PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Democratic National Convention begins Monday night in Milwaukee, except most people are not there.
The Democrats are still putting on a show, hoping to attract both viewers and voters.
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“It’s undeniably going to be different because a lot of things are different in the world of COVID-19 and we put safety first,” Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Party, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano. “We want a convention that will be viewed by everyone. Whether or not you voted for a Democrat in the past, we believe this is a time for people to come together and that’s why you will see Republicans, Democrats, so many different people.”
Monday night features a Republican — Pittsburgh-born and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich — along with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I’m hoping, maybe because they won’t have all the distraction of the convention floor and there won’t be things interrupting, maybe people will pay attention to the speeches more carefully,” says U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.
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Casey will watch the convention from his Scranton home, while U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb will watch from his home in Mt. Lebanon. Lamb is one of a select few set to speak in pre-recorded remarks on Tuesday.
“I think it’s a way that Vice President Biden is choosing to demonstrate that he has a lot of support among young people of a lot of different types,” says Lamb.
Lamb says the convention this week will highlight Biden’s plan on jobs, health care, social security and the coronavirus pandemic.
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“That’s what Vice President Biden is going to be emphasizing this week. That he has a plan, and he feels responsible for executing that plan to save peoples’ lives and get this economy back on track,” Lamb said.
Of course, it’s not the same excitement as an old-fashioned political convention, but Democrats say it’s the best you’ll get during a pandemic. The Republicans’ convention is next week.