The Top One-Liners of the 2020 Democratic Convention - Rolling Stone
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The 7 Best One-Liners from the Democratic Convention

The greatest jokes, burns, and warnings from a week of convention speeches

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The best jokes, jibes, digs and insults from Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders at the Democratic convention.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

As conventions fade away, what sticks with us are the one-liners.

Few can hope to achieve the immortality of Democratic convention GOAT Ann Richards, who in 1988 was the state treasurer of Texas, a state she’d go on to lead as governor. Her takedown of the gaffe-prone George H.W. Bush didn’t halt his rise to the White House, but it still burns a generation later: “Poor George. He can’t help it,” Richards said with a beguiling smile. “He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

This past week offered more than its share of pithy and biting jokes, gags, insults and warnings. The socially distanced format meant there was no live crowd of Democratic partisans to chortle, cheer and hoot in real time — just a captive audience of Americans, quarantined at home, tweeting, “Oh snap!”

Presented below, the top seven one-liners of the 2020 Democratic convention.

1) Kristin Urquiza

Kristin Urquiza is not a politican. She lost her father to the covid-19 pandemic because he listened to the president and refused to wear a mask in his home state of Arizona. In a video testimonial, Urquiza told the convention:

“My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life.”

2) Kamala Harris

In her address to the convention, the vice presidential nominee tied her work as a prosecutor to the impeached Republican in the White House. “I’ve fought for children and survivors of sexual assault. I’ve fought against transnational gangs. I took on the biggest banks and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges,” Harris said before waiting a beat and staring directly into the camera:

“I know a predator when I see one.”

3) Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator — the last rival standing to Joe Biden on the way to the convention — used his platform to drag President Trump as an incompetent authoritarian, whose disastrous mismanagement of the pandemic has left more than 170,000 Americans dead.

“Nero fiddled while Rome burned,” Sanders said. “Trump golfs.”

4) Julia Louis-Dreyfus

The Veep star emceed the last night of the convention. Some of her one liners about Trump fell flat, but one joke targeting a monster of Silicon Valley hit different. She quietly lumped Mark Zuckerberg’s company in with a sinister authoritarian trinity.

“If we all vote,” she said, “there’s nothing Facebook, Fox News and Vladimir Putin can do to stop us.”

5) Hillary Clinton

The winner of the 2016 popular vote popped in with a painful reminder about the need to trounce Trump so soundly the Electoral College can’t undo the will of the people:

“Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million votes and still lose,” Clinton said. “Take it from me.”

6) Barack Obama

The former president’s speech was a stark warning to not let the trainwreck of the Trump administration breed cynicism and spur disengagement from politics. “That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all. We can’t let that happen,” Obama said.

“Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy.”

7) Michelle Obama

The former first lady threw the words president Trump used to describe the nation’s covid death count back in his face, while excoriating the president’s lack of leadership.

“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us,” she said. “It is what it is.”


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