Convention Day 1
Sen. Bernie Sanders
There's an overwhelming understanding that Donald Trump must be defeated, Biden must be elected, and that the day after he is elected, we're going to do everything we can to create a government that works for all of us.
Bernie Sanders was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives as Vermont’s sole congressman. He founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus in 1991 and is the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history. As a senator, Sanders caucuses with the Democrats. He has been a vocal advocate for universal healthcare, social welfare policy, banking regulation, student debt relief, campaign finance reform, and renewable energy, among other issues. He was an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq. Sanders made a bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 and ran a competitive race against the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton. Sanders ran for the Democratic nomination for president again in 2020. While Sanders took an early lead in the 2020 primary race, the Democratic Party coalesced around Joe Biden and Sanders suspended his campaign in April. The divisions between Sanders and Biden, particularly around health care, embodied some of the divisions that exist within the party, and finding ways to appeal to Sanders supporters will be critical for Biden in his campaign against President Donald Trump.
attorney, former first lady
I understand the people who voted for Trump, [but] the people who didn't vote at all — the young people, the women — that's when you think, man, people think this is a game.
Michelle Obama is an attorney and author who made history in 2009 as the nation’s first Black first lady. She is married to Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. After graduating from Princeton University, then Harvard Law School, she became a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law at a firm in Chicago. Later, she focused on public service, working in Chicago’s municipal government and serving as the executive director of community and external affairs for the University of Chicago. In 2005, she became vice president of community and external affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, but left to take a prominent role in her husband’s 2008 campaign for president. As first lady, Obama championed a number of causes, including supporting military families and ending childhood obesity. During the 2016 presidential race, she supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, rallying supporters with what would later become a catchphrase against Trump: “When they go low, we go high.” Gallup named her the most admired woman of 2018 and 2019.
Republican former governor of Ohio
The divisions and anger in this country must stop. It's time for a change and while there will certainly be times when we disagree on issues, I believe that Joe Biden will be a unifier.
John Kasich is a Republican politician who served as the 69th governor of Ohio from 2011 to 2019.. In 1978, he defeated a Democratic incumbent and was elected to the Ohio state senate at age 26, at the time making him the youngest person ever elected to that chamber. In 1982, Kasich won a seat in the House of Representatives, where he gained a reputation for his commitment to a balanced budget and reduced government spending, at times bucking his own Republican Party over military spending he considered to be wasteful. In February 1999, he mounted a campaign for the 2000 presidential election, but withdrew five months later and did not run for reelection in the House. While out of public service, Kasich worked at the investment firm Lehman Brothers from 2001 until 2008, when the firm collapsed during the worldwide financial crisis. Kasich defeated an incumbent Democrat to become governor of Ohio in 2010 . He broke with Republicans by accepting Medicaid expansion in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act and by the end of his term claimed credit for tax cuts and budget surpluses, helping him win reelection. Kasich launched a presidential bid in July 2015 and was a vocal critic of Donald Trump, but struggled to get national support and withdrew from the race in May 2016. Kasich has remained an outspoken critic of Trump.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and was the first woman to represent Minnesota as a senator. After earning a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1985, she served as legal adviser to former Vice President Walter Mondale. Klobuchar was elected Hennepin County attorney in 1998, a position she held until 2006. Once in the Senate, Klobuchar earned a reputation as a Democrat who typically voted with her party, but was willing to work across the aisle. She has championed veterans issues, and helped pass a number of farm bills and revisions to Senate ethics rules. In 2019, Klobuchar joined a crowded field of candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. She dropped out of the race in March 2020 and reportedly made the short list for Joe Biden’s running mate. After the police killing of George Floyd in her home state, the ensuing protests and calls for police reform brought renewed scrutiny to her record as a prosecutor. She withdrew her name from consideration to be Biden’s running mate, saying a woman of color should be chosen.
