party formally nominates Joe Biden for president

Democratic delegates formally nominated Biden for president on Tuesday evening, in what DNC chair Tom Perez called a "decidedly unconventional roll call." The roll call was hosted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the convention was initially set to be held.

Delegates from all 57 states and territories appeared on video to formally nominate Biden, giving short speeches from their home states. They often spoke from scenic venues in their states.

Jacquelyn Brittany, a security officer at the New York Times building in New York, nominated Biden. Brittany met Biden when he was visiting the New York Times editorial board in an encounter that went viral. His nomination was seconded by Delaware Senator Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who received the second most delegates, was also nominated in brief  speeches by former union president Bob King and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

By Grace Segers

Bill Clinton blasts Trump for his handling of COVID-19

Former President Bill Clinton honed in on Mr. Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, blasting him for making light of the virus and failing to take stronger measures sooner. 

The president is "on TV every day bragging about what a great job he was doing" while cases rose and deaths climbed, Mr. Clinton said, adding, "Only when COVID exploded in even more states did he encourage people to wear masks," Clinton added. 

Then he referred to a Trump line that's become a refrain Democrats — his reaction to the mounting number of deaths from the virus: "It is what it is."

Election 2020 DNC
In this image from video, former President Bill Clinton speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Convention via AP

"But did it have to be this way? No," Clinton said. 

The buck "never stops" with Mr. Trump, Clinton added. 

The former president made the case that voters have a different choice with Biden. Biden will strive to unite the nation, rather than divide it, Clinton said. 

"It's a clear choice. The future of our country's riding on it," he said. 

Bill Clinton says in DNC speech that Trump acts like "the buck never stops there" 04:53
By Grace Segers

Schumer: "Donald Trump has quit on you"

Speaking from the waterfront in Brooklyn, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed contempt for Mr. Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and made reference to the president's comments earlier this month about the death toll from the virus.

"The president should never say, 'It is what it is,'" Schumer said. "America, Donald Trump has quit on you."

Schumer also promised that, if Democrats retake the Senate, it would focus on issues such as making health care affordable for all, addressing climate change, protecting voting rights and fighting systemic racism. He vowed that the Democratic-controlled Senate would "restore a Supreme Court that looks out for people, not corporations."

"Democrats must take back the Senate," Schumer said. "We will stay united, from Sanders and Warren to Manchin and Warner—and together, we will bring bold and dramatic change to our country."

By Grace Segers

Sally Yates says the "future of democracy is at stake"

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired in the early days of the Trump administration, said she never expected to be speaking at a political convention. But "the future of democracy is at stake." 

In 2017, Yates refused to defend the president's initial travel ban. 

"That was the start of his relentless attacks on our democratic institutions," she said. 

The president "treats our country like it's his family business," she said. Yates praised Biden for  spending his life putting the nation first, and summoning the best in people. 

By Kathryn Watson

CBS News poll analysis: Biden and Trump are neck and neck among seniors

 Senior citizens nationwide are evenly split between the candidates, and their vote choice is very much related to their views of health care policy and the coronavirus outbreak.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump are each at 48% in the preferences of seniors — that is, voters 65 and older — a group that Trump carried four years ago. We also estimate the candidates to be neck and neck in key battleground states with relatively large senior populations, like Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin.


White seniors still support Trump over Biden by 16 points, which is comparable, if slightly lower, to Trump's margin in 2016. However, non-white seniors currently back Biden over Trump by five to one.

Seniors tend to say the major parties don't pay enough attention to their needs and concerns: according to 62% apiece, both the Democratic and Republican Parties pay too little attention. They also split on which candidate would do a better job handling health care policy, including Medicare.


Biden has a slight edge in being seen as better able to handle the coronavirus outbreak. Two-thirds of seniors are at least somewhat concerned about getting the virus — they back Biden in large numbers.


Biden leads more narrowly among the nine in 10 seniors who say they vote to personally support the interests of seniors (53-45%). He also leads among those who cite health care as a major factor in their vote choice, while Trump leads those who cite national security.

By Kabir Khanna

Kasich and Sanders offer different views on what a Biden presidency would look like

Democrats pushed a message of unity on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, and Senator Bernie Sanders offered views from the right and the left on what they expected from a Biden presidency. CBSN political contributor and Democratic consultant Lynda Tran and Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson join CBSN to discuss. 

Kasich and Sanders offer different views on Biden presidency 09:05

In first joint interview, Harris says she will give Biden "honest feedback" as vice president

In their first joint interview as running mates, Harris said she would be "the last person in the room" when he is making decisions as president, and give him "honest feedback."

"We already have that understanding. I'm going to be the last one in the room — and there to give him honest feedback," Harris said in the interview with People magazine. "Being vice president to Joe Biden to me means supporting his agenda and supporting him in every way."

Harris also praised Biden for having "the audacity to say he was going to have a woman as his vice president."

"He didn't apologize for it. In a country where we still have so much to do to fight toward our ideals, he just fast-forwarded the whole thing," Harris said. Biden added "the government should look like the country."

"There's a new law of physics in politics: Any country that does not engage more than half their population in sharing the full responsibilities of governance and power is absolutely going to lose," Biden said.

By Grace Segers

What to expect on night 2 of the Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention continues on Tuesday night with speeches from former President Bill Clinton, Jill BIden and several other big names. CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe, CBSN politics reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns and Axios White House reporter Alayna Treene join CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano on "Red and Blue" to discuss what to expect on the second night of the convention.

