The 2000 Democratic National Convention was a quadrennial presidential nominating convention for the Democratic Party. The convention nominated Vice President Al Gore for President and Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut for Vice President. The convention was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California from August 14 to August 17, 2000. Gore accepted the presidential nomination on August 17, the final night of the convention. This was the second Democratic National Convention hosted by Los Angeles, the first being in 1960.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) initially invited 28 cities to bid for the convention. Nine cities submitted proposals, seven of which (Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans and Philadelphia) were visited by the DNC. Philadelphia withdrew its bid after being selected as the host of the 2000 Republican National Convention. Boston, Denver and Los Angeles were named as finalists. On March 15, 1999, the DNC announced Los Angeles as the site of the convention.
The keynote speaker of the convention was Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee. Ford, who at 30 was at the time the youngest member of Congress, directed his speech towards younger voters, saying, "I also stand here representing a new generation, a generation committed to those ideals and inspired by an unshakable confidence in our future."
The highlight of the first night of the convention was a speech given by President Bill Clinton. Clinton noted his administration's accomplishments and praised Gore, saying that "You gave me that chance to turn those ideas and values into action, after I made one of the best decisions of my life: asking Al Gore to be my partner."
Other notable speakers included Gore's opponent for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bill Bradley, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Senators Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Actor Tommy Lee Jones, Gore's roommate in college, officially nominated the Vice President.
Gore was nominated unanimously, and During the roll-call vote for president, Florida's delegation was given the honor of putting Gore over-the-top as the official nominee.
On the day before the convention started Bill Bradley released his delegates and directed them to vote for Gore. The votes of Bradley's delegates that wished to vote for him were registered as abstentions.
Senator Joe Lieberman was nominated as the party's candidate for Vice President by voice vote.
Gore's acceptance speech focused on the future saying, "We're entering a new time, we're electing a new president, and I stand here tonight as my own man. I want you to know me for who I truly am." He mentioned President Clinton only once near the beginning of the speech. The speech was focused on issues: "I'm here to talk seriously about the issues. I believe people deserve to know specifically what a candidate proposes to do. I intend to tell you tonight. You ought to be able to know, and then judge for yourself."
Vice-presidential nominee Lieberman invoked the spirit of John F. Kennedy in his speech, saying: "Tonight, I believe that the next frontier isn't just in front of us, but inside of us--to overcome the differences that are still between us, to break down the barriers that remain and to help every American claim the possibilities of their own lives."
Large scale, sometimes violent protests took place outside of the Staples Center as well as throughout downtown Los Angeles. Protest groups ranged from pro-life supporters, to homeless activists, to anti-globalization protestors, and anarchists. Out of increased fear after the surprise mass-protests at the 1999 "Battle for Seattle" WTO protests, media coverage and LAPD concern were heightened for the event.
Concerns were further raised when violent riots also broke out after the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2000 National Basketball Association Championship only a few months before the convention. Originally, a "Protest Zone" was designated a city block away from the Staples Center, but a court order forced the zone moved immediately adjacent to the arena, in a parking lot.
The protests became violent during the first evening of the convention, and many different protests, some orderly, some violent, took place over the full four days of the convention. There were numerous arrests, injuries and property damage, but the protests were less than originally feared. The band Rage Against The Machine played outside the convention showing its disdain of the policies being promoted inside the building.
In November, Al Gore narrowly lost to Texas Governor George W. Bush in the general election having won the popular vote but losing the electoral vote in a decision handed down more than a month after the election by the Supreme Court.