Schedule for the 2008 Democratic National Convention

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The following is a schedule of the 2008 Democratic National Convention that was held from August 25 to August 27 at Pepsi Center and on August 28 at INVESCO Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado.

Sunday, August 24[edit]

Interfaith gathering[edit]

A Democratic National Convention Interfaith Gathering was held at "2:00 pm MT, at the Wells Fargo Theater, inside the Colorado Convention Center." It was the first time the DNC has hosted such an event and was "the first official event for the 2008 Convention [...] The event [was] free and open to the public, but tickets [were] required."[1]

The event was led by:[1]

Additional clergy included:[3]

  • Rabbi Marc Schneier, founding director of the Jewish-Muslim Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
  • Rabbi Amy Schwartzman, a Reform rabbi from Virginia.

Local clergy included:[2]

  • Imam Abdur-Rahim Ali of the Northeast Denver Islamic Center
  • Rabbi Steven Foster from Congregation Emmanuel
  • Human rights leader Reverend Lucia Guzman
  • Kathryn Ida of the Buddhist Association at University of Colorado.

The Secular Coalition for America has argued that while the event was "designed to showcase the 'diversity' and 'shared values' of the party and achieve a 'spirit of unity,' it would, in fact, marginalize those Democrats who do not practice religion." The Coalition wrote to Chief executive officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee, the Rev. Leah Daughtry, stating that it "expressed the Coalition's willingness to discuss ways to make the convention more inclusive."[4]

Monday, August 25[edit]

The theme for the day was "One Nation", with Michelle Obama as the "headline prime-time speaker."[5] She was introduced by her brother, Craig Robinson.[6] The Work to Come: A Tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy, directed and produced by Mark Herzog and Chris Cowen in association with Ken Burns, was introduced by Kennedy's niece, Caroline Kennedy.[7] Senator Kennedy was not expected to attend the convention due to his illness, but nevertheless made a surprise appearance and speech in the evening. A video about former President Jimmy Carter's humanitarian work was also shown, followed by a brief appearance by the president and former President himself, accompanied by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.[8]

The Platform was adopted by voice vote with no real debate.

The speakers were scheduled to include:[9]

Principal speakers[edit]

Featured speakers[edit]

Tuesday, August 26[edit]

The theme for the day was "Renewing America's Promise."[9] Senator Hillary Clinton was the headline prime-time speaker and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner delivered the keynote address on Tuesday night.[9]

Principal speakers[edit]

Featured speakers[edit]

The speakers included:[9]

Wednesday, August 27[edit]

The theme for the day was "Securing America's Future" and featured a speech by Joe Biden, the Vice Presidential candidate.[9] Iraq War veterans Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and Illinois Veterans' Affairs Department Director Tammy Duckworth offered a tribute to war veterans.[9]

Obama and Biden were both formally chosen to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President by acclamation, put forward by former rival Senator Hillary Clinton.

Barack Obama himself made a surprise appearance after Biden's acceptance speech and praised the performances of his colleagues and his wife Michelle. Obama also reminded delegates to attend his acceptance speech the following day.[10]

Sister Catherine Pinkerton delivered the benediction for the night.

Principal speakers[edit]

  • Joe Biden, United States Senator from Delaware and 2008 Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States
  • Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States

Featured speakers[edit]

The speakers included:[9]

  • Madeleine Albright, former United States Secretary of State
  • Tom Allen, candidate for United States Senate from Maine
  • Evan Bayh, United States Senator from Indiana
  • Beau Biden, Attorney General of Delaware and son of Joe Biden
  • Lois Capps, United States Representative from California
  • Kathy Castor, United States Representative from Florida
  • James E. Clyburn, United States House of Representatives Majority Whip
  • Elijah Cummings, United States Representative from Maryland
  • Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Chicago
  • Tom Daschle, former United States Senator from South Dakota
  • Artur Davis, United States Representative from Alabama
  • Rosa DeLauro, United States Representative from Connecticut
  • Manny Diaz, mayor of Miami
  • Tammy Duckworth, Iraq War veteran and Director of Illinois Veterans' Affairs
  • Chet Edwards, United States Representative from Texas
  • John Hutson, Republican, retired rear admiral of the United States Navy and president of the Franklin Pierce Law Center
  • Michele S. Jones, first female command sergeant major of the United States Army
  • Claudia J. Kennedy, first female three-star general in the United States Army
  • John Kerry, United States Senator from Massachusetts and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee
  • Nita Lowey, United States Representative from New York
  • Jeff Merkley, candidate for United States Senate from Oregon
  • Patrick Murphy, United States Representative from Pennsylvania and first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress
  • Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • Jack Reed, United States Senator from Rhode Island
  • Harry Reid, United States Senate Majority Leader
  • Jay Rockefeller, United States Senator from West Virginia
  • Xiomara Rodriguez, Nevada delegate and retired member of the United States Coast Guard
  • Ken Salazar, United States Senator from Colorado
  • Joe Sestak, United States Representative from Pennsylvania
  • Chuck Schumer, United States Senator from New York
  • Jeanne Shaheen, former governor of New Hampshire and candidate for United States Senate
  • Louise Slaughter, United States Representative from New York
  • Hilda Solis, United States Representative from California
  • Tom Udall, United States Representative from New Mexico and candidate for United States Senate
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, United States Representative from Florida
  • Maxine Waters, United States Representative from California
  • Robert Wexler, United States Representative from Florida

