The Democratic National Convention, which begins today and stretches over the next four nights, is poised to be an all-virtual gathering that will look unlike any other.
Traditionally, political conventions are painstakingly choreographed live productions that are planned years in advance.
But the coronavirus pandemic has reduced the nominating celebration to a minimal footprint in Milwaukee — with major programming and production details still in flux just days before it is set to begin.
Still, the convention is set to make history as former Vice President Joe Biden accepts the nomination, and the party nominates the first Black and first woman of Indian descent as a vice presidential candidate: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
As Democrats aim to project a united front from remote locations across the country for the gathering, which marks the official start to general election season, it will feature some of the party’s old guard, young rising stars, former 2020 presidential candidates and even a Republican.
For Monday night, the speakers include: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., convention chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., former Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Michelle Obama.
In April, Democrats pushed the convention from mid-July to mid-August.
Two months later, the event was moved to a smaller location and delegates were asked not to attend.
This month, organizers announced that none of the speakers — including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden — would travel to Wisconsin.
The list of speakers has been cut down dramatically compared with past events to fit into a shortened schedule of two hours a night.
Party leaders will be addressing Americans live and on video from sites across the country.
And there will be no celebratory balloon drop as Biden formally accepts the nomination — the former vice president and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, will speak from his hometown of Wilmington, Del.
The major news networks have all planned special convention coverage that can be viewed on air, online, and through various social media and devices such as Roku and AppleTV.
Here’s the Monday Night speaker lineup:
Here’s what the stations have planned:
- ABC News will air an hour of the convention from 7 to 8 p.m. (all times Pacific); digital coverage will stream on ABC News Live starting at 4 p.m.
- CBS News will begin covering the event on its streaming platform starting at 2 p.m. The network’s TV coverage will air from 7 to 8 p.m.
- CNN will air convention news from 5 to 11 p.m.
- Fox News will air an hour of the convention, from 7 to 8 p.m.
- MSNBC will air it from 4 to 11 p.m.
- NBC News will show an hour of the event, from 7 to 8 p.m.