HARTFORD, CT — The 2020 Democratic National Convention was like no other. It was mostly virtual, but Connecticut Democrats gathered Thursday at the Hartford Yard Goats’ baseball stadium to watch Joe Biden accept the nomination for president.
It was the first time the 74 delegates were physically together, but still socially distanced.
“Most of the folks here have been to a few conventions before and this one is novel,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.
He said he thinks people watching the convention have felt a “personal connection” to this convention, which has been absent from traditions like cheering crowds, off-script remarks, and lengthy speeches.
Martin Dunleavy, one of the delegates, said the convention was one of the “best messaging devices to voters, ever.” Dunleavy, who has been attending conventions since 1968, said the experience was not the same for delegates, but the delegates already know how they’re casting their ballots.
“The only way Donald Trump wins this election is to steal it,” Blumenthal said. “The election machinery, diminishing and degrading the Post Office, but also inviting Russians to continue interfering.”
Blumenthal said the “threat of foreign interference is absolutely chilling. I’ve seen the classified documents. The top secret briefings.”
In accepting the nomination, Biden said in his administration, “America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise – voting. I will stand always for our values of human rights and dignity.”
U.S. Rep Rosa DeLauro said the Trump administration has divided this country. She said Joe Biden walks in the shoes of the American people and he will “restore the trust of the American people in government.”
Trust in government was one of the themes the Democratic Party hit on during the four-day convention.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said Biden understands what Americans go through.
“We need someone in the White House who is a human being, who feels the pain that people are going through,” Murphy said. “What’s so exceptional to me is that Joe Biden has been able to open up his life to us. To show us who he is. To put people as part of this convention—who don’t have any titles in front of their names. They’re just the folks who gave him a ride on the train.”
Attorney General William Tong said the convention really helped focus the party on the issues.
One of its most pressing issues is the integrity of the vote, which they believe is being threatened by cuts to the U.S. Postal Service.
Tong talked about a mail sorting machine left out in the open at the Weston Street postal center in Hartford. He said it was dismantled and left in the parking lot, exposed to the elements.
Gov. Ned Lamont said Biden understands what it means to be American and “he’ll represent the best of our country.”
Lamont, an early Biden supporter, said he doesn’t think there would be 170,000 dead from COVID-19 if Biden had been president.
Biden is preparing to take office in January with a unified national plan to defeat COVID-19. The plan includes a centralized federal strategy for testing, contact tracing, and shoring up the medical supply chain.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said a Biden administration would be supportive of what Connecticut has accomplished with its paid Family and Medical Leave Act that will go into effect in 2022, and an increased minimum wage.
Biden also used his acceptance speech to talk about ending systematic racism.
“History has thrust one more urgent task on us,” Biden said. “Will we be the generation that finally wipes the stain of racism from our national character? I believe we’re up to it.”
Dunleavy said it was the best speech he ever heard Biden give.