Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential candidate on Tuesday night during a virtual convention.
Mr Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris will officially take on incumbent President Donald Trump and Mike Pence in a bid for the White House’s top seat.
Unable to vote in person at the Democratic National Convention due to coronavirus restrictions, delegates from around the US formally cast their votes by submitting colourful videos that represent each state.
A cornfield in Iowa, a cattle range in Montana, the California coastline. These were the backdrops as Joe Biden racked up votes from delegates. A small number of votes also went to runner-up Bernie Sanders.
“It means the world to me and my family and I’ll see you on Thursday,” Mr Biden said in a short acceptance speech.
In taped remarks, Mr Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden retold the story of how they met and married.
Mr Biden alluded to the tragic car crash that killed his first wife and first daughter, leaving him a single father with two sons. He said that after he met Dr Biden, “she put us back together, she gave me back my life. She gave us back a family.”
Dr Biden, who has worked in education for years, addressed the convention from a classroom, noting the concerns of parents across the US as schools reopen despite rising cases of coronavirus.
“We haven’t given up, we just need leadership worthy of our nation, worthy of you, honest leadership to bring us back together, to recover from this pandemic and prepare for whatever else is next.”
Dr Biden has seen her husband through two White House campaigns, but this year she is taking on a more active role. She was a strong force in the vice-presidential selection committee that landed on Kamala Harris as the best running mate.
Tuesday night’s speech was an opportunity for the former second lady to a reintroduce herself to Democrats and Americans.
Earlier in the night, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, endorsed Joe Biden, saying with him in the White House, “we will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and stand up to our adversaries – never the other way around.”
Mr Powell’s remarks targeted Mr Trump without naming him. He said Mr Biden “will trust our diplomats and our intelligence community, not the flattery of dictators and despots.”
Former president Bill Clinton also addressed the convention, endorsing Mr Biden as the candidate to unseat the Republican president, noting the differences he saw between Mr Trump and Mr Biden.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command centre. Instead, it’s a storm centre. There’s only chaos,” Mr Clinton said
“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world. Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple.
“Just one thing never changes – his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there.”
Mr Clinton took to the spotlight for the first time in years, after standing back during his wife Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful run for president in 2016. He and his wife have spent decades embedded in US national politics.
In a speech that was taped from the family home in Chappaqua, New York, Mr Clinton placed his full backing behind Mr Biden.
“Our party is united in offering you a very different choice. A go-to-work president. A down-to-earth, get-the-job-done guy,” Mr Clinton said.
If Mr Clinton represents the old guard, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents a new breed of Democrats.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez is new to Congress but has been quick to challenge Mr Trump.
Alongside senator Sanders, she has pushed for more progressive positions within the Democratic Party. She formally endorsed Mr Sanders for president on Tuesday night, as per convention rules requiring nominations for every candidate that passes the delegate threshold.
In a brief address, she expressed her gratitude to a “people’s movement” that is working to “promote and build reimagined systems of immigration and foreign policy that turn away from the violence and xenophobia of our past.”
The freshman congresswoman is known for leveraging social media to amplify her policies and positions, allowing her to build an online following that the Democrats hope will translate to votes for their party.
A total of 19.7 million people watched the first night of the Democratic National Convention across 10 US television networks on Monday, the Nielsen ratings company said.
That was a drop from the 26 million people who watched the first night of the Democratic National Convention in 2016, when Ms Clinton was the party’s first female presidential nominee.