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2016 Democratic National Convention

Source: Bill Clark / Getty

Next week, major players in the Democratic party will hop on a Zoom call for the Democratic National Convention.

According to The New York Times, the week-long event has already locked down some high profile nightly keynote speeches, including Michelle Obama on Monday, Jill Biden on Tuesday, Barack Obama on Wednesday, and Joe Biden‘s nominee acceptance speech on Thursday. The convention was originally planned for Milwaukee but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event had to be planned remotely.

Officials believe Mrs. Obama’s address could attract the largest viewership of the week aside from Biden. Her speech was being filmed this week at her family’s vacation house on Martha’s Vineyard as a way to ensure the first night will end on a technologically predictable high note, according to several NYT sources who have direct knowledge of the plans. “Mrs. Obama has told friends that she views the speech as her major contribution to the 2020 race,” reported the Times.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the former presidential hopeful against Biden in the Democratic race, is scheduled to give an address before Mrs. Obama while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to give some scathing criticism concerning Donald Trump‘s handling of the coronavirus pandemic before Sanders’ address.

Although Biden has yet to announce a vice president as of Tuesday morning, his running mate will be scheduled to speak on Wednesday. As a precaution, speaking time has been scheduled for some vice president contenders if they don’t get picked. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are all being considered.

Former President Bill Clinton will give an address on Tuesday, following Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general who briefly oversaw the investigation into potential ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. Hillary Clinton is scheduled to appear on Wednesday on the same night as Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who suffered injuries from a gunman in 2011.

Celebrities and entertainers are also expected to show up during the convention. However, the Party has remained discreet on who exactly will show.

Politicians will speak remotely over satellite feeds. The production team is working to make sure feeds don’t freeze, drop audio or disintegrate into pixels as millions of Americans watch from their homes.

The major broadcast networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — will carry an hour of the convention live each night from 10 to 11 p.m. on the East Coast. Cable news channels will also air the two-hour nightly proceedings in full.


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