To the disappointment of an already heartbroken Milwaukee, presidential nominee Joe Biden did not mention our city in his speech capping off the Democratic National Convention Thursday evening.
Many of us thought Biden would at least say something about how sad he is that we couldn’t gather in Wisconsin due to the pandemic. Others theorized that he could use Milwaukee as part of a clever anecdote that would perfectly encapsulate why he should be the next president. Milwaukee Magazine‘s Managing Editor Archer Parquette even provided some suggestions for the presidential hopeful in this letter to help him prepare.
Biden didn’t say any of these things.
But were we just wishful thinking? Not that this year is anywhere approaching normal, but is it normal for a presidential nominee to mention the convention’s host city in an acceptance speech?
We took a look at speeches from the last five conventions along both sides of the aisle to find out. To get a check mark is pretty easy, the candidate just had to mention the host city or state by name at least once during the speech. Less than half got one.
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2020 DNC IN MILWAUKEE
Joe Biden: X
Joe Biden did not mention Milwaukee or Wisconsin at all during his speech, which he gave from a convention center in Delaware.
2016 DNC IN PHILADELPHIA
Hillary Clinton: ✓
Hillary Clinton not only mentioned Philadelphia by name twice, but she also committed a significant chunk of her time to talking about the city’s history.
“My friends, we’ve come to Philadelphia – the birthplace of our nation – because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today.
We all know the story.
But we usually focus on how it turned out – and not enough on how close that story came to never being written at all.
When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the King.
Some wanted to stick it to the king, and go their own way.
The revolution hung in the balance.
Then somehow they began listening to each other … compromising … finding common purpose.
And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation.
That’s what made it possible to stand up to a King.
That took courage.
They had courage.
Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.”
Later in her speech, Clinton also mentioned her family’s roots in Pennsylvania. She talked about her grandfather’s time in a Scranton lace mill and how her father went to Penn State.
“My family were builders of a different kind.
Builders in the way most American families are.
They used whatever tools they had – whatever God gave them – and whatever life in America provided – and built better lives and better futures for their kids.
My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years.
Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did.
And he was right.
My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.”
2016 RNC IN CLEVELAND
Donald Trump: ✓
President Donald Trump didn’t mention Cleveland in his speech, but he gets a checkmark for promising to bring jobs to Ohio.
“I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.”
2012 DNC IN CHARLOTTE
Barack Obama: X
Former President Barack Obama did not mention Charlotte or North Caroline in his speech.
2012 RNC IN TAMPA
Mitt Romney: X
Mitt Romney did not mention Tampa or Florida in his speech.