Democrats worried that the oldest presidential nominee in their party's history would stumble during his big moment will have been reassured by his performance Thursday night—Joe Biden's acceptance speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention was widely praised, even by conservative commentators. "The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long—too much anger, too much fear, too much division," Biden said. "Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness." Biden, speaking from a hotel ballroom in Delaware, did not speak President Trump's name, referring to him as "our current president." More:
- "Conspicuously sharp." Biden made the case for himself as a "competent alternative" to Trump in a "conspicuously sharp performance," writes Niall Stanage at the Hill. "There were virtually no flubs or awkward moments of the kind that Biden is sometimes known for, and—to the organizers’ undoubted relief—no technical problems either," he writes.
- Praise from Fox. Biden's speech was praised by multiple Fox commentators, including Chris Wallace, who said the "enormously effective speech" blew "a big hole" in Trump's characterization of the 77-year-old Biden as "mentally shot," Vox reports. Dana Perino said Biden "just hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth," and Karl Rove called it a "very good speech."
- "He delivered." Biden needed "an eloquent, emotional, clear speech," and "he delivered," according to Bill Barrow and Nicholas Riccardi at the AP. His "performance in many ways sounded more like the Biden of his early Senate career, when he was considered one of the finest orators in his party, than the Biden in winter who at times has been halting in speeches and debates," they write.
- Campaign strategy is now clear. Biden's speech made it clear that his campaign plans to focus on the Trump administration's pandemic response, the Washington Post reports. "Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation: He’s failed to protect us,” Biden said. “He’s failed to protect America. And my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable." If Trump is re-elected, he said, "you know what will happen. Cases and deaths will remain far too high. More mom and pop businesses will close their doors—and this time for good. Working families will struggle to get by."
- "This is not a partisan moment." The New York Times notes that Biden alluded to the DNC's efforts to welcome independent voters and Republicans disillusioned with Trump. "This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment," said Biden, who vowed to "work hard for those who didn’t support me."
- Trump not impressed. "In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks," the president tweeted. "He will never change, just words!"
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