Convention Day 2
teacher and former second lady
Jill Biden is an academic and a teacher who served as second lady from 2009 to 2017. She is the wife of Joe Biden, the former vice president of the United States and the Democratic nominee for president. Jill Biden holds master’s degrees from West Chester University and Villanova University and taught English and reading in high schools for 13 years; she also taught adolescents with emotional disabilities at a psychiatric hospital. In 2007, at 55, Biden obtained a doctoral degree from the University of Delaware. As second lady, Biden focused on supporting military families and raising awareness for community colleges, calling them “one of America’s best-kept secrets.” In 2010, she hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Barack Obama and continued to work on related outreach, such as the 2012 Community College to Career bus tour. Through her tenure as second lady, she continued teaching English at Northern Virginia Community College, becoming the first known second lady to work while in the role. Jill supported Joe’s decision to not run for president in 2016 while mourning the death of his son, and her stepson, Beau Biden, and today is an active fundraiser and surrogate on the campaign trail.
Convention Day 3
Sen. Kamala Harris
Vice presidential nominee
Kamala Harris is an attorney and former prosecutor who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 and is Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 race. The daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, she grew up in California before moving with her mother and sister to Montreal, where she graduated high school. After studying political science and economics at Howard University, Harris earned a law degree from Hastings College in 1989. From 1990 to 1998, she worked as deputy district attorney in Oakland, California, earning a strong reputation for prosecuting gang violence, drug trafficking and sexual abuse. She became Oakland district attorney in 2004 and won a tight race to become attorney general of California in 2010, the first woman and first Black attorney general in state history. As attorney general, Harris refused to defend Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state, and helped the fight to overturn it in 2013. When Harris ran for Senate in 2016, she campaigned on immigration and criminal justice reform, increasing the minimum wage, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. She was the first Indian American and second Black woman to serve as a U.S. senator. Harris earned a reputation in the Senate for her prosecutorial style of questioning on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee. Harris declared her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in January 2019. Her record as a prosecutor, particularly around police use of force and other criminal justice issues, drew scrutiny, but she also drew consistent support, particularly after a number of strong debate performances, including one in which she challenged Biden on his Senate record on school busing programs. Harris dropped out of the race in December 2019 but she maintained a high profile, becoming a leading advocate for social justice reform. In August, Biden asked Harris to be his running mate, making her the first Black woman to appear on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to hold the office. He was born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and an American mother. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 1983 and, in 1985, became a community organizer for Chicago’s Far South Side. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated in 1991. Obama then moved to Chicago and started to engage in Democratic Party politics. He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996. Obama’s national profile grew exponentially in 2004 while he was campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat. He won that race and in February 2007, announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Obama won a punishing primary contest against the heavy favorite, Hillary Clinton, and then defeated John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Early in his term, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” He won a second term by defeating Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. Under Obama, access to health care was expanded through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the economy underwent a slow but steady recovery from the 2008 crash, and saw sweeping financial regulation, Osama bin Laden was killed in a special forces operation, relations thawed with Cuba, a nuclear deal was struck with Iran, an international climate accord was ratified, and there were strides in LGBTQ rights, among many other things. After office, Obama wrote a memoir, focused on philanthropy, and said he planned to stay out of politics. But as the 2020 election approached, he endorsed Joe Biden, his former vice president.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren is a legal scholar who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, becoming the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the high chamber. After working as a special education teacher, she earned a law degree from Rutgers University and embarked on a career as a law professor. She taught at several universities including the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. Warren testified before Congress on a number of financial matters and was appointed as the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a body designed to help rescue American financial institutions amid the 2008 global financial crisis. She then championed the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and served as interim director. In 2011, Warren began seeking the U.S. Senate seat long held by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts and campaigned successfully as a defender of the middle class against Republican Scott Brown. Warren campaigned heavily for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and after President Donald Trump’s victory, she was noted for aggressively questioning and opposing many of Trump’s cabinet nominees. She easily won reelection in 2018 and was the first major figure to announce her candidacy for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination in December of that year. She adopted a progressive platform that included universal health care, but was unable to sustain broad support and withdrew from the race in March.
