End the duopoly

Democratic convention speakers span spectrum of US politics

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ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden insists he can unify a fractured nation, and he’ll test his theory with an unusual nominating convention intended to span the spectrum of U.S. politics.

The Democratic National Convention, a virtual production since the COVID-19 pandemic led party officials to cancel all in-person plans in Milwaukee, will feature presenters from progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Republican John Kasich, a former Ohio governor who sought the GOP presidential nomination four years ago.

A detailed but incomplete list of speakers released Tuesday also features many of Biden’s 2020 primary rivals, congressional leaders close to the former vice president and several everyday Americans, including some who supported President Donald Trump in 2016.

Party officials and Biden aides describe the agenda as a way to pitch the nominee as a steady, consensus-building figure in contrast with Trump’s turbulent tenure. Yet the unusual format, with just eight hours of prime-time programming spread over four nights from Aug. 17-20, will test Biden’s ability to project a cohesive message to a splintered electorate wrenched by a pandemic, a devastated economy and an ongoing reckoning on systemic racism.

“We had two goals in mind: to include more Americans than ever before and to […]

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