The opening night of the Democratic National Convention might well go down as a strange digital artifact of an election year defined by pandemic-induced weirdness.
But there were no major technical glitches during the first few hours of the first-ever virtual party gathering — and Michelle Obama’s comprehensive takedown of President Trump left Democrats feeling relatively fired up and ready to go, albeit from their couches, ahead of Day 2.
The most-watched moment on Tuesday might come from one of the shortest time slots: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s minute or so of speaking time to praise her chosen primary candidate, Bernie Sanders.
Jill Biden, the nominee’s wife and an educator, will have a much more expansive role, as will Bill Clinton, whose second-day speaking slot speaks to a diminished influence in a party now defined by Joseph R. Biden Jr., former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who will address the convention on Wednesday. John Legend is scheduled to perform.
Tuesday’s events will again run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time. There are several ways to watch:
The Times will stream the full convention every day, accompanied by chat-based live analysis from our reporters and real-time highlights from the speeches. You can download our iOS or Android app and turn on notifications to be alerted when our live analysis starts.
The official livestream will be here. It will also be available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch.
ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News will air the convention from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. each night. C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC and PBS will cover the full two hours each night.
Here’s more information on how to stream the convention on various platforms.
Who’s speaking tonight:
Jill Biden, Mr. Biden’s wife and the former second lady
Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady
Former President Bill Clinton
John Kerry, the former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York
Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general
Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, will testify on Friday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in what will be Mr. DeJoy’s first public appearance before Congress, according to the top Democrat on the panel.
“I will continue pressing for answers on Mr. DeJoy’s recent directives and their impacts on all Americans, who rely on the Postal Service for prescriptions, running their small businesses, voting and other crucial purposes,” said Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, the leading Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Democrats have demanded Mr. DeJoy account for sweeping cost-cutting measures he has enacted at the Postal Service, less than three months before the general election, that appear to have led to a slowdown in mail deliveries. They have accused Mr. DeJoy, a major Trump donor, of spearheading a partisan campaign that could jeopardize the integrity of the November election.
Mr. DeJoy will testify before the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee next Monday, where he is expected to face fierce questioning.
Casting aside her reluctance to engage in political combat, Michelle Obama delivered an impassioned keynote address to cap off the first night of the Democratic convention and offered a withering assessment of President Trump, accusing him of creating “chaos,” sowing “division” and governing “with a total and utter lack of empathy.”
Mrs. Obama, the former first lady, spoke emphatically into the camera and gave a scathing, point-by-point analysis of Mr. Trump’s presidency in an urgent summons for Democratic voters to cast ballots in any way they could, even if it meant waiting in long lines to do so.
She began by questioning the very legitimacy of Mr. Trump’s election in 2016, pointing out that he had lost the popular tally by “three million votes.”
She went on to attack the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and said that the strong economy Mr. Trump inherited from her husband four years ago was “in shambles.” She also said Mr. Trump’s divisive approach on race relations had emboldened “torch-bearing white supremacists,” and ripped him for a lack of “leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness.”
Mrs. Obama began all of this by declaring, “You know, I hate politics.”
Then she dove right in.
“Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” Mrs. Obama said, offering a potent closing argument to a packed online program that seemed, at times, like an overpopulated Zoom call.
“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” she said. “He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.”
“It is what it is,” she added, appearing to quote Mr. Trump, who uttered the same sentence earlier this month when speaking of the 150,000 American coronavirus deaths and was criticized as callous for it.
President Trump on Tuesday bristled at the stinging rebuke of his performance as commander in chief by the former first lady, Michelle Obama, in her keynote speech during the first night of the Democratic National Convention.
Mr. Trump, who has generally avoided engaging Mrs. Obama since taking office, responded to her primetime speech in a series of tweets targeting his predecessor in the Oval Office.
He also questioned the alliance between former President Barack Obama and the former vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., pointing to Mr. Obama’s decision to wait until April to endorse his onetime running mate for president.
Somebody please explain to @MichelleObama that Donald J. Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama. Biden was merely an afterthought, a good reason for that very late & unenthusiastic endorsement…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2020
In her prerecorded speech, Mrs. Obama admonished Mr. Trump’s character and said that the country’s standing in the world had by stained by his petty attacks and extreme agenda. She said that he lacked the temperament and empathy required to hold the nation’s highest office.
“He cannot meet this moment,” Mrs. Obama said. “He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.”
Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that his administration “built the greatest economy in history, of any country, turned it off, saved millions of lives.” He also accused his predecessors of “spying on my campaign” and called the Obama and Biden administration as “the most corrupt in history.”
