US Democratic Convention: Joe Biden Officially Nominated Challenger To Donald Trump In Virtual Roll Call

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WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Democrats officially nominated Joe Biden for president on Tuesday (Aug 18), culminating a comeback that made him their choice to take on President Donald Trump with the blessing of the party's past and future stars.

Mr Biden received the 2,374 delegate votes necessary for the nomination at a convention that was restyled in the time of Covid-19 into a video tour across the United States, substituting the traditional roll call in a crowded convention hall.

After Delaware cast the final votes from an Amtrak station that Mr Biden used while commuting as a senator, the nominee appeared alongside his wife Jill from the classroom at Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware, where she taught English in the early 1990s.

"Well, thank you very very much from the bottom of my heart," Mr Biden said.

"Thank you all. It means the world to me and my family. And I'll see you on Thursday. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Mr Biden was nominated on the second night of the Democratic national convention, almost six months after he won the South Carolina primary.

That proved a turning point that led to a string of victories after setbacks in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Democrats opened the evening with a collage of keynote speakers, each given just enough time to voice support for Mr Biden and urge voters to turn out in droves to defeat Mr Trump.

"Our choice is clear: a steady experienced public servant who can lead us out of this crisis just like he's done before - or a man who only knows how to deny and distract," said Ms Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost a race for governor of Georgia in 2018.

"America needs Joe Biden."

As on Monday, Democratic Party stalwarts tore into Mr Trump's temperament, his stewardship of the economy and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"If you want a president who defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media, he's your man," former president Bill Clinton said in prerecorded remarks.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a star of the party's progressive wing, also got to speak - but only for about 90 seconds, a limit her supporters have complained about.

Mr Trump is portraying Mr Biden as a captive of what he calls the party's "Radical Leftists".

In her speech seconding the nomination of Mr Biden's primary season opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, Ms Ocasio-Cortez praised "fidelity and gratitude to a mass people's movement working to establish a 21st century social, economic and human rights, including our guaranteed healthcare, higher education, living wages and labour rights for all people in the United States".

Rather than the traditional convention keynote that can fuel one star's rise - then Arkansas Governor Clinton had the keynote in 1988 and spoke again Tuesday as a former two-term president - Mr Biden's team chose an array of Democrats to share the coveted duty on Tuesday.