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Night 3 of DNC to feature Barack Obama, Harris making history

The Democratic National Convention will hear Wednesday night from two figures critically important to Joe Biden, the party’s newly minted presidential nominee. One chose Biden to be his vice president, and the other is now Biden’s selection for that job. Amna Nawaz looks back at Tuesday’s DNC highlights and ahead to appearances by former President Barack Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Democratic National Convention hears tonight from two figures critically important to Joe Biden, the party's newly minted presidential nominee. One chose Biden to be his vice president. The other is now Biden's choice for that job.

    Amna Nawaz has a look at that, starting with a peek at last night's highlight.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    After officially being nominated for president by the Democratic Party last night, Joe Biden briefly addressed the virtual convention…

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you all. It means the world to me and my family. And I will see you on Thursday.

    Kamala.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    But, tonight, the spotlight will shift to his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris. She will officially accept her party's vice presidential nomination, the first woman of color to do so.

    And she will be joined by a slate of other barrier-breaking women, former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, the first female senator from Massachusetts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve in that role, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who in 2016 became the first female presidential nominee by a major political party.

    The keynote will come from Vice President Biden's old boss, former President Barack Obama. Obama's remarks follow two previous presidents who spoke last night, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who hailed Biden's leadership and slammed President Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Former President Bill Clinton:

    At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it's a storm center.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell continued a trend of prominent Republicans bucking their own party and backing Biden as a steady hand in foreign policy.

  • Colin Powell:

    Our country needs a commander in chief who takes care of our troops, in the same way he would his own family. For Joe Biden, that doesn't need teaching.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Earlier today, I spoke with Congressman Jim Clyburn, the number three Democrat in the House. He weighed in on the party's messaging strategy.

  • Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.:

    He had the sensitivity, the compassion, the faith-based approach to life that this country needs to get to the next level, and so I felt real good last night.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    But among the parade of high-powered speakers, it was everyday Americans who stole the show. The reimagined roll call took viewers on a virtual tour across 57 states and territories, hearing from Democratic delegates far and wide.

  • Woman:

    No matter where we came from, immigrants belong in our country's long fight for justice.

  • Man:

    We believe that we owe it to the next generation to protect the natural and cultural resources that are their inheritance.

  • Woman:

    I'm putting on my mask, and we are going to every corner in North Carolina to help organize.

  • Man:

    I trust him to fight for us.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And Biden's nominating speech came from Jacquelyn Asbie, an elevator operator whose brief encounter with Biden in New York City back in January led to some viral moments.

  • Jacquelyn Asbie:

    In the short time I spent with Joe Biden, I could tell he really saw me, that he actually cared, that my life meant something to him. And I knew, even when he went into his important meeting, he'd take my story in there with him.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    To close the night, Jill Biden spoke with compassion and heart about building a family with Joe Biden after the death of his first wife and daughter.

  • Jill Biden:

    How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole, with love and understanding and with small acts of kindness, with bravery, with unwavering faith.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    This morning, she laid out what's at stake in this election, amid bipartisan concerns the Trump administration is attempting to hamstring the U.S. Postal Service and vote-by-mail efforts. She spoke on NBC.

  • Jill Biden:

    I think that all Americans really take their right to vote as sacred, and I think we have to do everything possible to ensure that every American has the right to vote, whether it's by mail or in person.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Her concerns were echoed by her husband later in the day at a virtual fund-raiser, saying — quote — "They're going to do everything to steal this election. You saw it with what they're doing with the post office."

    Tonight, Democrats return to the virtual stage for their penultimate convention night, under the theme of a more perfect union.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Amna Nawaz.

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