Joseph R. Biden Jr. is “presumptive” no more.
The Democratic National Convention reached the halfway point after a pretaped rendition of the traditional delegate roll call that put Mr. Biden over the 1,991-vote threshold for official nomination. Mr. Biden reacted in quintessential 2020 fashion: He tore off his mask, bolted out of his chair, then restrained himself from hugging anybody outside of his epidemiological circle of safety.
With Mr. Biden’s paperwork now complete, the convention moves on to the big-name moments that will probably define it. Wednesday’s prime-time lineup is the closest the event has yet come to being must-see TV.
The night kicks off with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Then comes Hillary Clinton’s much-anticipated return to the party’s center stage — an appearance in which she is expected to both acknowledge the profound disappointment of her shocking loss four years ago and issue a call to arms to the millions of women inspired by her leadership.
The final hour begins with the vice-presidential acceptance speech by Senator Kamala Harris.
It concludes with former President Barack Obama.
The convention will air tonight from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time. Kerry Washington is the M.C. There are several ways to watch:
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Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader
Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin, the nominal home of the convention
Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico
Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee and former secretary of state
Senator Kamala Harris of California, Mr. Biden’s running mate
Former President Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton, whose presidential candidacy in 2016 sent Joseph R. Biden Jr. to the sidelines, spent much of the 2020 primaries telling friends that her longtime ally and onetime rival was the only contender who could defeat President Trump, according to people close to both.
But she also saw Kamala Harris as a possible successor of sorts, a next-generation leader with the toughness to build on Mrs. Clinton’s legacy.
So Mrs. Clinton is, by all accounts, reassured by the Biden-Harris ticket. But her return to center stage at the convention on Wednesday night, four years after becoming the first woman to win the nomination of a major party, is bittersweet.
Had things turned out differently, Mrs. Clinton would be preparing her second acceptance speech. Instead, she has spent the last several days putting the finishing touches on a speech aimed at making a case for Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.
It’s a familiar position for Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state. For decades, she spoke on behalf of her husband, Bill, then to help elect Barack Obama. Over her many years at the center of the Democratic Party, she campaigned for hundreds of federal, state and local candidates.
Yet this moment is uniquely emotional for Mrs. Clinton and the tens of millions who propelled her to a popular-vote majority of nearly three million in 2016, but a loss in the Electoral College. It is both a reminder of a job some allies still maintain was unfairly taken from Mrs. Clinton and the wave of feminist activism sparked by her loss.
To Krystina François, a Haitian-American executive director of a Miami nonprofit organization, Kamala Harris is a lot like her, a first-generation daughter of immigrants pursuing the American dream.
To Nicole Sanchez, a Chicana consultant in Berkeley, Calif., Ms. Harris is an ambitious woman who listened to the same 1990s hip-hop that she did growing up.
And to Carol Kim, an Asian-American union organizer in San Diego, Ms. Harris is the first woman on a national stage whom she can point to and say to her daughter, “She is one of us.”
In Ms. Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate and California senator, each of the women said they saw someone familiar. And as Ms. Harris, whose father immigrated from Jamaica and whose mother immigrated from India, reaches the highest echelons of American politics, dozens of women of color said they also view her success as their own.
“How could you not see this as a victory?” Afrah Hamin, 66, said of the announcement last week by Joseph R. Biden Jr. that he had chosen Ms. Harris as his running mate.
“Finally,” continued Ms. Hamin, an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sister of Ms. Harris’s from South Florida, “the country sees us, sees who we are, sees what we can do.”
In interviews with dozens of Black, Latina and Asian-American women, many of them said Ms. Harris’s story was also their story. In Ms. Harris’s life, they recognized both her triumphs and the challenges that come with living in a country wrestling with its history of discrimination.
“It’s the twin devils of racism and sexism,” said Ms. Sanchez, 47, who lives blocks from the elementary school Ms. Harris attended. “We are told our whole lives to educate ourselves and work hard — God forbid it actually works, we get told we’re asking for too much.”
As Democrats formally anointed Joseph R. Biden Jr. as their standard-bearer against President Trump with an extraordinary virtual roll call vote on Tuesday, they showcased the cultural diversity of their coalition and exposed a generational gulf that is increasingly defining the party.
Denied the chance to assemble in Milwaukee, Democratic activists and dignitaries cast their votes from locations across all 50 states and from the American territories and the District of Columbia; from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., to the iconic welcome sign in Las Vegas; and far beyond to the shores of Guam, “where America’s day begins.” They offered a grand mosaic of personal identities and experiences, many speaking in raw terms about their personal aspirations and adversities.