The first night of the Democratic National Convention was, to put it mildly, weird. How else can we describe one of the biggest events in American politics turned into a glorified Zoom meeting?
But surreal as it was, the virtual convention included several powerful moments — some reminiscent of normal times, and others reflective of the tremendous abnormality of these times.
Bernie Sanders gave Biden a full-throated endorsement.
Despite his disagreements with Mr. Biden on policy, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the runner-up in the Democratic primary, gave a forceful endorsement of his former rival.
Mr. Biden is much more moderate than the progressive wing of the party would like, Mr. Sanders acknowledged, but “if Donald Trump is re-elected, all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy,” he said. “This election is about preserving our democracy.”
A Covid-19 victim’s daughter denounced Trump.
In one of the most personal and emotional speeches of the night, a woman whose father died from the coronavirus blamed Mr. Trump for his death.
The woman, Kristin Urquiza, said her father — Mark Anthony Urquiza, a 65-year-old who she said had no underlying health problems — had voted for Mr. Trump and went out one day because he believed the president’s claim that the pandemic was under control. He died soon after, she said, isolated from his family.
Her father’s “only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump,” she added, “and for that he paid with his life.”
George Floyd’s family led a moment of silence.
One of the most powerful moments of the night was one of the most understated: a short montage of Americans, eyes closed and heads down, observing a moment of silence for Black people killed by the police.
The family of George Floyd, whose killing by the Minneapolis police set off a national uprising over systemic racism, prefaced the moment of silence by listing the names of just a few of the victims.
“George should be alive today,” Mr. Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd said. “Breonna Taylor should be alive today. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. Eric Garner should be alive today. Stephon Clark, Atatiana Jefferson, Sandra Bland — they should all be alive today.”
WASHINGTON — President Trump will travel to the border city of Yuma, Ariz., this afternoon to tout his efforts to drastically limit immigration and to attack Joseph R. Biden Jr. on the second day of the Democratic convention.
Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign said the event, is intended to focus on Mr. Biden’s “failures on immigration and border security.”
That message is already at the center of Mr. Trump’s criticisms of Mr. Biden and Senator Kamala Harris of California, his running mate.
On Monday, Mr. Trump falsely claimed that Mr. Biden supports allowing anyone to enter the United States, telling supporters in Mankato, Minn., that Mr. Biden has “pledged to allow virtually unlimited immigration during a global pandemic spreading the virus, overwhelming our health care system and displacing millions of American job seekers.”
Mr. Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric helped him win in 2016 and has remained at the core of his presidency. He has blocked asylum seekers and refugees, attempted to end a program protecting young immigrants and cut back on opportunities for foreigners to work and study in the U.S.
While courts have blocked some of his most extreme efforts, the president and his top aides have succeeded in changing many regulations and policies.
Ahead of Mr. Trump’s speech in Yuma, a coalition of more than 100 pro-immigration organizations plans to release on Tuesday an “action plan” of recommendations on how a Biden presidency could roll back Mr. Trump’s policies and improve the nation’s system of immigration.
The report, obtained by The Times, lists 10 broad action items, including decriminalizing immigration, protecting immigrant children and families, phasing out immigration jails and restoring the “right to seek and receive protection from persecution” at the border.
“We need a vision,” said Tyler Moran, the executive director of the Immigration Hub and one of the effort’s leaders. “It really is a road map that we think a new administration can take.”
The report’s more specific recommendations include a moratorium on deportations pending a comprehensive review of immigration enforcement; reinstatement and expansion of the DACA program for young immigrants; the repeal of “Muslim, African, refugee and other travel bans”; a White House “Office of New Americans”; and the suspension of criminal prosecutions for migration-related offenses.
On the way to Arizona, the president is scheduled to make a brief stop in Iowa to hear from emergency officials about damage from last week’s derecho wind storm.
The Democratic primary race began as a clash of ideas. But when the Democratic National Convention convened on Monday, the party assembled with a single aim: defeating President Trump.
From the progressive left to the moderate wing, Mr. Trump has served for months as the glue keeping the party from fracturing. And never has this détente been more obvious than in the wide-ranging lineup for the first night of the convention, when, in the name of unity, the virtual stage was open not just to Democrats of various persuasions but to Republicans as well.
The festivities conveyed one message from the Democrats. Whatever their ideological differences with one another or the Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr., ousting Mr. Trump was the primary concern.
“We have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” said Michelle Obama, the former first lady.
