Opinion: A made-for-TV Democratic convention that drew mixed reviews from our readers

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, watch fireworks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

The Democratic Party put on the most made-for-TV convention in history, and the reviews from our readers are mixed. With an assortment of prerecorded spots interspersed with real-time addresses giving the four-night “live” event a surreal quality, few readers expressed great enthusiasm over what they saw.

Michelle Obama’s remarks the first night drew positive reactions, and Joe Biden’s speech was generally well received, but this convention failed to elicit the outpouring of opinions typical when ex-presidents, ex-nominees and celebrities give rousing speeches in packed arenas.

Here is a selection of the reactions we received as the convention unfolded this week.

David L. McDaniel of Capistrano Beach is an unimpressed Democrat:


I have been a Democratic voter for decades. There was nothing in Biden’s acceptance speech that made me want to support him or his agenda. He did a nice a job of giving a well-written speech, but he lacked emotion and made promises this country cannot afford to fulfill.

The Democratic National Convention was a four-day, “we hate Trump” event. It got very old, very quickly. My party could have done much better in choosing a candidate.

Roger Carasso, a professor emeritus of political science at Cal State Northridge, did not like watching so many Republicans:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is one of several progressive rising stars who know how to punch, but she was largely ignored at the convention, being given 90 seconds to speak. On the other hand, Republican John Kasich, the former governor of Ohio, spoke for four minutes.

The old standbys don’t know how to punch. One would hardly know from their speeches that there will be senatorial contests in the next election. Pathetic!

The Democrats made it sound like our only problem is Trump, and not the Republicans. Of course, the machine Democrats want to enlist “moderate” Republicans. They had better learn, first, how to punch and inspire their base.

Jackie Flaskerud of San Diego appreciated some of the optics of the convention:

Your coverage of the convention did not focus on some moments that were highlights for me.


The roll-call vote by the states was unexpectedly very entertaining and appealing. Seeing the various states presenting themselves as cultural and geographic entities gave me a reminder of how broad our country is in its peoples and landscapes.

Jill Biden’s speech delivered from an empty classroom was an excellent depiction of the grave problems our country faces. I was struck by how skillfully and compassionately she conveyed her confidence that Joe Biden’s approach to guiding and healing their family will serve him as he guides and heals the nation.

Shirley Conley of Gardena was one of a handful of readers who praised Michelle Obama:

So that is what the truth sounds like. It has been so long since I’ve heard it that I almost forgot what it sounded like. Thank you, Michelle Obama.