The second night of the Democratic National Convention straddled themes of national security, presidential accountability and continuity between the past and future leaders of the party. Like the opening night on Monday, it took the form of a kind of political variety show. Hosted by the actress Tracee Ellis Ross, the program skipped between recorded tributes from political luminaries, personal testimonials from activists and voters, and various forms of music and entertainment.
Two tributes by Republicans carried particular symbolic weight for a Democratic candidate seeking to appeal across party lines: Colin Powell, the retired general and former secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, delivered a message of support for Mr. Biden, whom he had previously endorsed. And Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, appeared in a video about Mr. Biden’s relationship with her husband.
By voting to nominate Mr. Biden, Democrats delivered to the former vice president a prize he has pursued intermittently since before the night’s most prominent young speaker, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was born. Two previous presidential campaigns ended in abrupt defeat: A plagiarism scandal extinguished his hopes in 1988, and his next effort in 2008 fizzled against the higher-wattage candidacies of Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
When Mr. Biden opted not to run for president in 2016, it was widely assumed that his dream of the Oval Office was finished. Instead, Mr. Biden’s long-awaited victory is a triumph of personal and political endurance, representing the apex — so far — of a slow upward climb by a man who entered the Senate in 1972 at the age of 30 as a grieving single father. No other presidential candidate in modern times has endured such a long interval between assuming a first major office and being nominated for the presidency.
The Tuesday night speaking lineup for the Democratic convention was always intended as a muscular contrast on foreign policy and diplomatic integrity, presented to viewers under the evening’s unsubtle theme: “Leadership Matters.”
There were two former commanders in chief, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs turned chief diplomat: Colin Powell. There was Sally Q. Yates, the former deputy attorney general.
John Kerry, the former secretary of state who negotiated the Iran deal that Mr. Trump decimated, said that “America deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at.”
Earlier in the day, he sent a fund-raising email saying that Mr. Biden could “begin the hard work of putting back together the pieces of what Donald Trump has smashed apart.”
But putting back the pieces is probably not a feasible option.
The relationship with China has turned poisonous. Mr. Biden’s party, still reeling from Russia’s election interference in 2016, has become more hawkish on dealing with Moscow than Republicans who once cast themselves as the party of national security. North Korea has turned a project to build a few bombs into an arsenal that rivals India’s and Pakistan’s, and reconstituting the Iran deal, if that is even possible, is unlikely to change the fundamental tensions dividing the Middle East.
Mr. Biden has offered few detailed policy plans to address how he would tackle this very changed world. Instead, the broad message of the virtual convention came down to this: Trust a man who ran the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who participated in the decisions to take out Osama bin Laden with a commando strike and Iran’s nuclear centrifuges with a cyber strike, and who would arrive at the White House with an experienced team.
To Mr. Trump and his supporters, that is Mr. Biden’s vulnerability. They say he stands for the establishment foreign policy that the current administration took office to destroy.
Mr. Biden, in turn, is arguing that Mr. Trump has allowed adversaries to undercut American interests, coddling strongmen, heartening the Russians and cutting deals for his friends.
Night 2 of the Democratic National Convention, according to Fox News hosts and guests, was either the most boring infomercial of all time or a reboot of the classic movie “Weekend at Bernie’s,” with Joseph R. Biden Jr. figuratively assuming the role of the dead man who is used as a prop throughout the movie.
“They’ve got a dead guy that they roll out there, and it’s a little bit like Joe Biden,” said Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who was a guest on the host Sean Hannity’s show. “He’s hiding in his basement, and they’re going to roll him out to accept the nomination and give one speech from a teleprompter. And then they’re going to roll him back to the basement.”
A theme of the night on Fox was the state of Mr. Biden’s health, a common line of attack for conservatives. Mr. Hannity said Mr. Biden looked frail and weak. Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary under President George W. Bush, said the country could not have a “president who takes an hour and a half to watch ‘60 Minutes.’”
Fox News viewers did not see much of the convention itself. Mr. Hannity cut away from his programming only to show the brief remarks of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, and a few moments from Bill Clinton and Senator Chuck Schumer.
When the Fox News desk took over coverage at 10 p.m., a panel of reporters and pundits dominated the hour while the nominating roll call of states took place. Only speeches by John Kerry, Colin Powell and Jill Biden were carried live on the network.
The Fox News host Tucker Carlson spent the first 20 minutes of his show on Tuesday night slamming the Democratic Party and Monday’s convention speakers, including Michelle Obama.
“What you just heard was a total and complete crock,” he said after running a clip from Mrs. Obama about the murders of unarmed Black men by the police.
Other topics covered included a violent confrontation between protesters in Portland, Ore., and a white man, and the explicit lyrics in a song by Cardi B.
