Jeramey Jannene
DNC

Mayor Gives Welcome Remarks On Night Two

"These are not conventional times," says Barrett in opening convention proceedings.

By - Aug 18th, 2020 08:40 pm
Tom Barrett. Image from the DNC live feed.

Tom Barrett. Image from the DNC live feed.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett welcomed viewers to the second night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Tuesday. But he would have preferred it went differently.

“I would love to be welcoming you to my home city right now,” said Barrett, speaking in the largely empty Wisconsin Center. The virtual convention has cut the estimated visitor count from 50,000 to hundreds.

“It was the first time a major political party chose Wisconsin to hold its convention, but these are not conventional times and as a result, as we know, this is not a conventional convention,” said Barrett.

Earlier in the day, Barrett had joked that he might attempt to give the city more exposure by not banging the gavel and instead speaking on Milwaukee for three hours. He opted to stick to the script and bang the gavel after approximately two minutes of speaking.

“Milwaukee is a very special place on America’s fresh coast,” said Barrett. “I look forward to the day where you are all able to come experience our beautiful lakefront, our historic neighborhoods and, above all, our diverse, hardworking and friendly residents.”

Barrett praised nominee Joe Biden and took aim at President Donald Trump.

“Unlike the President, we have never called COVID-19 a hoax,” said Barrett (Snopes fact check). “Unlike the President, we have never made fun of face masks. Unlike the President we understand why we can’t get together this week and we hope you do to.”

Barrett, like Congresswoman Gwen Moore who spoke early in Monday’s program, served as co-chair of the host committee.

They both have expressed disappointment at how things have turned out.

“I was riding pretty high and asking what could go wrong,” said Barrett at a press conference Tuesday morning about all the things going right for Milwaukee in 2019 and early 2020. “As we all know, just about everything went wrong.”

Other speakers scheduled to appear on Tuesday include Senator Chuck Schumer and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Party secretary Jason Rae, a Milwaukee-based political candidate, is scheduled to call the roll with Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes announcing Wisconsin’s selection.

Barrett spoke before about ten minutes before 8:00 p.m. CST start time advertised on DemConvention.com. The convention can be watched in its entirety on its website and a host of other platforms.

Party chair Tom Perez spoke from Wisconsin Center approximately 40 minutes after Barrett. “It’s great to be here in Milwaukee, a proud union town whose grit and character reflect the resilience of our party and our nation,” said Perez in his opening remarks. “I want to thank the people of Milwaukee being such great and flexible hosts.”

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