Bill Clinton 'Eviscerates' Trump

Plus, Biden officially becomes the Democratic nominee for president on 2nd night of DNC
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2020 12:06 AM CDT
Updated Aug 19, 2020 6:43 AM CDT
Bill Clinton 'Eviscerates' Trump
Former President Bill Clinton, left, delivers a speech by video feed as Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez watches from the podium, right, during the second night of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisc.   (Brian Snyder/Pool via AP)

NBC News uses the word "eviscerates" to describe Bill Clinton's treatment of President Trump during the former president's speech at night No. 2 of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday. "If you want a president who defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media, he’s your man," Clinton said. "Denying, distracting, and demeaning works great if you’re trying to entertain and inflame. But in a real crisis, it collapses like a house of cards." NBC notes that the appearance by Clinton, who has spoken at every Democratic convention for more than 30 years, was controversial this year given his history and the #MeToo era. More from the night, which, like the first night, included Republican voices for Joe Biden:

  • Biden is now the official Democratic presidential nominee, the AP reports. In what the Washington Post calls the "first virtual national party roll-call vote," convention delegates announced how many of the state's delegates were pledged to Biden. NBC notes that part of the convention is typically "sleepy" and even "tedious," but the pandemic-induced virtual DNC managed to make it interesting, showing a video that was, essentially, a tour of the USA. The views included Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, the headwaters of the Mississippi River, a Puerto Rican community recovering from a hurricane, and Washington’s Black Lives Matter Plaza.

  • Republicans Colin Powell and Cindy McCain spoke, with Powell formally endorsing Biden. "The values I learned growing up in the South Bronx and serving in uniform, were the same values that Joe Biden's parents instilled in him in Scranton, Pennsylvania," he said. "I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States, because those values still define him. And we need to restore those values to the White House."
  • John Kerry said Trump "inherited a growing economy and a more peaceful world. And like everything else he inherited, he bankrupted it. When this president goes overseas it isn’t a goodwill mission. It’s a blooper reel."
  • The keynote "speaker" of the night was actually a group of 17 young, diverse Democrats who were featured in a video montage. Among them was Stacey Abrams. "In a democracy, we do not elect saviors. We cast our ballots for those who see our struggles and pledge to serve," she said.
  • Interestingly, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her 60 seconds of speaking time to second the nomination of Bernie Sanders for president. She did, however, congratulate Biden on his nomination, NBC notes. Per this Twitter explainer, AOC's nomination of Sanders was a "symbolic" "formality" given that he was the only candidate other than Biden to reach the 300-delegate threshold.

  • NBC says Jill Biden "stole the show" with her deeply personal speech. Included in the topics it touched on: the death of the couple's son, Beau. "How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole," she said. "With love and understanding. And with small acts of kindness. With bravery, with unwavering faith. You show up for each other in big ways and small ones. Again and again."
  • Other big names included Jimmy Carter and John Legend, who closed out the night with a performance.
  • In what NBC calls a "standout moment," Ady Barkan, a health care activist battling ALS, said, "We live in the richest country in history and yet we do not guarantee this most basic human right," and that "even during this terrible crisis, Donald Trump and Republican politicians are trying to take away millions of people’s health insurance. With the existential threat of another four years of this president, we all have a profound obligation to act."
  • Former President Obama, who won't speak at the convention until Wednesday night, offered Biden congratulations on his nomination on Twitter. "I'm proud of you," he wrote.
(More Democratic National Convention stories.)

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