YUMA, Ariz. — President Trump on Tuesday accused Joseph R. Biden Jr. of seeking to throw open the United States’ borders to criminals and disease, using the backdrop of a border city to stoke fears of immigrants as Democrats prepared for the second day of the party’s nominating convention.
Speaking at an airport hangar, Mr. Trump boasted about his own efforts to sharply limit immigration during his time in office, claiming to have made the country safer by blocking asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants seeking to live and work in the United States.
The president reprised the darkest language of his 2016 campaign, warning that should Mr. Biden win the presidency, the Trump-era restrictions on foreigners would be abandoned in favor of policies that he said would allow “aliens with criminal records” to roam free across the country, threatening violence and stealing jobs from Americans.
“We’re talking about abolishing ICE. We’re talking about abolishing prisons,” Mr. Trump said to an enthusiastic but small crowd, referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Biden’s campaign has turned into a cult for open border and other zealots.”
Mr. Trump’s anti-immigrant stance helped him win the election in 2016 and has been at the core of his presidency. He has denied entry to foreigners seeking protection from persecution, tried to end a program shielding from deportation young people brought to the United States illegally as children and cut back on legal immigration programs.
MIAMI — Representative Ross Spano narrowly lost his Republican primary on Tuesday, becoming the highest-profile Florida incumbent to lose his seat this year.
Mr. Spano, an embattled freshman, lost by two percentage points to Commissioner Scott Franklin of Lakeland in a Republican-leaning district that sprawls across the northeastern Tampa suburbs.
Mr. Spano, who had been dogged by investigations into campaign finance violations stemming from his 2018 campaign, becomes the eighth House incumbent — five Republicans and three Democrats — to lose a primary this year.
Last year, Mr. Spano admitted misreporting over $100,000 in contributions that had actually from come friends as personal funds.
Other Florida results from last night:
In the Republican primary in President Trump’s home district, Laura Loomer, a self-described anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist, beat Christian Acosta, a nuclear engineer.
Ms. Loomer, 27, a former contributor to the right-wing site Infowars who has called herself “a #ProudIslamophobe” and who was kicked off Twitter in 2018 for violating hate-speech rules, will take on Representative Lois Frankel, a four-term Democrat. Ms. Frankel is widely expected to win.
Mr. Trump, who votes from Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, congratulated Ms. Loomer on Twitter: “Great going Laura. You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!”
Kat Cammack, the former campaign manager of Representative Ted Yoho, won a 10-way Republican primary in a race to replace him in his safely red district. Mr. Yoho, who made headlines last month for insulting Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Capitol steps, was not seeking re-election.
In the Democratic primary in Mr. Spano’s district, Alan Cohn, a former TV news reporter, beat State Representative Adam Hattersley.
And Sybrina Fulton, who became an activist against gun violence after the death of her son Trayvon Martin, lost in a close race for a seat on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to Oliver Gilbert, the mayor of Miami Gardens.
In a Republican Senate primary in Wyoming, Cynthia Lummins, a former representative, won and is all but certain to replace Senator Michael B. Enzi, who is retiring.
A group of women scornful of President Trump has begun a nationwide campaign that seeks to send 100,000 copies of a letter to Mr. Trump.
They call themselves Suburban Women Against Trump, or SWAT.
The group criticized Mr. Trump in a letter over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his campaign pitch to women voters. In the two weeks since the group’s creation, it has gained more than 4,000 members in more than 30 states, according to organizers.
“You consistently underestimate our intellect and instead try to pander to the basest instincts of humanity by planting seeds of fear and distrust,” the letter said. “This is a dirty tactic and not indicative of a democratic leader.”
Suburban women are widely regarded as a pivotal voting bloc for November. Mr. Trump has tried to chip away at former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s commanding polling lead among women.
In an attempt to stir up racist fears about affordable housing and the people who live in it, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter last month that he would protect “people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream.”
Last week, Mr. Trump doubled down, writing on Twitter that “the ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me” because “they want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood.”
On Tuesday, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Mr. Trump posthumously pardoned the suffragist Susan B. Anthony.
One of the group’s leaders, Dita Bhargava, an Indian-American former Wall Street portfolio manager, hosted Senator Kamala Harris of California last year at her home in Greenwich, Conn. Ms. Harris, whose mother was born in India, was a presidential candidate at the time. Now, she is Mr. Biden’s running mate.
“Donald Trump has failed to lead at a time when our country is facing dire economic and public health challenges,” Ms. Bhargava said.
The group is planning a virtual march on Washington.
“This election is unlike any other,” said Brook Manewal, a lawyer from Stamford, Conn., and a local Democratic leader who helped organize the group. “I truly believe that the fate of our democracy is on the line.”