The Democratic National Convention announced its main speaker lineup Tuesday morning, kicking off another round of frantic tea leaf-reading on Joe Biden’s vice presidential pick. But since most of the rumored top contenders are speaking and there’s a space left open for the nominee, it’s likely that’s more recreational than illuminating.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama will open the convention with the Monday evening keynote, which is being filmed ahead of time as a buffer against the expected technical challenges of an all-remote event. Former President Barack Obama will have the Wednesday keynote, following the vice presidential nominee’s speech. And Dr. Jill Biden will keynote Tuesday. But the other speakers chosen highlight the party’s diversity on several fronts, one of them being ideological.
Showing Biden’s embrace, at least for campaign purposes, of the Democratic Party’s left wing, Sen. Bernie Sanders will speak on Monday and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak on Tuesday, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren, assuming she is not Biden’s vice presidential pick, will speak on Wednesday. (Actually, the vice presidential nominee will speak Wednesday, so that’s her day either way, just in two different time slots.)
Among other rumored vice presidential contenders, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will speak Monday night; New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will also speak Wednesday; and Sens. Kamala Harris and Tammy Duckworth, of California and Illinois, as well as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, will speak Thursday. Former U.N. ambassador and national security adviser Susan Rice and Reps. Val Demings and Karen Bass appear to be the members of the vice presidential short list who don’t have speaking slots.
Other notable speakers include former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, on Monday; former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday; and Sen. Cory Booker and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Thursday.
This is the political lineup. The convention will reportedly also include some big entertainment and culture names, but those haven’t been released yet.