The most successful conventions, in normal years, are the ones that methodically execute a checklist of political objectives.
This one was different in form and function.
Democrats — their 2020 gathering confined to a camera lens — sought to capitalize on the intimacy of the medium, and the teeth-grinding urgency of defeating President Trump, by sequencing the first-ever virtual convention as a series of emotional, rather than political, moments.
That was especially evident on the fourth and final night, when the convention converged on the focal point of the nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., a candidate whose political strength emanates not from his youth, oratorical prowess or place at the head of a movement, but from his capacity to overcome tragedy and to feel other people’s pain.
Mr. Biden’s final message on Thursday, toward that end, was not a typical end-of-show fist pump. It was a plea for “love and hope and light.”
The night’s highlights:
Mr. Biden’s lengthy speech went smoothly. The Trump campaign has ridiculed Mr. Biden’s age and physical capacities relentlessly, suggesting that he was hiding in his basement in Delaware to avoid verbal pratfalls. In recent days, however, some Republicans have quietly fretted that setting such a low bar for Mr. Biden would make even a mediocre performance seem like a triumph.
Mr. Biden did not deliver a perfect speech to an eerily empty hall in Delaware on Thursday. But there were only a few stumbles, and he projected a sense of presidential authority, especially when ripping Mr. Trump on foreign policy.
Tammy Duckworth gave Mr. Trump a nickname. A lot of speakers said a lot of unflattering things about Mr. Trump over the past four days. But few hit quite as hard as the Illinois senator and combat veteran who delivered a damning verdict of his stewardship of national security.
Mr. Trump, she said, “is a coward in chief who won’t stand up to Vladimir Putin, read his daily briefings or even admonish adversaries for putting bounties on our troops’ heads.”
Hunter Biden made a cameo. Mr. Biden’s campaign included a testimonial from Mr. Biden’s son Hunter, whose highly paid work on behalf of an energy company in Ukraine caused immense headaches for his father’s campaign. A Biden campaign aide said there was never a question about including him.
Michael Bloomberg got under Trump’s skin. The Democrats sicced an even richer guy than Mr. Trump on him Thursday night, with the billionaire former mayor ridiculing the president’s boasts that he is a genius in business. “Trump says we should vote for him because he’s a great businessman,” he said. “Really?”
The insult hit its mark. “After the worst debate performance in the history of politics, Michael Bloomberg, commonly known as Mini Mike, is trying to make a comeback by begging the Democrats for relevance,” Mr. Trump tweeted soon after. “They treated him like a dog — and always will. Before politics, he said GREAT things about me!”
Brayden Harrington set the tone. Mr. Biden had a debilitating stutter as a child, and he has befriended young people he has met through the years who stutter as well. At first a segment featuring Brayden Harrington, 13, sitting for a moment without speaking, seemed as if it were experiencing a technical glitch.
Then he began to speak about encountering Mr. Biden: “A few months ago I met him in New Hampshire,” Brayden said. “He told me that we were members of the same club. We stutter.”
Brayden went on to talk about how Mr. Biden had made him feel more confident and hopeful about what he could accomplish. Then he wrapped up his remarks in a way that eloquently captured Mr. Biden’s core message.
“We all want the world to feel better,” he said. “We need the world to feel better.”
Forty-eight years after he first ran for the Senate and 33 years since his first presidential bid flamed out before the first primaries, Joseph R. Biden Jr. accepted the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on Thursday, framing himself as a balm to heal a nation scarred and divided by four years of President Trump.
Mr. Biden delivered a crisp, forceful live address not before a cheering arena of Democrats but inside a barren conference center, his big party yet another casualty of the nation’s enduring public health crisis.
“United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America,” Mr. Biden said from Wilmington, Del., after months of Zoom fund-raisers and video chats from his home there. “It is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for president of the United States of America.”
Over the last six months, Mr. Biden has united a fractious Democratic Party coalition that is sold less on his policy proposals or on him as a symbol of change than on its united opposition to a president whom all elements of the party view as an existential threat to democracy.
His speech Thursday was likely to be remembered less for its content than for the emotion Mr. Biden brought to the case against Mr. Trump. While the former vice president pledged to “be the generation that finally wipes out the stain of racism from our national character,” the crux of his argument was that the United States is better than the self-centered world of Mr. Trump’s White House.
“This campaign isn’t just about winning votes,” he said, echoing a theme of his campaign since it began 18 months ago. “It’s about winning the heart and, yes, the soul of America. Winning it for the generous among us, not the selfish. Winning it for workers who keep this country going, not just the privileged few at the top.”
