Experimental virtual Democratic National Convention kicks off Monday with Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders

Milwaukee prepares for virtual Democratic National Convention
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Democratic National Convention begins Monday night, conducted virtually with a mixture of prerecorded speeches, musical acts, and live-edited cut-ins from around the U.S. The convention will be condensed into two hours a night, Monday through Thursday, from 9-11 p.m. EDT; the broadcast networks will cover only the second hour, though the entire presentation will be streamed on most social media services and smart devices, plus broadcast on cable news. "Anything can happen," promised the event's producer, Ricky Kirshner. "It is not scripted, I can tell you that."

Monday night's theme is "We the People." The night's keynote will be delivered by former first lady Michelle Obama, and other featured speakers include Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio). Presumptive nominee Joe Biden will speak from Delaware on Thursday night, and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), will be the featured speaker Wednesday night. The shortened format means shorter speeches and fewer speakers. "This will be certainly different than any other convention," said DNC Chairman Thomas Perez. "You'll see fewer podiums but you'll see more people in living rooms. You'll see them on factory floors and schools and communities."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.