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The latest details from the DNC and Trump’s USPS saga

On Night 2 of the Democratic National Convention, delegates will officially nominate former Vice President Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential candidate. Meanwhile, new developments in the ongoing saga over the U.S. Postal Service, with the postmaster general delaying some policy moves and President Trump saying he wants to add funding. Judy Woodruff talks to Lisa Desjardins and Yamiche Alcindor.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And we turn now to our Lisa Desjardins in Wilmington, Delaware, and to Yamiche Alcindor.

    Hello to both of you.

    So, Lisa, last night, the Democrats held this unprecedented virtual convention. They made history, and now we know something about how many people were watching.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    That's right, Judy.

    The Nielsen television ratings came out. About 18.7 million Americans watched through the traditional broadcast method, their TV set. That is significantly less than this night in 2016. However, Judy, I just got off the phone with the Biden campaign, and they told me they have the numbers in from digital streaming.

    Ten million people watched through Democratic streaming platforms, and that doesn't include things like the "PBS NewsHour" streaming site, which many people are watching on. So, if you add those numbers up, Judy, we're talking about 28.9 million people at least who watched last night. And that is slightly more than 2016.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Lisa, tell us about tonight. What is known at this point about what we're going to see?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Well, as Amna indicated, tonight, we have party business. We're getting down to the business of selecting the nominee, voting in the nominee.

    I think it's going to be fascinating, because, Judy, you will have 57 delegations — that's all of the states and territories and including Democrats abroad — which will each ring in with their votes in a short amount of time in the shortened convention.

    So, it will be fascinating to see how much material each of these delegations can get out about their state in a few seconds.

    Also, Judy, the keynote speakers, this is something I'm interested to see, 17 keynote speakers. How are they doing that? The miracle of video.

    Our understanding is that that will be a presentation of all of these speakers together in one video, ending with Stacey Abrams of Georgia.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And, Lisa, what about the other marquee speakers tonight?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Yes. Yes, there's a lot to watch for tonight.

    There are several of the party elders. John Kerry, we're expecting that he would hit the national security theme that we will hear about tonight. Also, two of the three living Democratic presidents, that's Jimmy Carter, as Amna mentioned, and Bill Clinton.

    A note, Judy, that Bill Clinton is not without controversy in this party. Many women's groups and others believe that he mishandled his — Monica Lewinsky. They — he was not appropriate in how he dealt with that and how he acted. They — some people don't want to see him on this stage.

    But when you talk to officials involved, they say he is a former president. He will be speaking tonight.

    And, of course, Jill Biden, the wife of former Vice President Biden, probably his closest adviser, she will be speaking from a classroom, I'm told, here in Delaware, where she taught in the past.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    All right, and…

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    And one other note, Judy. I have some news.

    One other really quick thing. This parking lot behind me is going to be a drive-in on Thursday, I was able to learn. So there will be a human element to this convention here in Wilmington. People can drive up. They will be able to watch the vice president's Thursday night speech right here.

    It should be some kind of event, at least for this lonely parking lot.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Some kind of a big screen, just like the old drive-in movie theater.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Very. Yes.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Yamiche, let's turn to the controversy we have all been watching this week. And that is the president's continued criticism of the Postal Service.

    Today, the Postal Service announcing some changes. What do we know about that?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    What we know is that the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, he's an ally of the president and donor to President Trump.

    He is now backtracking and he said he is going to be postponing some of the changes that he was planning to do immediately. So, some of those changes include cutting overtime hours, removing mail sorting machines, as well as removing public collection boxes.

    This comes as at least 20 Democratic attorney generals were preparing to sue, to file a federal lawsuit against the Postal Service for some of those changes. Also, this comes as the postmaster general is supposed to be coming before Congress to answer some pointed questions on the policy changes.

    All this happens — we already know what's happened, which is that there are public collection boxes that have already been removed in several states, including battleground states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, where the president is today, as he continues to crisscross the country, talking about Joe Biden and attacking him.

    And this is all coming as the president continues to say that he does not want to see mass mail-in voting. Critics of the president say, a lot of these changes were made to stifle the mail-in vote, to really try to slow down mail-in voting to try to benefit the president.

    But the president is now saying that he wants to give the resources to the Postal Service that they need, including, it sounds like, billions of dollars. Democrats are requesting at least $25 billion for the Postal Service. They say that's what people need and that's what they have been told the Postal Service needs.

    The president, though, says he wants to work with them, but isn't quite sure what the actual number is going to turn into. So, we will have to watch this space.

    It's also very questionable what has already happened and what damage has already been done. Those are also big questions that we're going to keep watching.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    A lot of questions. You're right, Yamiche. Watch this space.

    But it does sound like there may have been a change of view on the part of the administration. But we will see.

    Yamiche Alcindor, Lisa Desjardins, thank you both. We will be talking to you throughout the night.

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