At 77 years old, Mr. Biden is the nation’s oldest presidential nominee for a major party, someone broadly assumed to be a transitional figure, one who may even serve just a single term in office. His selection of his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, anointed her as a potential successor and future leader of the party.
During a convention heavy on emotion and Mr. Biden’s biography — the loss of his wife and infant daughter in a car accident and, 40 years later, of his adult son to brain cancer — Democrats have put relatively little emphasis on what Mr. Biden would do as president beyond reversing Mr. Trump’s policies and ending his chaotic style of governing.
“What we know about this president is if he’s given four more years, he’ll be what he’s been for the last four years,” Mr. Biden said. “A president who takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cozies up to dictators and fans the flames of hate and division.”
So Mr. Biden gave an acceptance speech aimed at doing no harm to his coalition of Black voters, suburbanites, older people and college-educated women, just like the convention itself.
He said little to give fodder to Republican attacks that he is a stalking horse for the far left — just as his convention gave only 90 seconds of speaking time to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who represents the party’s future far more than Michael R. Bloomberg, who received a plum five-minute slot Thursday night as the last politician to speak before Mr. Biden.
Instead Mr. Biden delivered familiar attacks on Republican efforts to cut taxes on the wealthy and big corporations and pledged to protect Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.
Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden said, is “proposing to eliminate a tax that pays for almost half of Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue, resulting in cuts. I will not let that happen. If I’m your president we’re going to protect Social Security and Medicare. You have my word.”
Mr. Trump has ping-ponged between attacks on Mr. Biden, suggesting he is a dimwitted avatar for the far left who has little ability to make hefty decisions on his own.
As if on cue, Mr. Trump, before Mr. Biden was finished speaking, weighed in on Twitter, not to demean his rival’s proposals but to suggest his time to put them in place had come and gone during his previous terms in office.
“In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks,” Mr. Trump wrote. “He will never change, just words!”
Then, as if Mr. Biden were speaking to viewers from inside their living rooms, he finished his speech — the first nomination acceptance in modern times without a cheering crowd — with a call to join him in overcoming the national division of the Trump era.
“Let us begin, you and I together, one nation under God, united in our love for America, united in our love for each other,” Mr. Biden said. “This is our mission. Let history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light. Join in the battle for the soul of the nation.”
Then he and his wife, Jill Biden, along with Ms. Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, walked outside the convention center, with masks covering their faces, to watch a fireworks display with a crowd of supporters who remained by their parked cars.
Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s children, Hunter and Ashley Biden, spoke about their father ahead of his speech accepting the Democratic nomination on Thursday night.
“We want to tell you what kind of president our dad will be,” Hunter Biden said.
Hunter Biden, 50, and Ashley Biden, 39, went on to describe their father. Ashley Biden said Mr. Biden would be “the worst enemy any bully ever saw.” Hunter Biden said he would be “the best friend you’ve ever had.”
“He’s been a great father,” Hunter Biden said.
“And we think he’ll be a great president,” Ashley Biden added.
President Trump and his allies have repeatedly attacked Hunter Biden over his overseas business dealings, and his appearance at the convention was notable because he has largely remained out of sight during the presidential campaign.
The House impeached Mr. Trump in December over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate the elder Mr. Biden and Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while Mr. Biden was vice president. The Senate acquitted Mr. Trump in February.
Ashley Biden has a background in social work and served as executive director of the Delaware Center for Justice, a nonprofit group.
On Thursday night, Hunter and Ashley Biden gave the final word to their late brother, Beau Biden. The segment concluded with footage of Beau Biden speaking about their father at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Stephen Curry, one of the most popular players in the N.B.A., and his wife, the author and chef Ayesha Curry, endorsed Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night.
The celebrity couple appeared in a pretaped video with their daughters, Riley, 8, and Ryan, 5, one of the highest-profile athlete appearances at a political convention for either party.
The endorsement plans were first reported by People Magazine.
“We want to ensure that our kids live in a nation that is safe, happy, healthy and fair, and so this election — ” Mrs. Curry says in the video. Mr. Curry cuts in to say, “We’re voting for Joe Biden.”
Mr. Curry, a two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner, has kept in close touch with former President Barack Obama, under whom Mr. Biden served, since Mr. Obama left the White House in 2017. Mr. Obama and Mr. Curry appeared together last year at an event in Oakland, Calif., celebrating My Brother’s Keeper, the former president’s initiative aimed at closing the education gap for young Black men.
