Democrats pound their message: To oust Trump, you must vote

WILMINGTON, Del. — Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, cementing her status as a leader in a party staking its future on building a diverse coalition of voters as the first Black woman on a national ticket.

Harris spent much of her speech honoring her family for getting her to where she is, before moving to the vision she said she and Joe Biden have for the country.

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” Harris said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.”

Former President Barack Obama warned that American democracy may not survive if President Donald Trump is reelected, but he said it is not just up to the next president to maintain democracy.

“Democracy was never meant to be transactional – you give me your vote; I make everything better,” Obama said. “It requires an active and informed citizenry. So I am also asking you to believe in your own ability – to embrace your own responsibility as citizens – to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure.”

It was a damning assessment of Obama’s successor intended to jolt Democrats into rallying around Joe Biden and doing whatever it takes to vote.

Another moment for the night came when former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords gave a speech encouraging people to find their voice, made especially powerful given her continued recovery from an attempted assassination in 2011.

“My recovery is a daily fight, but fighting makes me stronger,” she said. “Words once came easily; today I struggle with speech. But I have not lost my voice. America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words.”

Giffords preparation for the speech was highlighted in a video preceding her address.