The appeal came from other political leaders including former Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio, a onetime Republican candidate for president; Senator Bernie Sanders, the progressive standard-bearer; and also Democratic moderates including Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan.
The speakers made clear that unity does not mean total agreement. Mr. Sanders and Mr. Kasich were both explicit in saying that they disagree with Mr. Biden on some matters, but are behind him nonetheless.
“I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” Mr. Kasich said.
Modern political conventions, deprived of the who-will-win-the-nomination drama of earlier smoke-filled eras, have always been television events. But the Democratic National Convention that began to unfold Monday night proved to be a very different kind of show, The Times’s chief television critic, James Poniewozik, noted. He wrote:
On cable news, there were no pundit panels jawboning all day on location. There was no location, really — most of the convention took place in a Milwaukee of the mind. (Sadly, without virtual fried cheese curds.) There were no floor interviews with delegates for also-ran candidates. No placards. No funny hats. And above all, no cheering, hooting crowds.
Instead, the teleconvention kept a few standards (like the Bruce Springsteen-soundtracked montage) and borrowed from a grab bag of other TV formats, from talk show to cable news to reality-TV reunion special. And it was all hosted for the night by the actress Eva Longoria from the floor of a cable-news-like studio, a kind of ersatz DNCNN. “We had hoped to gather in one place,” she said early on.
The very reason they couldn’t was linked to a key political theme of the night: the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Trump administration’s handling of it. This meant that, more than usual, the medium was the message.
The program’s very existence was a kind of political argument: If this doesn’t look normal, it’s because none of this is normal right now. President Trump, the presentation said visually, had broken normality; the Democrats, with an assortment of appeals both to Republicans and to their own party’s left, promised to restore it.
Some viewers on social media said the show looked like a telethon, and it often did, from the stories of hardship to the heart-tugging sea-to-shining-sea musical numbers. (These included Leon Bridges on a rooftop and Maggie Rogers on a Maine shore.)
But why do you hold a telethon? For disasters and diseases. For emergencies.
The first night of the virtual Democratic convention was carefully orchestrated. But with several speakers addressing the convention live, some pre-roll was captured behind the scenes.
One video posted late Monday night revealed a private moment between Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and his wife, before Mr. Sanders gave his speech at the Hen of the Wood restaurant in Burlington.
I still don’t know why they insisted on so many speeches being live — especially when Michelle Obama’s keynote and several other appearances were pre-taped — but it gave us this wonderful bit of Bernie Sanders that came through via satellite. pic.twitter.com/RrJ8yzmbPg
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 18, 2020
As the camera rolls, Mr. Sanders’s wife Jane and a staffer appear to delicately brush a speck off his suit jacket. He settles his hands onto the lectern, with his characteristic wide-armed grip.
“Are my hands showing when I’m up here?” he asks. He is informed that they are.
“Is that a terrible thing to have my hands showing?” He is informed that it is.
“Well,” Jane Sanders says, waiting a beat. “It’s not terrible. But what’s been good” — she waves her arms — “is you gesture.”
He assents, smooths a wisp of hair.
“You probably should get off the screen,” he says eventually, shooing her away. She jokes that she is going to give the speech. It makes him smile.
Remember to stand up straight, she says. Enough! He says, hunching.
A staffer counts down the seconds until he is live. He mutters something, rehearsing his opening.
15 seconds! 10! 5 seconds!
He takes a breath, and begins.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Jill Biden, the former second lady of the United States who taught English at a community college throughout her time in the administration, is headed back to the classroom to give her convention speech on Tuesday.
Dr. Biden is expected to speak live from Brandywine High School in Wilmington, a spokesman said. She taught English at the school in the early 1990s and will be speaking from Room 232, her former classroom, Dr. Biden said on Twitter.
Dr. Biden was once a reluctant political spouse, but this campaign season she emerged as one of her husband’s most prolific and powerful surrogates, maintaining public campaign schedules at a pace that sometimes surpassed Mr. Biden’s during the in-person days on the trail early this year, and serving as a critical adviser on the most significant matters of the campaign.
They were once members of a select club of Republican governors with White House aspirations.
But once former Gov. John Kasich of Ohio crossed party lines to endorse Joseph R. Biden Jr. for president — a key moment on the first night of the Democratic convention — that made him a pariah in the Republican Party, former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said.
In an appearance Monday night on ABC, Mr. Christie played down Mr. Kasich’s ability to siphon off Republican voters from the party in the November election.
