Speed Reads

DNC 2020

Kamala Harris' grand finale involved awkward pointing, an empty auditorium, and a Zoom mistake

A virtual convention was always going to have its bumps, but Kamala Harris' grand finale on Wednesday night is already being described as downright cringe-worthy. Harris accepted her historic nomination for vice presidential candidate on a stage in a nearly-empty auditorium in Wilmington, Delaware's Chase Center, with her moving tribute to Black women leaders and her mother being met by the congratulatory applause of … a small Zoom audience projected on a nearby screen.

Which was awkward enough, even without the evident technical glitch that resulted:

Harris was then put in the Black Mirror-esque position of having to enthusiastically wave and point at her digital fans, which made for an even more confusing visual:

Democratic nominee Joe Biden was waiting in the wings to congratulate Harris after her speech, although due to their strict observance of COVID-19 measures, the candidates were unable to actually embrace. Instead they stood so far apart they barely fit in the screen together — all the while continuing to wave to the gapingly empty room:

"I hope they don’t hold Joe Biden's speech tomorrow on that awful, cavernous, empty set where Kamala Harris spoke tonight," tweeted journalist Walt Mossberg. "The optics were terrible whenever they panned out from her calm speech [and] warm smile to what looked like a giant mausoleum. Worst mistake of the convention."