Democrats are bringing in a wide range of voices, from everyday Americans to prominent Democratic figures, and even a former Republican governor, hoping to appeal to their base during the Democratic National Convention this year.
According to a list of speakers received first by The Washington Post, the convention will feature talks from a former Trump supporter from Pennsylvania, a paramedic and immigrant from Mexico City, a bus driver from Atlanta and an autoworker from Michigan. Officials hope that by pairing relatable Americans with Democratic heavy weights like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, set to speak Wednesday, and Bernie Sanders speaking Monday, they may present a unified image of the Democratic Party.
“There are people from all parts of the country, all walks of life — different professions, different financial situations — all dealing with similar things. It’s really the story of what’s happening across America right now,” said Stephanie Cutter, the program executive for the convention.
“It’s different from 2016 where Trump was just a celebrity,” she went on. “He’s now a failed president, leaving everyday Americans in his wake. Those stories are the stories we’re going to tell.”
John Kasich, a former Republican governor of Ohio and harsh Trump critic, will also be giving remarks at the convention on Monday. Bill Clinton and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are expected to have prominent roles as well, reports Bloomberg.
Gerald Lang, the 47-year old autoworker from Lake Orion, Michigan and vice president of UAW Local 5960, will be talking to voters about presumptive nominee Joe Biden’s record supporting General Motors and Chrysler through the fallout of the 2008 recession. He’s already had some kind words for the former vice president.
“Joe Biden understands that auto workers are the heart of the economy in Michigan. And he’s spent his career fighting for us,” Lang said, according to The Detroit Free Press.
“He helped rescue the auto industry as vice president and now he has a plan to create a million new auto manufacturing jobs to ensure that American workers are powering the future of auto manufacturing across the world.”
The convention is also expecting to have Barack and Michelle Obama deliver their own speeches respectively. A time slot has yet to be announced, but some have speculated that Barack may introduce his former vice president to the stage. Meanwhile, convention planners expect Michelle’s speech to attract the widest viewership outside of Biden, particularly after the success of her 2012 convention speech, reports The New York Times.