Jill Biden's pitch to America: Joe can heal the nation

The Democratic Party convention has become a weird and wonderful television extravaganza. It lacks all spontaneity, and has the feel of a TV game show. More Eurovision Song Contest than presidential politics. But somehow, for Democrats, it is working. Last night it delivered the key ritual of the whole event - the formal nomination of Joe Biden as the party's presidential candidate. Admittedly, choreographing 57 states and territories was a television production nightmare. It had bizarre moments, including Rhode Island appearing to promote its sea food more than the party's agenda.

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But Joe Biden's image was boosted by an emotional speech by his widely admired wife, Jill.

She told Americans of her husband's lifetime of heartbreak and grief after a series of families tragedies. And her belief was simply stated: Joe Biden knows all about overcoming pain. He can now help heal America.

Central to Joe Biden's pitch to the nation is that he can heal the divides. Credit: AP

Even political opponents praised Mrs Biden's performance.

A big beast of the party also emerged from the shadows - Bill Clinton delivering an excoriating indictment of Donald Trump. It's rare for a former president to rip into a serving Commander-in-Chief. But Clinton is angry (perhaps not surprisingly, given his wife's defeat in 2016).

Bill Clinton did not hold back. Credit: AP

Bill Clinton accused Trump of being an agent of chaos; of obsessively watching television, not working to overcome the pandemic; of being the purveyor of division and hatred. Later tonight, we will hear from Barack Obama.

Then on Thursday, Joe Biden will give the main address - making his pitch to the American people in prime time that he should be the next President. We are only 11 weeks now from the US election. Much can happen. Democrats have no grounds for complacency. But they are ahead in the polls and this convention is successfully making the case that Joe Biden is an empathetic and centrist political figure. Whether that is sufficient to make Trump a one-term president - we will find out on November 3rd.