The endorsement is not necessarily a surprise, given that Mr. Curry has been a frequent critic of President Trump since he took office. Early on in Mr. Trump’s presidency, Mr. Curry publicly rebuked the chief executive of Under Armour, Kevin Plank, after Mr. Plank said the president was a “a real asset” to the country. Mr. Curry, who has an endorsement deal with Under Armour, said in an interview with The San Jose Mercury News, “I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et.’”
In fact, one of Mr. Trump’s early feuds in his presidency was with Mr. Curry, who had expressed reluctance about visiting the White House after the Golden State Warriors won the N.B.A. championship in 2017. In response, Mr. Trump rescinded the invitation.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” Mr. Trump posted on Twitter that September. “Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” LeBron James, another N.B.A. star who has endorsed Mr. Biden, chimed in on Twitter: “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
Michael R. Bloomberg, the party-hopping billionaire who alighted on the Democratic Party’s right, was given five minutes in prime time at the convention — four more minutes than the slot initially given to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading champion of the party’s left wing.
Why? That is what many progressives and disgruntled former workers on his short-lived presidential campaign have been asking.
The answer (according to Biden aides) was this: The former New York City mayor is much, much richer than President Trump, and is therefore uniquely positioned to offer a suitably sneering takedown of the president’s claim that he is a business genius.
“Trump says we should vote for him because he’s a great businessman. Really?” Mr. Bloomberg asked on Thursday.
“He drove his companies into bankruptcy six times — always leaving behind customers and contractors who were cheated and swindled and stopped doing business with him,” he added. “Well, this time all of us are paying the price. And we can’t let him get away with it again.”
Mr. Bloomberg recently pledged to spend $50 million of his roughly $55 billion fortune to help House Democrats. But he was a Republican for the better part of a decade as mayor, and resisted efforts to raise taxes on the wealthy to shore up the city’s budget in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“I’ve never been much for partisan politics. I’ve supported Democrats, Republicans, and independents,” Mr. Bloomberg said on Thursday. “Hell, I’ve actually been a Democrat, Republican and independent.”
On Thursday, it was down with the plutocrats — just one plutocrat, actually.
“Let me tell you a little secret: Donald Trump’s economic plan was to give a huge tax cut to guys like me who didn’t need it — and then lie about who it was for, to everyone else,” he said.
The appearance, coming just before Joseph R. Biden Jr. accepted the party’s nomination, has stirred anger among some progressives as well as former Bloomberg campaign workers who say he broke a promise to employ them through November. It has also reignited questions about the multibillionaire’s pledge to throw his fortune behind the general-election effort to defeat Mr. Trump.
“He stiffed our party and all the monthly workers he promised to keep on through November,” Amy Siskind, a prominent progressive activist, wrote on Twitter. “Why is Bloomberg speaking?”
In March, Mr. Bloomberg made an enormous $18 million transfer to the Democratic Party and offered up the leases to 13 field offices for the party’s use. Within weeks of exiting the 2020 race, he put $4.5 million into three major progressive groups — Swing Left, Collective Future and Voto Latino.
Not long before Joe Biden was set to make his official debut as the Democratic nominee, several of his former rivals swapped glowing testimonials about him in a 5-minute video.
The deceptively simple television spot, created by the M&C Saatchi ad agency SS+K, features former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang in a video conference moderated by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
“You can think of this sort of like Survivor, on the out interviews of all the people who got voted off the island,” Mr. Booker joked.
Instead of relying on the former candidates to record themselves as they virtually interacted, SS+K sent film crews to six separate locations on Sunday (Mr. Sanders’s existing audiovisual arrangement was sophisticated enough for him to manage on his own).
Within 48 hours, the video had been edited and finalized. The effort involved some 45 editors, technicians, producers and other workers, said Rob Shepardson, who co-founded SS+K in 1993.
He has worked on campaigns for former President Barack Obama as well as for clients such as Starbucks and Microsoft. Thursday night’s video was “at the top” of his list for difficulty and novelty, he said.
“In our experience, it’s never been done before, where you have most of the Democratic primary candidates together in a session like that,” he said.
The video was part of a trio crafted for the convention. The first spot, which ran on Monday, also included praise about Mr. Biden from former candidates, such as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and the California billionaire Tom Steyer. The second video, which aired on Wednesday, focused on gun control and a speech by Emma González, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting and a vocal gun safety activist.
When Pete Buttigieg was on his way to winning, just barely, the Iowa caucuses back in February, he was competing for the same voters that fell in Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s sweet spot: older, moderate voters longing for a time when politics wasn’t so chaotic.
A regular applause line in his stump speech went: “Are we ready to put the tweets in the rearview mirror once and for all?”
