Experts break down first day of the DNC

ABC News contributors Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Sara Fagen, and Yvette Simpson speak about the star-studded first day of the Democratic National Convention.
6:53 | 08/18/20

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Transcript for Experts break down first day of the DNC
The DNC has lift off with their four-night event, no applause to move the audience, laying bare the pressure on speakers to create the momentum needed from now until election day, how did they do? Lindsay Davis broke it down with our powerhouse political team. I'm joined by Chris Christie, the former governor of new Jersey, and Republican strategist Sarah Fagan, so we just heard from the big headliner, Michelle Obama, curious to get your take on it, Rahm Emanuel, Bernie sandered talked about policy for the first time but she was a character witness, was she She came with something to say and she probably has a stature given what she said up front, when was a powerful point, you know I don't like politics. She came and did a most effective take down of this president and the consequences to all of us and then a build up to what Joe Biden can be as a president and the country we all know we all remember, and restore that country. So, she did it on the character side. But I think she, you know, we were joking earlier, she has been holding this in for three and a half years and came with something to say and did it in a way that I don't think that, I think was quite effective. Because it was very personal. There was an authenticity that came with her voice that was not just a political speech from another person. She is not, some people introduced her as a politician. She is not a politician, she is clear about that. And I think there was an authenticity of the frustration and anger of what we have seen from the oval office and what has impacted people's lives and she knows it and Joe Biden has the judgment and character and empathy, you will hear that constantly that can drive us toward a better America. The America we all know and all know is waiting to be awakened again. We heard from Bernie Sanders, basically giving his full support to Joe Biden. Is that enough to try to unify Progressives. I think Bernie carries a lot of weight and what he did well, one, he put it out there right up front. Authoritarianism, do you want that as a president? He puts it right out there like nobody else and he said, we don't agree, but guess what I'm putting my support behind him because it's that important. I think Bernie sandering can do it like no one else and I think a lot of Progressives that follow him will do it and he did it before in 2016 and he went out and campaigned on behalf of Hillary Clinton. This time, Progressives are looking to him to say, these are the policies that we don't necessarily agree on them, and I will work with Joe to make sure we get there once he is elected. Govern er, your response to Kasich basically saying country over party. There were three other Republicans that did the same. Does that sway anybody, or bring them over? No. Listen, I have great respect for governor Whitman and meg Whitman, nobody knows who they are and nobody cares. As for Jon Kasich, he has no credibility left in the Republican party. I don't think that he will be swaying anybody there and I don't think that independents are tuned in to what is going on with John Kasich a number of years after he left office. We may look back on this and say the most effective thing of the week was Michelle Obama's speech. You know, Rahm and I were speaking in the commercial. She is waiting for years to say there was an emotion behind her speech tonight, that you know, didn't seem angry. But was passionate. And I think what we are going look back on after this this week is at the high point of the convention, may turn out being this speech on the first night. Because of who she is, and how she delivered. You know, it's easy enough to write something like that but to deliver it the way she delivered it. It was incredibly well done. You know that scene in the movie and you open up the scream "I can't take this anymore," that's the exact scene. I'm curious to get your response, a number of people criticized president trump for his handling of covid. I think that one of the most damning statements of the night was from the young woman who lost her dad and she had said that his only underlying condition was that he trusted president trump. Could this be a referendum on the way the president handled the virus? It will be the defining factor in the race. There's still in months to go and the outcome of covid today could be different tomorrow. And so, I think when you get to the Republican convention, you know, we are going the to see Donald Trump talk about the many things that the trump administration has done to combat this. I think he has had some real struggles at the podium on the topic. But you know, we are not talking today about people not getting ventilators. We are talking about record breaking vaccine research. We are, people have ppe, people have masks. You know, everybody has the tools they need to combat it, not everyone is using then. But, he deserves credit for how quickly it has gotten done. Go ahead. Well, this is a very personal thing. I mean given people are losing their lives. This is going to sound weird, in a presidential election, the organizing principal of the election is the economy. Because of covid and because of the disruption, if you look at the data coming in about how people making a decision between Biden and trump, covid is the kind of grounding principal whether you think as our ticket, I don't think that people shared that view. Whether they think he has done the best he can or they are negative about it. And covid is pushing your view of the economy to the sideline, and the force is around your view about covid, that is why both empathy and covid are the two dominant themes in the convention, those are the two qualities and issues that will drive the election and people's decisions. Going to stick with you for a last second before we wrap. How does Joe Biden effectively connect with voters when he is not on the campaign trail and based on what you saw tonight, is this a way to do it? You know, I think this is first of all, you will get a lot of surrogates and they will document that. There's a part of him that will be hindered in the same way that president trump cannot do rallies. This will affect Joe Biden. But there's empathy and authenticity with him. My thanks to Lindsay and the

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