The Coronavirus crisis has shut down public life, and bans on large gatherings could extend well beyond the end of April. The 2020 Democratic National Convention is scheduled for July 15th. What happens if it has to be canceled?

Given the number of people involved, rescheduling it for a later date would be a nightmare. Canceling it could be a political disaster. What if they hold it and people get sick?

David Siders of Politico looks at the big political picture of the Democrat effort to oust Trump in the age of Coronavirus:

How coronavirus blew up the plan to take down Trump

For many Democrats, it’s the election of a lifetime. Yet the question preoccupying the party for several days this month was whether their presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden, could get the webcast working in his rec room.

It was a telling obsession, one that revealed the extent of the party’s anxiety as it comes to a nail-biting conclusion: Despite all the arguments Democrats have crafted and all the evidence they have amassed against Donald Trump, his reelection is likely to rise or fall on his handling of the coronavirus crisis and its fallout alone.

“It’s the most dramatic example I can think of in my lifetime about how you cannot control the agenda,” said Les Francis, a Democratic strategist and former deputy White House chief of staff in the Carter administration.

The most fascinating part is when Siders focuses on the Democratic convention:

One problem for Democrats is that the nation’s battle with coronavirus — and Trump’s position at the center of it — may go on for months. The party’s marquee political event, the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for July, is the subject of contingency planning in case the coronavirus still precludes large crowds from gathering. DNC officials said last week that planning is moving forward for the Milwaukee event. But many Democrats are doubtful — and fearful of a worst-case scenario in which the pandemic upends the Democratic convention, but not the Republican gathering the following month.

“It matters for this reason,” said Bob Mulholland, a DNC member from California. “That Thursday night speech by our nominee could be seen by 50 to 60 million Americans, most of them who haven’t paid a minute of attention to the primary. That’s the conversation that takes us to winning.”

He said, “If we have to cancel and Trump has a convention with 40,000 people screaming and yelling … that’s an advantage to Trump, because nobody saw us except some text they got, and then they watched Trump.”

Jay Jacobs, chairman of the New York Democratic Party, suggested last week that Democrats should at least consider putting their convention off until late August. Even if the coronavirus pandemic has eased by late spring, he said, “everybody’s going to be absolutely exhausted.”

Would Democrats try to hold the event remotely on television and the internet with people making speeches in studios? Joe Biden has already proved this is not one of his strong suits.

What happens if Biden still doesn’t have the required number of delegates? Will they try to settle this with the voting app that failed them during the Iowa primary? So many things could go wrong.

No convention would mean no speeches from Obama, Warren, Bernie, or celebrities. The adoring media coverage of those speeches would also be non-existent.

If Republicans have to cancel their national convention in August, it would disappoint many people but it wouldn’t matter nearly as much, politically.

There wouldn’t be any dispute over the nominee, and as an incumbent, Trump has the advantage of near constant media exposure.

This March 14th tweet from the Democratic Convention’s official Twitter account is the most recent word on the subject. It looks like they’re still going forward for now:

That could easily change and it will have huge implications if it does.

 

 
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