Former First Lady Michelle Obama is set to make her first appearance on the 2020 campaign trail when she delivers a keynote speech at a delayed Democratic National Convention next week.
She will be appearing alongside other prominent Democrats as the party officially nominates former Vice President Joe Biden as its representative in November’s election, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
Various viewpoints on display
Biden, who has frequently cited his relationship with former President Barack Obama and his wife, is sure to welcome the support of the popular first lady.
Among the other speakers scheduled to address the party on Monday are some names that might surprise voters who followed an often contentious presidential primary.
According to the Examiner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who competed as a Democrat in the party’s presidential primary, will be appearing at the convention to boost Biden despite the massive policy differences on display during the debates.
The Vermont senator’s remarks will come opposite to another unusual decision among the convention’s invited speakers.
Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary and has remained a vocal critic throughout the president’s first term, is also expected to deliver a speech. He did not attend the Republican National Convention four years ago.
The enthusiasm gap
Of course, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was a bitter adversary during the primary campaign, and Biden’s decision to name her as his running mate indicated that those earlier rivalries have been largely forgotten.
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is also scheduled to speak at the convention, as is U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The emphasis on guest speakers could pay off as Democratic voters have registered an alarming dearth of enthusiasm when it comes to casting a ballot for Biden. They are, however, generally excited about the possibility of voting Trump out of office.
Speaking with the Examiner, University of Akron professor David Cohen explained the rationale behind inviting the wide-ranging group of officials as Biden’s campaign portrays him as a uniting force who can bring disparate political factions together for the common good.
“Conventions often seek out members of the other party to speak in order to show how the nominee is willing to work with both sides of the aisle and be bipartisan in an attempt to win over centrist voters, independents, and those from the other side disaffected with their own party or nominee,” he said, as the Examiner reported.
While the guest speakers are certain to attract media attention, the only factor that truly matters is whether any of them can enthuse a Democratic base that does not appear especially motivated to work on Biden’s behalf.