The Buttigieg campaign fizzled out in South Carolina, where he never developed any traction with Black voters, who formed the core of the Biden constituency. Yet his promise to be a sober executive who would resist the excesses of more liberal candidates such as Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, combined with a big-dollar fund-raising apparatus that for months went unmatched among his 2020 rivals, was essentially what Mr. Biden rode to victory after Mr. Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed him on the eve of Super Tuesday.
Still only 38 years old, Mr. Buttigieg, perhaps unlike anyone else who has spoken at the convention, is a man whose political future is entirely yoked to Mr. Biden winning in November.
Speaking from his hometown, South Bend, Ind., of the progress the country has made on gay rights, Mr. Buttigieg, the first gay major party presidential candidate to speak on a presidential debate stage, looked toward the next decade if Mr. Biden is elected.
“If this much can change between 2010 and 2020, imagine what could change between now and 2030,” he said. “The day I was born, the idea of an out candidate seeking any federal office at all was laughable. Yet earlier this year I campaigned for the presidency, often with my husband, Chasten, at my side, winning delegates to this very convention.”
Like others who have addressed a national audience during the Democratic convention, Mr. Buttigieg framed the stakes of the election as monumental, a choice between an array of polar opposite outcomes to be determined by the result of the Nov. 3 election.
“It’s up to us,” he said. “Will America be a place where faith is about healing and not exclusion? Can we become a country that lives up to the truth that Black lives matter? Will we handle questions of science and medicine by turning to scientists and doctors? Will we see to it that no one who works full time can live in poverty?”
If Mr. Biden wins, Mr. Buttigieg is certain to earn consideration for a plum cabinet appointment. If he loses, Mr. Buttigieg will be in South Bend without a job and, given Indiana’s heavy Republican lean, not much of a future in elected office until the next presidential campaign.
A video paying tribute to Beau Biden, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s late son, aired as part of the convention proceedings on Thursday night, ahead of Mr. Biden’s speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.
Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46. His death was another devastating public loss for Mr. Biden, whose first wife and daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972. Mr. Biden’s empathy and his capacity to connect with people dealing with grief are often cited as among his most distinctive qualities as a politician.
The tribute showed photo after photo of Beau Biden. In some of them, he wore military fatigues; he was a member of the Delaware Army National Guard and served in Iraq.
The tribute included portions of the eulogy that President Barack Obama delivered at his funeral. “He did in 46 years what most of us couldn’t do in 146,” Mr. Obama said.
“Some folks may never know that their lives are better because of Beau Biden, but that’s OK,” Mr. Obama added. “Certainly for Beau, acclaim was never the point of public service.”
At the beginning of Thursday’s program, a segment cited Beau Biden’s death and highlighted Mr. Biden’s leadership of the cancer “moonshot” that was established by the Obama administration. And later Thursday night, the convention aired a video showing Mr. Biden’s granddaughters talking about their grandfather.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. received a striking endorsement Thursday night from a 95-year-old Republican who served in World War II and the Korean War.
“I have been a Republican since the 1960s, I’m a member of the N.R.A. and I voted for Trump,” the veteran, Ed Good, said. “I think Trump has been the worst president we’ve ever had.”
“Like me on the day of my jump into Germany,” he added, “I think Joe Biden cares about doing his proper duty for the United States.”
Mr. Good’s endorsement reinforced the theme of bipartisan support for Mr. Biden that Democratic leaders have been hammering during the convention. Several prominent Republicans have given speeches or appeared in video montages, and regular Republican voters have been featured as well.
It also spoke to a theme that the event highlighted on Thursday in particular: Mr. Biden’s connections to the military and how he would approach the role of commander in chief.
Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, whose legs were amputated after she was wounded in Iraq, excoriated President Trump’s handling of the military and foreign relations, and a video highlighted the military service of Mr. Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
In searing terms, Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois vouched for Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s ability to be commander in chief, endorsing him in a way that she, a military veteran whose legs were amputated after her helicopter was shot down in Iraq, is uniquely positioned to do.
Service members deserve a leader “who understands the risks they face and who would actually protect them by doing his job as commander in chief,” Ms. Duckworth said, in a speech that followed a video about Mr. Biden’s connections to the military. “Instead, they have a coward in chief who won’t stand up to Vladimir Putin, read his daily intelligence briefings or even publicly admonish adversaries for reportedly putting bounties on our troops’ heads.”
Her speech was a fierce denunciation of the performance and character of President Trump, who she said had “let tyrants manipulate him like a puppet on a string.”
