Democratic National Convention nightly programming (Reports).
Democratic Party officials are limiting their prime-time programming at next month’s Democratic National Convention to two hours per night, party officials confirmed to Fox News on Monday.
It’s the latest move by officials to downsize a convention that’s being held amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The abbreviated speaking schedule is a dramatic switch from conventional conventions, where speeches would be delivered for many hours during the afternoon and evening amid an arena packed with delegates, party officials, guests, and the media.
But with public health officials warning against large gatherings in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there’s nothing conventional about this year’s presidential campaign.
“It has turned into an almost 100 percent virtual convention,” Stephanie Cutter – who’s in charge of producing the programming — told Politico, which was first to report the news of the shortened prime-time schedule.
“Speakers are participating from all over the country, not just politicians,” she said.
Expect more of “everyday Americans saying what’s on their minds” and less scripted content, said Cutter, who is a longtime Democratic consultant and high ranking official on both of President Obama’s campaigns and Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 campaign. Cutter also is a veteran of the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations.
While former Vice President Joe Biden will appear in person in Milwaukee, Wis. on the final night of the convention to deliver his nomination acceptance speech, many of the other prime-time speakers will be beamed in virtually from other battleground states across the country.
Party officials told Fox News that the programming — which will be anchored in Milwaukee — “will include both live broadcasts and curated content originating from Milwaukee and other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country.”
Still up in the air, according to sources, is who else will speak – and when.
“Programming details and thematics are still being finalized,” officials emphasized.
They spotlighted that “top surrogates like the Obamas are slated to play a role in our convention,” but what kind of role and when and where the former president and former first lady will appear have yet to be decided.
In the spring, as the pandemic was sweeping the nation and forcing most Americans to huddle in their homes, party officials pushed back the start of the convention from mid-July to Aug. 17. And last month the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced that their confab would be conducted mostly online — with delegates and Democratic members of Congress taking part in the convention virtually rather than in-person. And they also downsized their venue from Milwaukee’s indoor arena to a much smaller convention center.
Last week President Trump abruptly announced that he was canceling the celebratory portions of the Republican National Convention, which was scheduled to be held in Jacksonville, Fla., the week of Aug. 24. His move came as new cases of the coronavirus continue to surge in Florida, which has become one of the epicenters of the outbreak.
A few hundred convention delegates will meet to conduct official business in Charlotte, N.C. on Monday, Aug. 24, including the formal nomination of the president.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) last month chose Jacksonville to host major portions of the convention, after largely abandoning Charlotte over disagreements on coronavirus pandemic-related crowd restrictions.
The president and Republican officials were angered after Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, a Democrat, said that because of the pandemic, he wasn’t prepared to guarantee the RNC a full-fledged convention with an arena packed full of party officials, delegates and activists as desired by Trump.
The RNC says that they are still planning for four days of convention programming in prime time. But they haven’t released any details amid what appears to be very much a work in progress.