Former secretary of state
Hillary Clinton has served as secretary of state, senator from New York, first lady of the United States and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton attended Wellesley College and Yale Law School. After law school, Clinton worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, and was also a lawyer for the congressional committee investigating President Richard Nixon. She then moved to Arkansas where she taught law and co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She married Bill Clinton in 1975 and served as the first lady of Arkansas after he was elected governor. After Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, she became first lady of the United States. Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 2000. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hillary worked to secure $20 billion from the Bush administration to rebuild New York. In 2008, Clinton ran for president, but lost the nomination to then-Senator Barack Obama . After winning the presidency, Obama asked Clinton to be a part of his cabinet as Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, Clinton pushed for tough sanctions against Iran and brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. In 2016, Clinton was the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party. She lost the presidential race to President Donald Trump. After the election, Clinton started the organization Onward Together, which supports progressive political groups and encourages people to organize and run for office.
Convention Day 4
Sen. Cory Booker
Cory Booker is a Democratic politician who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013 and became the first African American to represent New Jersey in the high chamber. Booker was born in Washington, but his family relocated to New Jersey. He studied political science and sociology at Stanford University and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Oxford in 1994. He then attended Yale Law School and graduated in 1997. After working at the Urban Justice Center in New York City, Booker ran for a seat on the Newark City Council in 1998 and won in an upset against a longtime incumbent. He sought to tackle an epidemic of drug abuse and took up residence in one of the most crime-heavy neighborhoods in Newark. Booker made a bid for mayor in 2002, but lost a hard-fought race. He ran again in 2006 and won, gaining national attention for initiatives on gun control and violence reduction. After Booker won a U.S. Senate seat in a 2013 special election, he became known for his bipartisan efforts, but also championed liberal causes. He helped build a bipartisan coalition to pass criminal justice reform in the First Step Act, a bill he cosponsored that was signed into law in 2018. In February 2019, Booker announced his candidacy for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, but never accumulated broad support in a crowded field. He withdrew from the race in January.
Joe Biden is the 47th vice president of the United States, having served in the Democratic administration of President Obama. Biden received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1965 and a law degree from Syracuse University in 1968. After graduating, Biden briefly worked as an attorney before pivoting to politics and serving on the New Castle county council from 1970 to 1972. He was elected to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate in 1972 at age 29, making him the 5th youngest senator in U.S. history. About a month later his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident, and his two sons were seriously injured. As a senator, Biden focused on foreign relations, criminal justice, and drug policy. During his career, he served twice as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and once as chair of the Committee on the Judiciary. Biden spoke forcefully on issues related to the Kosovo conflict and urged the U.S. to protect Kosovars against Serbian forces. Biden made presidential bids in 1988 and 2008, but both were unsuccessful. Once Obama had amassed enough delegates in 2008, Biden emerged as a frontrunner to be Obama’s running mate, as he would provide a wealth of experience and help satisfy a main criticism of Obama. As vice president, Biden played an active role in the administration and was an influential adviser to Obama. He helped avert several budget crises and was a key player in crafting U.S. policy in Iraq. In 2015, Biden’s eldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer. While many had previously expected Biden to potentially run for president in 2016, Biden said that his family was still mourning and he instead campaigned for Hillary Clinton. In the final days of the Obama administration, Obama held a ceremony in the East Room and surprised Biden by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with distinction, calling him “my brother.” After leaving office, Biden became a vocal critic of the Trump administration and announced his candidacy for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination in April 2019. He was immediately considered a frontrunner with a relatively moderate platform, but after a poor debate performance and a few lost nomination contests, his support had weakened. But Biden won a resounding victory in the South Carolina primary after a key congressional endorsement. Candidates began to drop out and some threw their support toward Biden, who began to rack up primary victories against his main opponent Bernie Sanders. Sanders eventually suspended his campaign in April, making Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee.
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