Results of delegate voting[edit]

Along with presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama, former opponent Hillary Clinton's name was also placed in nomination for president.[11] The Los Angeles Times noted that this has occurred before: Jerry Brown's name was entered into the roll call after losing to Bill Clinton in 1992; Jesse Jackson and Gary Hart also had their names added after losing to Walter F. Mondale in 1984.[12] In 1980, Senator Ted Kennedy's name was entered into the roll call after losing to Jimmy Carter.[13] In addition, Clinton became only the fourth woman to have her name placed in nomination for president at a major party convention. U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was placed in nomination at the 1964 Republican convention, and U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York was placed in nomination at the 1972 Democratic convention.[11] In 1976, anti-abortionist Ellen McCormack had her name placed in nomination along with Mo Udall, Jimmy Carter and Jerry Brown.[14]


Democratic National Convention presidential vote, 2008
Candidate Votes Percentage
Barack Obama 1549 35.07%
Hillary Clinton 341.5 7.73%
Abstain 1 0%
Totals 2,527.0 57.20%

Obama was formally selected as the Democratic nominee through acclamation, put forward by formal rival Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, offering her own delegates to Obama and motioning to suspend the rules of the roll call.

Vice President[edit]

Joe Biden was nominated by acclamation on a voice vote.

Thursday, August 28[edit]

The theme for the day was "Change You Can Believe In."[5]

Barack Obama accepted the nomination in a speech at INVESCO Field at Mile High[15] on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.[16]

Rabbi David Saperstein gave an invocation prior to Obama's speech. Progressive pastor Joel Hunter offered the benediction after Obama's speech. Speaker Pelosi adjourned the convention after the benediction.[17]

Principal speakers[edit]

  • Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States
  • Barack Obama, United States Senator from Illinois

Featured speakers[edit]

Live performances[edit]



  1. ^ a b "DNC '08: Interfaith Gathering". Democratic National Convention Committee. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  2. ^ a b Scanlon, Bill (August 8, 2008). "Interfaith gathering to kick off DNC". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  3. ^ Obama appoints Jewish outreach coordinator
  4. ^ Scanlon, Bill (July 30, 2008). "Secular Coalition to DNC: "Unity" Event Should Include Us". Secular Coalition for America. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  5. ^ a b Murray, Mark (August 11, 2008). "DEMS UNVEIL CONVENTION THEMES". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  6. ^ Pelosi, Michelle Obama to kick off Dem Convention
  7. ^ Kennedy Tribute directed and produced by Mark Herzog and Chris Cowen will air first night of Democratic National Convention
  8. ^ Carter chooses filming Katrina video instead of live DNC speech
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "DNC adds speakers, announces gavel times for Denver". KXRM-TV. August 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  10. ^ Obama makes surprise appearance
  11. ^ a b John King, Jessica Yellin, Candy Crowley and Robert Yoon (August 14, 2008). "Clinton's name to be put in nomination at convention". CNN. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  12. ^ Nicholas, Peter (August 15, 2008). "Hillary Clinton's name to be placed in nomination at convention". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  13. ^ TOM BRUNE AND JANIE LORBER (August 8, 2008). "Clinton may seek roll-call vote at Dems' convention". Newsday. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  14. ^ Shall We Gather at the Hudson River?
  15. ^ "Schedule: Thursday, August 28: Change You Can Believe In". DNC08 website. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  16. ^ Zeleny, Jeff; Rutenberg, Jim (August 17, 2008). "For Convention, Obama's Image Is All-American". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  17. ^ "Rabbi To Give Invocation on Obama's Big Day". The Jewish Daily Forward. August 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Boston, Massachusetts
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
Location TBD