“Joe Biden would never threaten to use our military against peaceful Americans, because unlike Trump, Joe Biden has common sense and common decency,” Ms. Duckworth said. “Donald Trump doesn’t deserve to call himself commander in chief for another four minutes, let alone another four years.”
Ms. Duckworth also spoke in emotional detail not only about her own struggles after her injury, but the stress it placed on her husband.
“When I was wounded, he rushed to Walter Reed,” she said. “When I woke up, he held my hand and helped me through the excruciating pain. He was my anchor as I relearned to walk, helping me through every step, every stumble. You see, military service doesn’t just take courage and sacrifice from those in uniform — they’re required from their families, too.”
Mr. Biden, “understands those sacrifices, because he has made them himself,” she said, pointing to his son Beau Biden’s service in Iraq. “Joe knows the fear military families live with because he’s felt that dread of never knowing if your deployed loved one is safe. He understands their bravery because he has had to muster that same strength every hour of every day Beau was overseas.”
Ms. Duckworth’s military background and compelling personal story led Mr. Biden to seriously consider her as his running mate, though he ultimately concluded that choosing her would invite legal battles because she was born abroad to a father who was an American citizen and a mother who was not.
Senator Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, had expected a big week as a host of Milwaukee’s convention that wasn’t.
Ms. Baldwin, who in 2012 became the first openly gay woman to be elected to the Senate, focused on one of the most popular elements of Obamacare in her prime-time speech: the provision that allows those under 26 to remain on their parents’ health plans.
“When I was 9 years old, I got sick, really sick,” Ms. Baldwin recalled. “I was hospitalized. But since my grandparents were the ones raising me, and our family’s health plan didn’t cover grandkids, they were forced to pay out of pocket for my three-month hospital stay.”
“I was marked ‘child with a pre-existing condition,’” she added. “You see, there’s another part of my story: the part where I ran for office, the part where I served in Congress, the part where I worked with Joe Biden and Barack Obama to make sure kids and grandkids, if they’re dependents, can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26.”
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey focused his convention remarks on the middle class, describing Joseph R. Biden Jr. as a champion of unions and working Americans.
Mr. Booker, whose own presidential campaign emphasized a message of unity and who was a leader on gun policy in particular, sharply criticized President Trump for describing the economy as “good” when “40 million Americans are at risk of losing their homes, 30 million aren’t getting enough food to eat, and 5.4 million people have lost their health care because of this crisis.”
If Mr. Biden is elected, “together, we’ll fight for those who keep us healthy, who keep us safe, who teach our children,” he said. “We’ll stand for those who cook and serve and clean, who plant and harvest, who pack and always deliver — whose hands are thick with calluses like my grandad’s were.”
Mr. Booker described his grandfather as an example of the American dream: Raised in the South under Jim Crow, he moved to Detroit and got a union job on an assembly line, which enabled him to climb into the middle class.
“That’s the American dream: Together we work, together we rise,” Mr. Booker said. “Like his generation, up out of the Depression, let’s now work together and stand together — and America, together we will rise.”
President Trump said Thursday evening that he would send law enforcement officers to polling places in November, and suggested falsely that states might send absentee ballots only to Democratic voters.
“We’re going to have everything,” Mr. Trump said in response to a question from the Fox News host Sean Hannity about whether the administration intended to monitor polling places for evidence of fraud. “We’re going to have sheriffs and we’re going to have law enforcement and we’re going to have hopefully U.S. attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody, and attorney generals.”
He then repeated his frequent, baseless claims that universal mail-in voting would lead to widespread fraud. (Several states already vote by mail, and there is no evidence that it has led to significant fraud.)
“They’re going to be sending out 51 million ballots to people — they have no idea why it’s coming, who it’s going to,” he said. “Unfortunately, they may have a very good idea, the people sending them. They may send them to all Democrat areas, not to Republican areas, as an example. Could be the other way, too, but I doubt it.”
Speaking for a full half-hour from the White House — in a sharp break from the tradition of deferring to a presidential rival during a convention week — Mr. Trump also bashed the Democratic Party and cast false aspersions on Mr. Biden’s mental health, though he conceded that he planned to watch Mr. Biden’s address later in the night.
“I will, I’ll watch,” the president said. “I may not be able to watch all of it.”
The president also told Mr. Hannity that he had “watched some, not that much” of the Democratic convention leading up to Thursday, adding: “Lot of hate.” When Mr. Hannity noted that the convention had featured plenty of talk about the president, Mr. Trump replied: “Yeah, I’d say so!”
The appearance began shortly after 9:30 p.m., and it was clear that Mr. Trump was watching his own interview in real time. “I just watched the young man on your screen!” Mr. Trump told Mr. Hannity, after the host ran footage of protesters in Portland, Ore.
