It’s the opening night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention but this one is anything but conventional, as almost all of the four-day gathering is happening remotely.
Caucus meetings and delegate events began Monday morning, mostly via Zoom.
“It is very, very strange,” longtime California Democratic strategist Roger Salazar told KCBS Radio. “There’s a lot of business that gets done at these conventions that’s always been done face-to-face, person-to-person, so it’s going to be interesting to see how this works. Although on the plus side I do think more people are going to see it.”
Senator Bernie Sanders and former First Lady Michelle Obama will speak Monday evening, among others. Sanders is expected to give a full-throated endorsement of Joe Biden, which may help sway Sanders’ faithful progressive supporters.
“I think Joe Biden has moved enough in a number of his positions, that he’s embraced a number of the policies that Sanders has been espousing, that it gives those progressives who have been resistant, it gives them the opportunity to say, ‘you know what, we’re going to vote for this guy’,” said Salazar. “I think you’re going to see a display of unity in these speeches and among the sentiments in Democrats who are watching across the country.”
Californians will also play a prominent role with primetime speaking slots and of course, Bay Area native and CA Senator Kamala Harris picked as Biden’s running mate.
“Kamala Harris has not just excited the California delegation; I think they are thrilled to have her on the ticket. It gives California a voice,” Salazar said. “But I also think it energized the Biden campaign overall. I think there’s an energy she brings.”
Harris’ nomination also made history as the first Black woman and first Asian woman to be the presumptive vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket.
“Those kinds of barrier breakers jazz Democrats up,” said Salazar.
The main event will begin at 6 p.m. PST with two hours of nationally broadcast speeches.