He said it was telling that not a single Republican governor endorsed Mr. Kasich for president in 2016 once the Republican primary field had narrowed to Donald J. Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and Mr. Kasich.
“The reason they didn’t endorse him is because he’s a backstabber and he’s an untruthful guy,” Mr. Christie said. “So tonight Republicans are going to look at that and go, ‘You can have him.’ On top of all that, I’ve worked with John a lot. He’s exhausting. Joe Biden is going to be getting calls from John Kasich. He’s going to want to change his phone number.”
On Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump cheered Mr. Christie’s assessment of Mr. Kasich.
“Good Job by Chris C in exposing yet another loser!” he said on Twitter.
WASHINGTON — Hoping to appeal to female voters, President Trump said on Tuesday that he would posthumously pardon Susan B. Anthony, the women’s suffragist who was arrested in 1872 after voting illegally and assessed a $100 fine.
The pardon came on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
“She was never pardoned. Did you know that? She was never pardoned,” Mr. Trump said. “What took so long?”
Mr. Trump had teased the pardon as he traveled on Air Force One on Monday, telling reporters he was going to erase the conviction of someone “very, very important.”
Many of Mr. Trump’s other pardons and grants of clemency have been of people whose cases resonate with him or allies, like his longtime political adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr., who was convicted on several charges stemming from the investigation into possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment or assault and who has often made degrading comments about women, is facing a deep gender gap in his campaign against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. On Tuesday, surrounded by several female supporters, Mr. Trump declared that “women dominate the United States” and complained that the coronavirus had darkened the economic picture for women.
A female Democratic official in New York — the state where Ms. Anthony was arrested — greeted the news of her pardon with the immediate demand that it be rescinded.
“She was proud of her arrest to draw attention to the cause for women’s rights, and never paid her fine,” New York’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, wrote on Twitter. “Let her Rest In Peace, @realDonaldTrump.”
Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general, accused President Trump on Tuesday of trying to disenfranchise millions of voters by damaging the Postal Service and its ability to handle mail-in voting in the November election.
Mr. Holder, who served under President Barack Obama, told Pennsylvania Democrats during a breakfast videoconference that Mr. Trump would stop at nothing to win a second term.
“Our democracy is actually on the ballot this November,” Mr. Holder said.
He said he was alarmed by Mr. Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud has been widespread.
“He just came right out and said it that he’s undermining a cherished institution,” Mr. Holder said of cuts to the Postal Service, adding that he thought Mr. Trump would do anything that he believed was in his own self-interest.
Mr. Holder’s comments came the day after Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee urged the F.B.I. to open a criminal investigation into actions by the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, and the Postal Service’s Board of Governors that may have caused mail delays.
Since leaving office, Mr. Holder has led the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group that opposes gerrymandering by the Republican Party.
The Trump campaign has started using an advertising firm linked to MyPillow, a company whose chief executive is a donor to and ally of the president, to buy some of its television airtime.
The firm, LifeBrands, bought broadcast airtime for the Trump campaign in Florida and in North Carolina this week, during the Democratic National Convention, according to officials at Medium Buying, a Republican ad-buying firm.
A Trump campaign spokesman declined to comment, and it was unclear how LifeBrands came to be working for the campaign.
But the chief executive of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, is an ally and donor who has repeatedly popped up during the Trump administration. Most recently, Mr. Lindell met with the president at the White House in July and evangelized about oleandrin, an unproven treatment, as a therapeutic for the coronavirus.
Mr. Lindell’s boosterism for the drug — and Mr. Trump’s hope for a quick cure for the coronavirus — has alarmed some White House officials.
Michelle Obama, who anchored the Democratic convention Monday night, spoke longest, followed by Eva Longoria, the actress who hosted the event.
Four Republicans who stepped up for Joseph R. Biden Jr. — including the former Ohio governor John R. Kasich — spoke for a total of about five and a half minutes.
Monday’s lineup of speakers was intended to convey the broad ideological support for Mr. Biden — from Republicans like Mr. Kasich to Senator Bernie Sanders.
Heading into the four-day convention, the most closely guarded secret was how much time each speaker would get during the two-hour window each night.
Party officials said the average speech length would clock in at two minutes — after accounting for the five major addresses from the Obamas, the Bidens and Senator Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden’s running mate. Speakers spent recent weeks privately jockeying with convention organizers for extra time.
With so little time to divide among so many speakers representing the ideological, racial and geographic diversity of the party, convention planners have been careful not to advertise how much time each speaker received, to avoid causing hurt feelings in advance of the virtual event.