It is a longstanding protocol that presidential candidates stay relatively quiet during the week their opponent formally accepts the nomination. But Mr. Trump has refused to yield the spotlight, going out of his way to try to dampen Mr. Biden’s parade.
Shortly before the Democratic convention began on Thursday, Mr. Trump published agitated posts on Twitter falsely claiming that the Democrats “are trying to STEAL this election” and reposted pro-Trump tweets from the right-wing pundits Mark Levin and Dan Bongino, both of whom appeared on “Hannity” before the president called in.
Mr. Trump also made an afternoon appearance near Scranton, Pa., where Mr. Biden spent part of his childhood.
On Fox News on Thursday, Mr. Hannity — one of Mr. Trump’s loudest media cheerleaders — seemed to guide Mr. Trump through the interview, teeing up some of the president’s regular talking points. Mr. Hannity cued Mr. Trump to attack the former vice president’s “mental acuity,” to which Mr. Trump replied: “I don’t want to get into that. Pretty obvious what’s going on.” (There is no evidence that Biden is suffering from mental health problems.)
Mr. Trump also said falsely that Mr. Biden had not answered questions from reporters since July. Mr. Biden’s last formal news conference took place in July; since then he has responded to queries on a few occasions and sat for an interview with People magazine. He is participating in an ABC News interview on Friday.
The president also previewed next week’s Republican National Convention, saying he hoped it would contain more live segments than the Democrats’ version. “I think it’s pretty boring when you do tapes,” Mr. Trump said.
As Democrats built toward their coronation of Joseph R. Biden Jr. and President Trump called into Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, federal election regulators released the latest fund-raising figures in the race on Thursday night.
Mr. Trump’s official super PAC, America First Action, took in $13.4 million last month, those filings showed. Roughly three-quarters of that came through the group’s dark-money sister non-profit, making the origins of the cash untraceable.
The biggest gift with a name attached to it — a $2 million one — came to Mr. Trump’s group from Patricia J. Duggan of Florida, a prominent Scientologist who has poured hundreds of millions into the church.
One of Mr. Biden’s official super PACs, Priorities USA Action, reported taking in $6.9 million in July, with roughly 40 percent of that coming from its comparable dark-money arm that does not disclose donors.
Big donors supporting Mr. Biden through that group last month included Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy,” who contributed $700,000, and the hedge-fund billionaire James Simons, who gave $2 million, according to the filings.
Thursday marked a filing deadline with the Federal Election Commission, America’s election watchdog. But as robust disclosures were processed and made public by the agency in recent days, there was one newly registered candidate for president for whom no data had posted as of early Friday: Kanye West, whom Republican activists have sought to help put on the ballot as a third-party candidate in several states.
By now it’s no secret: Democrats want their supporters to vote as soon as possible.
Alex Padilla and Jocelyn Benson, the secretaries of state of California and Michigan, repeated a pitch that Democratic convention viewers have seen from Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others this week: Please request your absentee ballot now and send it back right away.
President Trump, Mr. Padilla said, “has admitted he is trying to sabotage the post office to undermine voting by mail. It’s a direct attack on our elections.”
Ms. Benson made sure voters understood their responsibility.
“Our job is to make sure that everybody can vote safely, whether in person or by mail,” she said. “Your job is to make sure you vote.”
Both Ms. Benson and Mr. Padilla, Democratic officials who oversee elections in their states, have expanded mail voting efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, as Mr. Trump has sowed doubts about the legitimacy of mail voting even as he has voted by mail himself in Florida’s primary contests.
Mr. Padilla, who is among the ambitious Californians in the mix to replace Senator Kamala Harris if she becomes vice president, is sending ballots to every registered voter in the state. Ms. Benson sent absentee ballot applications to everyone on the Michigan voter rolls.
After a pitch to text the Biden campaign for help registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot, Ms. Benson again stressed the urgency of voting quickly.
“If you are voting from home, request and return your ballot as soon as possible,” she said.
Mr. Padilla added: “Request your ballot now and send it in right away.”
Two states elected the first Native American members of Congress in 2018, an important moment for a diverse array of individual communities facing a common set of dire economic, educational and health care challenges.
Sharice Davids, a former mixed martial arts fighter and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, was elected in Kansas, and Deb Haaland, a community organizer and a member of Laguna Pueblo, won in New Mexico. Ms. Haaland addressed the convention Thursday.
