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The Hill's Convention Report: Democrats gear up for Day Two of convention

The Hill's Convention Report: Democrats gear up for Day Two of convention
© Greg Nash

Welcome to The Hill’s Convention Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY: 

Democrats on the second night of the virtual convention will seek to cast Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida Supreme Court reinstates ban on curbside voting in Alabama MORE as the leader the U.S. needs to restore honesty within the government and steer the country out of the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn and racial turmoil the nation faces.

Along the way, they’ll officially nominate Biden to be the Democratic presidential candidate.

The theme for Tuesday is “Leadership Matters,” and two former Democratic presidents — Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterObama urges voters to back Graham challenger in South Carolina Poll: Graham leads Harrison by 6 points in SC Senate race Biden leads Trump by double digits: poll MORE and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson Clinton'Democrat-run cities' fuel the economy, keep many red states afloat Late-night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study A closing argument: Why voters cannot trust Trump on healthcare MORE — will testify on Biden’s behalf.

A host of other prominent Democrats will also step in to make the case that Biden will restore U.S. integrity at home and abroad.

Once again, one of the nation’s leading progressives will be a featured speaker. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes MORE (D-N.Y.) will address the convention, although only for a brief segment.

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Other big names to watch for tonight: Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Schumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (D-N.Y.) and former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerrySeinfeld's Jason Alexander compares Trump dance video to iconic Elaine dance This time, for Democrats, Catholics matter President's job approval is surest sign Trump will lose reelection MORE.

Reviews for the first night of programming were mixed and TV ratings were down from 2016.

There were no real hiccups to speak of ,and the programming was generally slick. Democrats benefit from drawing on celebrity star wattage that the GOP generally does not have.

But the programming is definitely suffering from the lack of excitement and unpredictability that comes with a live convention.

In an effort to shake it up tonight, the Democrats will have a segment they’re calling “Roll Call Across America,” as a substitute for what would have been the roll call of votes playing out on the floor to officially nominate Biden.

The 30-minute segment will feature videos from every state and territory, taking viewers from a middle school teacher in Arizona to a gun safety activist in Florida to state Sen. Nikema Williams in Georgia, who is vying to replace the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisNY Times slammed for glowing Farrakhan op-ed: 'You would think he was a gentleman' Washington flooded with Women's March protesters ahead of Barrett confirmation vote HBCU in Alabama renames hall named after KKK leader MORE (D-Ga.) in Congress.

Democrats will also feature a twist on the traditional keynote speech, which this year will be given by a group of 17 rising Democratic stars, led by former Georgia state senator and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Democrats are also expected to make their policy platform official. Read The Hill’s takeaways from Biden’s policy platform HERE.

 

BREAKING POSTAL SERVICE NEWS:

Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyWatchdog rips operational changes at USPS Voting rights group files suit against Trump, administration officials alleging voter intimidation Postal service reversing changes that slowed mail delivery MORE has suspended his proposed operational changes until after the election, saying he wants to avoid “even the appearance of any impact on election mail.” That move came hours before more than a dozen states announced a lawsuit against the Postal Service over delays.

In a statement, DeJoy said the Postal Service is “ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall.” He announced an expansion of a leadership task force on election mail to “enhance our ongoing work and partnership with state and local election officials in jurisdictions throughout the country.”

Defending the U.S. Postal Service has become a top priority for Democrats. The issue was on display at last night’s convention and will be the subject of several votes and hearings on Capitol Hill in the coming days.

The House has been called back from recess to vote on a bill to reverse changes that Democrats say were designed to slow mail delivery. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Overnight Health Care: CDC expands definition of 'close contact' after COVID-19 report | GOP coronavirus bill blocked in Senate | OxyContin maker agrees to B settlement with Trump administration MORE (D-Calif.) said DeJoy’s announcement is “necessary but insufficient” and that Democrats will move ahead with the vote.

“Postmaster General DeJoy’s announcement of what may be a temporary pause in operational changes delaying the mail is a necessary but insufficient first step in ending the President’s election sabotage campaign.  This pause only halts a limited number of the Postmaster’s changes, does not reverse damage already done, and alone is not enough to ensure voters will not be disenfranchised by the President this fall.” - Pelosi

DeJoy will testify before the House Government and Oversight Committee next week.

In his statement, DeJoy insisted that he’s only seeking to make the Postal Service, which loses billions of dollars annually, more efficient. But his changes had become a major problem for the Trump administration, and DeJoy said he wanted to assure Americans that retail hours will not change, mail processing equipment will remain in place, overtime will be approved and no mail processing facilities will be closed.

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Election watchers are expecting tens of millions of mail and absentee ballots in November because of the coronavirus, and there are fears the Postal Service, which has been running red ink for years, will not be able to handle the volume. 

DeJoy will still be testifying before Congress next week, where he’ll probably be asked about this — The New York Times reports DeJoy received between $1.2 million and $7 million last year from a company that does business with the Postal Service.

 

Oh and by the way...Trump has returned his absentee ballot in Florida.

 

Don’t forget about the primaries...

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All eyes may be on the Democratic National Convention this week, but voters are casting ballots today in primaries in Alaska, Florida and Wyoming. Here’s a rundown of what we’re watching:

 

 

RUSSIA: 

A new report from the Senate Intelligence Committee details new information about Russian efforts to compromise the 2016 election by reaching top Trump campaign officials.

The 950-page report, the fifth volume of the series, has new revelations about a Russian intelligence officer who was close to former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ veteran says he's quitting over Barr's 'slavish obedience' to Trump Bruce Ohr retires from DOJ Don't forget: The Trump campaign gave its most sensitive data to a Russian spy MORE. The Senate panel found that Manafort shared internal campaign information with Konstantin KilimnikKonstantin KilimnikPutin is no ordinary threat to America The Hill's Morning Report - Jill Biden urges country to embrace her husband Five takeaways from final Senate Intel Russia report MORE, who may have had ties to the hacking of Democratic emails, Jordain Carney reports.

Manafort is serving out his 7 ½ year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges and being convicted on charges pertaining to his foreign lobbying efforts that were uncovered as part of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation.

Oliver Beavers has the story HERE.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

We’re 6 days from the beginning of the Republican National Convention, 42 days from the first presidential debate and 77 days out from Election Day. 

 

The Democratic National Convention’s main programming is slated to start tonight at 9 p.m. and will run until 11 p.m. Here’s a look at the speaker lineup (exact times TBD):

 




THE 19TH AMENDMENT TURNS 100

Women across America are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment’s passage today, 

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE, the first woman to lead a major party ticket, took to Twitter, sharing a photo of her mom, who was born the day of the amendment was passed. 

 

 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisObama to campaign for Biden in Florida Biden appears on Brené Brown's podcast to discuss 'empathy, unity and courage' The Hill's Campaign Report: Obama to hit the campaign trail l Biden's eye-popping cash advantage l New battleground polls favor Biden MORE, the first Black and Asian American vice presidential nominee, celebrated the day on Twitter, but added women of color did not get the right to vote until half a century later. 

  

 

Meanwhile, at the White House, Trump made news celebrating the amendment’s centennial, offering a pardon to the iconic suffragette Susan B. Anthony. 

The move comes well over a 100 years after Anthony was found guilty in 1873 by a completely male jury for having illegally voted in the November 1872 presidential election and was fined $100.