Suffice it to say, this year’s Democratic National Convention is unconventional.
There was a host
Eva Longoria Bastón served as emcee of the virtual festivities. She welcomed viewers to the DNC, then went on to introduce the night’s varied speakers, from teenage activist Marley Diaz to politicians including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate.
She also introduced keynote speaker, former first lady Michelle Obama.
“The voices we long to hear right now are the ones that speak with courage and kindness, strength and wisdom, love and compassion. They’re unafraid to speak the truth and talk about their own uncertainties and struggles. They make us feel seen and inspire us to become the best versions of ourselves. Our next speaker is that for all of us,” she said.
Longoria Bastón is one of four actresses who will emcee each night of the convention, with Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross and Julia Louis-Dreyfus also set to host.
Musical performances were videos — and Bruce Springsteen trended
Rather than appearing live on stage, the night’s musical performances were, in essence, music videos.
On the setlist Monday night was R&B singer Leon Bridges, with “Sweeter”; indie-pop singer “Maggie Rogers,” performing “Back in My Body”; and, sending out the night, Broadway and TV actor Billy Porter with musician Stephen Stills in a funky cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”
One of the most notable musical components of the night wasn’t a performance, but the use of rocker Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Rising” in the DNC video “Rising Up.” The hashtag #risingup was trending along with Springsteen on Twitter during the convention.
More musical performances are scheduled over the next three nights of the convention, with acts including Billie Eilish, The Chicks and Jennifer Hudson.
The keynote speech was pre-recorded
Michelle Obama was the night’s big headliner — and she didn’t appear live.
The former first lady’s keynote address was, like several speeches Monday night, pre-recorded to minimize any technical issues. A notable omission: Any mention of Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate.
If elected, Harris would not only be the first woman to serve as vice president, but would also be the first person of color to be second in command and the highest-elected Asian American in history.
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An aide to the former first lady confirmed to ABC News that her speech was recorded prior to Harris’ selection as Biden’s vice presidential pick.
Trump took the opportunity to criticize Democrats for having pre-taped speeches in their convention programming.
“They’re making speeches that are taped. Who wants to listen to Michelle Obama do a taped speech?” Trump said outside an airport hangar in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, earlier on Monday. “No, you gotta have her get up there.”
Trump noted he will give his speech live from the White House on Aug. 27. Former Vice President Joe Biden also is scheduled to accept the nomination live, with a speech from the Chase Center in his hometown in Wilmington, Delaware, this Thursday.
The addition of Zoom applause
There wasn’t a full arena to cheer as Obama wrapped her keynote. But the convention did follow her speech with what appeared to be live streams of supporters clapping and cheering. More than three dozen people applauded from their homes, sporting Biden signs and pins.
A select virtual audience also applauded following Rogers’ music video performance.
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