- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Former Vice President Joe Biden may be the only one at next month's Democratic National Convention who ends up giving a major speech from the host city of Milwaukee, the Daily Beast reported Monday.
The news would be the latest blow to Milwaukee, which initially expected the convention to be a major event that would draw some 50,000 people to Wisconsin's largest city this summer.
Convention organizers declined to confirm or deny the report Monday night.
"Democrats are exploring all options to host an inspiring event that unites the nation around Joe Biden's vision for America," said Katie Peters, a spokeswoman for the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee. "Our plans are not yet confirmed and will continue to take shape over the next several weeks as we make adjustments to best protect public health."
One source said that organizers were still planning to have at least one major speech delivered from Milwaukee each night of the August 17- 20 convention.
The Journal Sentinel first reported last month that Democrats had upended plans for the convention, as they told state delegations not to travel to Milwaukee, moved the convention from Fiserv Forum to the nearby Wisconsin Center and added satellite events around the country.
Organizers also announced at that time large-scale events, such as a welcome reception for delegates and media and a party for volunteers, were canceled due to coronavirus concerns as cases surge in the U.S.
Other details in the Daily Beast report:
Airtime cut in half. A Zoom-style backdrop the size of a tennis court. Celebratory car-honking. And most of it won’t even be in the host city, according to the Daily Beast, which reported it had obtained a 10-page preview outline for the event, marked for internal use only.
The preview featured digital renderings of convention attendees seated at distant tables and separated by partitions, a speaking lineup that is "both dramatically shorter in length and vastly more ambitious in scale," and a program that emphasizes Biden to a degree rarely seen in national political conventions.
"The 2020 Democratic National Convention is being re-imagined to connect with voters from across America using satellite events from the swing states that are linked to a working convention floor in Milwaukee,” the preview states.
It goes on to say that former first lady Michelle Obama and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will speak on the first night of the convention, Jill Biden will highlight the second night and Biden's vice presidential pick will feature on the third. As expected, Biden will give his acceptance speech on the fourth and final night of the convention.
Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio — a GOP presidential candidate in 2016 — is expected to speak at the convention as well.
According to the preview, the roll call will be broadcast live from 57 states and territories, starting from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the site of what came to be known as the “Bloody Sunday” protest against segregation in 1965.
The plan is for the roll call to end with a surprise musical act, fireworks, and “people in their cars honking and flashing lights.”
Overall, the Daily Beast reported, the cost for the scaled-down convention is expected to be about $20 million. Of that, the story said, the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee still has to raise "north of $8 million."
The New York Times reported Friday that the convention may include as few as 300 people — a number that includes "not only attendees but members of the news media, security personnel, medical consultants and party workers."
Before the coronavirus pandemic upended the convention plans, the Host Committee was charged with raising $70 million and recruiting 15,000 volunteers.
The event is expected to bring in a small fraction of the revenue that Milwaukee had hoped when it was first picked as the host city in March 2019. The event, originally scheduled for the week of July 13, was moved to the week of Aug. 17.
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Joe Biden may end up giving the only major DNC speech from Milwaukee