“I’m a symbol of our resilience,” she said. “As the embodiment of America’s progress as a nation, I know we can’t take our democracy for granted, especially now as people are dying, as our land is abused, as our Constitution is under attack.”
Ms. Haaland, the former chairwoman of New Mexico’s Democratic Party, represents a relatively liberal district that includes most of Albuquerque. She has been a vocal critic of the president’s crackdown on immigration and promoted native sovereignty as a professed “35th-generation New Mexican.”
When John Lewis died, the country lost one of its last links to the civil rights movement.
Mr. Lewis, who for the last 33 years represented Atlanta in Congress, fought until his final days for legislation to protect the right to vote.
During the final night of the Democratic National Convention, the party played a nearly five-minute tribute to Mr. Lewis, drawing on his legacy with tributes from figures including Elijah Cummings, himself a civil rights leader and congressman from Baltimore who died last year.
“From Day 1, John Lewis was a role model for members of Congress,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “Because he brought with him a heft, a weightiness of purpose.”
The video was followed by a performance of “Glory,” the Academy Award-winning song by John Legend and Common from the film “Selma.” The film focused on the voting rights marches from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery in 1965, including the Bloody Sunday march, during which Mr. Lewis was badly beaten by state troopers on the Edmund Pettus bridge.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta invoked John Lewis, an icon of her city and the civil rights movement, at the Democratic convention, urging Americans to “pass on the gift John Lewis sacrificed to give us”: the right to vote.
“People often think that they can’t make a difference like our civil rights icons, but every person in the movement mattered,” Ms. Bottoms said. “Those who made the sandwiches, swept the church floors, stuffed the envelopes — they, too, changed America, and so can we.”
Echoing a message former President Barack Obama delivered at Mr. Lewis’s funeral, and one that has become an implicit theme of this week’s convention, Ms. Bottoms warned, “If we fail to exercise our right to vote, we can lose it.”
Ms. Bottoms, who was a contender to be Mr. Biden’s running mate, gained national prominence for her response to the protests in Atlanta after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, striking a delicate balance between expressing solidarity with the protesters and warning against violence and property destruction.
She also made headlines in July, as coronavirus cases were spiking in Georgia, by imposing a local mask mandate and other restrictions over the objections of Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. Mr. Kemp sued her for, he argued, violating his legal authority to set consistent statewide rules; he dropped the lawsuit this month and said he would issue an executive order instead.
Ms. Bottoms herself was one of the most prominent politicians to contract Covid-19.
In her speech on Thursday, she condemned officials who she said were using the pandemic “to spread misinformation and interfere with voting, forcing many in 2020 to still risk their lives to exercise their sacred right to vote — a right that has already been paid for with the blood, sweat, tears and lives of so many.”
WILMINGTON, Del. — Like all other nights of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, too, was virtual. But in Joe Biden’s hometown, some of the former vice president’s fans were celebrating together anyway — at a safe distance.
An outdoor viewing area, drive-in-movie-style, was set up near the venue where Mr. Biden spoke, replete with oversize American flags, a stage and a large screen.
Half an hour before the convention kicked off, attendees milled in the parking lot under a sliver of a moon as upbeat music — some of it familiar from Mr. Biden’s campaign events — played.
As the convention got underway, and speakers hit their applause lines, attendees blared their horns in approval.
Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s verbosity, which has gotten him into trouble over the years, is offset by a willingness to listen quietly as people tell him their problems, an empathetic gift the writer Michael Kruse memorably labeled “Joe Biden’s superpower.”
Conveying that warmth has been a challenge during a digital, socially distanced convention, but organizers sought to underscore his compassion — in part, to contrast him with President Trump — in the lead-in to Mr. Biden’s big speech on Thursday.
Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware who was sworn into office a decade ago by Mr. Biden, offered a testimonial to the nominee’s “respect for the dignity of all people.”
“Joe knows the power of prayer, and I’ve seen him in moments of joy and triumph, of loss and despair, turn to God for strength,” Mr. Coons said.
“Joe’s comforted me in my toughest moments, as he has so many others,” he added. “I’ll never forget how Joe took the time to offer me words of comfort as my father lay in hospice.”
“That compassion, that empathy,” Mr. Coons said, “is part of his character.”
Over the first three nights of the Democratic National Convention, three actresses — Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross — guided viewers through a most unusual convention program.
On the fourth night, Julia Louis-Dreyfus brought in some levity as well as some pointed jabs at President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
She first met Mr. Biden while she was starring on the show “Veep.” Shortly after that meeting, she recalled, she was asked to be on the cover of a magazine — specifically, the onboard magazine of Amtrak, which Mr. Biden famously rode every day between the Senate and his children in Wilmington, Del.
