By Susana Samhan
Washington DC, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Democrats on Tuesday officially nominated Joe Biden as their presidential candidate for the United States elections on Nov. 3, casting their votes remotely on account of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The candidacy of the former vice president of Barack Obama (2009-2017) was made official with the support of 3,558 delegates versus 1,151 for his main rival, leftist senator Bernie Sanders.
The delegates of 57 US states and territories announced their votes over the course of half an hour with Sanders, wearing a mask, appearing among Vermont’s representatives, although he did not speak.
Sanders dropped out of the presidential race on Apr. 8, making the result of Tuesday’s vote a foregone conclusion.
At the end of the round of voting, Biden connected from his residence in Delaware, alongside his wife Jill, to celebrate the nomination.
“Well thank you very, very much, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all. It means the world to me and my family, and I’ll see you on Thursday,” Biden said in a live video link.
Biden is scheduled to close the four-day convention on Thursday with his acceptance speech.
Shortly after the vote, the former vice president said on Twitter that “(i)t is the honor of my life to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States of America.”
Aside from Biden’s nomination, the second day of the event proved to be as lackluster as the first night due to the virtual format adopted because of the epidemic, with none of the usual fanfare seen at the conventions.
Following the opening on Monday, which saw speeches by Sanders and former first lady Michelle Obama, the convention on Tuesday featured former presidents Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) and Bill Clinton (1993-2001) as well as the party’s rising star, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and an unexpected appearance by former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Clinton, who turns 74 on Wednesday, was the among the most critical of current president, Donald Trump.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos. Just one thing never changes – his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there,” said Clinton in a video from his home in Chappaqua in New York.
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez used her speech to defend the ideas of the party’s most progressive wing, which Sanders represents.
The New York representative took advantage of the minute she was given to speak to thank those present at the convention and “endeavoring toward a better, more just future for our country and our world in fidelity and gratitude to a mass people’s movement working to establish 21st-century social, economic and human rights, including guaranteed health care, higher education, living wages, and labor rights for all people in the United States.”
“A movement that realizes the unsustainable brutality of an economy that rewards explosive inequalities of wealth for the few, at the expense of long term stability for the many,” she added.
In a Republican endorsement of Biden, Powell described him as “a president we will all be proud to salute.”
“With Joe Biden in the White House, you will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and stand up to our adversaries – never the other way around. He will trust our diplomats and our intelligence community, not the flattery of dictators and despots,” the retired four-star general said.
“Today, we are a country divided, and we have a president doing everything in his power to make it that way and keep us that way. What a difference it will make to have a president who unites us, who restores our strength and our soul,” he added.
Powell was not the first Republican to publicly show his support of Biden at the convention. Ohio’s Republican former governor, John Kasich, also endorsed the Democrat on Monday.