What to expect on night 2 of the Democratic National Convention 07:12

Trump bashes Michelle Obama speech and Bernie Sanders

Speaking at a campaign stop in Arizona, the president bashed the former first lady for her "obsolete" speech. 

The president picked on the popular former first lady for taping her speech, rather than delivering it live Monday night. Earlier in the day, the president also accused her of getting the number of COVID-19 deaths wrong. Michelle Obama didn't cite a specific number — she said "more than 150,000" deaths. Mr. Trump is right, but Obama's estimate, in fact, understated by thousands the number of Americans who have died on his watch since she recorded her speech.

In Arizona, Mr. Trump also criticized Senator Bernie Sanders, and again questioned Biden's mental capacity. 

US President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at Yuma International Airport August 18, 2020, in Yuma, Arizona.  BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
By Kathryn Watson

Bill Clinton to give sharpest rebuke of Trump yet, that his presidency has "only chaos"

A source familiar with former President Bill Clinton's speech tonight says he'll lambaste President Trump's tenure as "only chaos."

"At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center," Mr. Clinton will say. "Instead, it's a storm center."

The source said Mr. Clinton will also argue that the economic collapse that has arisen because of the coronavirus pandemic was preventable. It's a failing Mr. Clinton will say is Mr. Trump's.

The DNC released excerpts of Mr. Clinton's speech, which will include Mr. Clinton's assessment of Biden as a "go-to-work president" and a "down-to-earth, get-the-job-done guy." 

"Donald Trump says we're leading the world," Mr. Clinton will say, according to the released excerpts. "Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple. At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it's a storm center. There's only chaos. Just one thing never changes—his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there."

Caroline Linton and Jenna Gibson 


Democrats to formally nominate Joe Biden on second day of convention

Democrats are gearing up for night two of the Democratic National Convention, which is expected to feature Joe Biden's formal nomination. Ed O'Keefe has the latest.

Democrats to formally nominate Joe Biden on second day of convention 03:09

Hispanic voters are backing Biden at or exceeding 2016 levels

Hispanic voters are backing Joe Biden ahead of the Democratic Convention at levels near or exceeding those Democrats got in 2016, and Biden's support -- particularly in key battleground states —  is bolstered by the view that he cares more about the risk of coronavirus to their communities. Nationally, more than two-thirds (71%) of Hispanic voters say they intend to vote for the former vice president in November, according to the latest CBS News polling

In Texas and Florida, Joe Biden currently has about the same level of support as Hillary Clinton did in the 2016 election. In Arizona, Biden's current support is a bit higher than Clinton's was in 2016, which could give Biden an edge in the battleground state. 
In Texas and Florida, Hispanics are more likely to say they are voting for Biden to oppose Donald Trump, not necessarily because they like him. 


Read more from the polling unit here

—  Elena Cox 


Cindy McCain appears in video supporting Biden

Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Senator John McCain, appeared in a video offering her support for Biden. Her inclusion is notable, as John McCain ran against President Obama and Biden in the 2008 election.

In the video titled "An Unlikely Friendship," Cindy McCain says Biden and John McCain had a "friendship that never should have worked." 

John McCain and Biden served in the Senate together for decades, and formed a close relationship. McCain died of the same brain cancer that took the life of Biden's eldest son. Biden visited McCain shortly before he died in 2018, and afterwards said that McCain had told him not to "walk away" from politics. He was also a pallbearer at McCain's funeral.

Cindy McCain said in 2019 that today's Republican Party "is not the party that my husband and I belonged to" and rebuffed Mr. Trump. She has also said she thinks it's possible Democrats will win Arizona this fall. 

Mr. Trump often berated her war hero husband, saying during the 2016 presidential campaign that he liked soldiers who weren't captured. As president, Mr. Trump continued to disparage McCain, whose "no" vote helped doom his hope of repealing the nation's health care law.

Grace Segers and Kathryn Watson 

An Unlikely Friendship: Biden and McCain Teaser by 2020 Democratic National Convention on YouTube


Highlights from Biden's almost 50 years at Democratic conventions

 Wilmington – For the past 48 years, Joe Biden has traveled to all but one Democratic national convention, playing a supporting role for the party's nominee. This year the convention is coming home to him – he'll be in Wilmington, Delaware, Thursday evening to accept the nomination for president, surrounded only by those closest to him and a small, socially-distanced press corps, instead of thousands of rowdy delegates.

In years past, some of the party faithful liked going to the national nominating conventions for the week-long party atmosphere. Biden went to feast on party politics as he calculated his future.

Read more here about Biden's past appearances at the convention as he preps to take center stage. 

By Bo Erickson

Biden says "I hope everyone tunes in tonight to hear my wife speak"

Joe Biden said Tuesday afternoon he hopes "everyone tunes in tonight to hear my wife speak." Jill Biden will be delivering her speech from Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware, where she taught when Biden was in the Senate.

"You can hear the anxiety that echoes down empty hallways," she's expected to say, according excerpts of her remarks. "There's no scent of new notebooks or freshly waxed floors. The rooms are dark and the bright young faces that should fill them are confined to boxes on a computer screen."

She'll discuss the personal loss the family has endured. You make a "broken family whole" the same way "you make a nation whole," Biden will say. "With love and understanding—and with small acts of compassion. With bravery. With unwavering faith." 

"There are times when I couldn't imagine how he did it—how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going," Jill Biden will say of her husband. "But I've always understood why he did it...He does it for you." 

—  Caroline Linton and Bo Erickson 

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