“The day it came out, my phone rang, and it was the vice president telling me he loved the cover and the whole article,” Ms. Louis-Dreyfus said. “Joe Biden not only knows how to read, but also he reads everything.”
Later, she took a sharper tone.
“Just remember,” she said, “Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he doesn’t even need tear gas and a bunch of federalized troops to help him get there.”
To get information about voting, she said, voters should text 30330, which “would be the president’s golf score if he didn’t cheat.”
“OK, look, I’ll admit that was a little nasty, but we all know he’s a cheater, and I’m proud to be a nasty, nasty woman,” she went on. “You know, when Donald Trump spoke at his inauguration about American carnage, I assumed that was something he was against, not a campaign promise.”
In an exchange with the former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Ms. Louis-Dreyfus also mispronounced Vice President Mike Pence’s name, mocking some conservative commentators’ mispronunciations of Kamala Harris’s name:
LOUIS-DREYFUS: I cannot wait to see her debate our current vice president, Micah Paints.
YANG: It is pronounced Ponce, I believe.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Oh, some kind of weird foreign name.
YANG: Not very American sounding.
LOUIS-DREYFUS: Yeah. That’s what people are saying.
Of the four actresses serving as hosts, Ms. Louis-Dreyfus has the closest relationship with Mr. Biden. The two filmed a spoof video for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2014. When Ms. Louis-Dreyfus disclosed that she had breast cancer, in 2017, Mr. Biden tweeted his support.
“We Veeps stick together. Jill and I, and all of the Bidens, are with you, Julia,” he wrote.
When Andrew Yang began his 2020 presidential campaign back in November 2017, he was less than an afterthought. When major newspapers wrote stories about potential 2020 candidates and left him out, Mr. Yang himself often emailed reporters with a polite reminder that he was, in fact, a Democratic candidate for president of the United States.
Nearly three years later Mr. Yang is a household name, a breakout star of the presidential election cycle who built himself an enduring following from supporters who embraced his call for a universal basic income and his dire warnings about the coming loss of blue-collar jobs. His presidential campaign lasted longer and was more successful than those of a handful of the party’s anointed stars — including Senator Kamala Harris, who wound up the Democratic nominee for vice president.
So when Mr. Yang was initially left off the initial list of speakers at this week’s convention, he was hurt. Though supportive of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., he encouraged social media efforts to win him a slot. The campaign worked, and there was Mr. Yang as the opening speaker for the final night of Mr. Biden’s virtual convention.
“Hello America!” Mr. Yang said in remarks he delivered Thursday from CNN’s New York studio, where he is a paid contributor to the network. “It’s great to have this time with you on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.”
Mr. Yang noted that a lot of the dire predictions he had made during his campaign had already come true, citing his slogan: “Make America Think Harder,” which was abbreviated MATH and sold on copious amounts of campaign merchandise.
“You might know me as the guy who ran for president talking about MATH and the future,” Mr. Yang said. “Unfortunately for all of us, that future is now. The pandemic has accelerated everything. If you’re like me and my wife, Evelyn, you don’t know if your child’s school is reopening this fall. Seventy-two percent of Americans believe that this is the worst time we have ever experienced. And 42 percent of the jobs that are now lost — millions of jobs — will never return.”
Then Mr. Yang did something he often did on the campaign trail but has not been done much by major speakers during the Democrats’ four-day convention: Make a direct appeal to Trump voters to get behind Mr. Biden.
“Back in 2016, if you voted for Trump, or didn’t vote at all, I understand. Many of us have gotten tired of our leaders seeming far removed from our everyday lives,” he said. “But we must give this country a chance to recover — and recovery is only possible with a change of leadership and new ideas.”
Then Mr. Yang finished with the sort of self-aware joke that won him raves throughout the campaign.
“Now I’ll turn it over to a great Democrat with us throughout the evening,” he said. “We have 11 Emmys between the two of us. How is that for math? One of my favorite actresses, Julia Louis-Dreyfus.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California initially had a plum speaking slot at the Democratic convention, but then he had to cancel to deal with wildfires ravaging his state.
But Mr. Newsom found time to film — on his own iPhone, framed vertically with a tree behind him — a short testimonial to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, an old political ally of Mr. Newsom’s.
“I confess this is not where I expected to be speaking here tonight,” he said. “I’m about a mile or so away from one of over 370 wildfires that we’re battling here in the state of California.”
Mr. Newsom offered a plea to viewers to address climate change before catastrophes strike elsewhere.
“Climate change is real,” he said. “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California.”