Leaked Transcript of Biden DNC Acceptance Speech

A New Team of Rivals

Ben Fathi
8 min readJun 5, 2020

Leaked transcript of upcoming Biden speech, copied from one of his rehearsals. Video forthcoming. This is big! Pass it around.

[Biden speaking to the camera]

Folks, here’s the thing. This is not a normal election year. We’re not going to be able to do things the way we’ve done them for decades. Instead of stadiums full of delegates and renditions of the American Anthem, we’ll be delivering our speeches directly to you, the voter. Welcome to the 21st century.

The ultimate question you need to answer for this election season of 2020 is whether you will vote for me or President Trump.

[long pause]

If you believe that statement, you are wrong! The truth is that you’ll be voting for a whole team of leaders who will work together to govern our country. You already know the team in place today. I will not waste any time commenting on their performance. I think you already know my opinion and many of you share it. I’m here to talk, instead, about the team I plan to replace them with.

You’re not voting just for me or for Mr. Trump. That’s an oversimplification that obfuscates the truth. You’re really voting for a whole group of people: the current team or a new one. So I think it’s only fair that we list the key team members here explicitly. I will do so to the best of my ability and as we currently stand.

Some of these leaders are, frankly, in the middle of conversations with me on whether they should leave their current roles and come help rebuild America. I won’t drop names except when allowed by the candidate. I’m proud to say that I’m in discussions with folks like Elon Musk and Bill Gates. Imagine having Bill as Secretary of Education or Elon as CTO for the US Government. Stay tuned for more announcements. Meanwhile, here in this video you will see statements from folks who have already accepted to join my governing team. You will be voting for all of us in November. Make no mistake. This is a “Team of Rivals” a la Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. Excellent book by the way.

We are under assault as a society. Our most trusted representatives are, I’m sad to say, the agents of chaos, not the angels of our better natures. I knew when I signed up to run as the democratic candidate for President in 2020 that my personal reputation and my family’s reputation would be dragged in the mud by Donald Trump. And that is exactly what happened. I won’t stoop to that low a level.

I’m not here to play dirty politics. Let’s move on, Mr. Trump. Thanks for showing us your version of “making America great again”. Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again. The only thing you have brought us is chaos and vulgarity. Let’s talk instead about how we’re going to heal this country.

I will talk broadly here and present some of our plans. Consider this the democratic platform for the next decade or so. There is plenty of detail here that I can’t cover in a brief message. More details will be forthcoming. We have thought long and hard about ways of making this work fairly and will be sharing information as soon as possible. Our goal is nothing less than the complete redefinition of the American political system, based on 21st century rules and 21st century technology.

The last four years have been nothing if not catastrophic. We are here to move America to a positive trajectory again — in every respect measurable. Not just what the DJIA or NASDAQ closed at this week but quantitatively and qualitatively: Education, Healthcare, Quality of Life, Work Life Balance, Pandemic response, citizen engagement, you name it. We’ll have our own Gross National Happiness index.

And we will begin by fixing our electoral system. Not just so you can vote once every four years for president but so we can be in direct communication with you at all times. We want to hear from you directly — and, frankly, the only way to do that at scale is to go digital. We already have the infrastructure in place. We just need to use it wisely.

The first person who can explain to me why we can’t just use our phones to vote in this day and age will recieve the Presidential Medal of Honor. We spend more time and effort arguing about arcane concepts like gerrymandering than we do even trying to implement an online solution. That’s broken. That is good only for politicians. Here we are, spending a substantial amount of our brain power, not to mention our money, on ways to improve the security of our devices and the internet. We trust our money, our social life, our work engagements, our most treasured family photographs and videos, our intellectual property, even our fingerprint and facial identity, to the internet. It has literally transformed our lives. Yet, for some reason, when it comes to voting, we’re still arguing about why it’s okay to continue to live with hanging chads — pieces of papers not fully dislodged by the hole puncher machine on voting forms — for the foreseeable future. Because we couldn’t possibly do better!

We have been running hard and fast for a couple of hundred years and the results are nothing short of amazing. We’ve been to the moon, we’ve connected every single person on the planet with practically every other person, we can ask any question and immediately get an answer, we have created trillions of dollars of wealth, we are the masters of our own domain. Yet, we insist on governing ourselves the same way we have for hundreds of years. It’s time that we bring our government to the 21st century.

The current system is broken, folks. Let’s work together, with our friends in high tech, to build an online system for voting that is a bazillion times more secure than the current model. Will it be perfect on the first day? No, I’m sure there will be plenty of issues. But, as we’ve seen, the current model is already being manipulated by foreign nations and hackers. We can do better, much better. And, once in place, we can use that new infrastructure to get more directly in touch with you, the voter, more frequently — maybe even every day or every week instead of once a year.

Anyone who points out the potential security and privacy issues of online voting systems does not understand the events of the past few years. The truth is that presidential campaigns are already using advanced AI algorithms and massive data lakes to influence voter opinion — Go read the history of Cambridge Analytica — and yet these are the same politicians who insist that the most advanced way they can count your vote is on pieces of paper! And don’t you dare even mail that piece of paper — because… fraud! The fact that the physical act of voting is on a piece of paper is irrelevant — what matters is that we spend hundreds of hours before stepping into that booth researching our choice — yup, you guessed it, online. Our elections are already online.

No alternative is acceptable if we are serious about building the government of the 21st century — one that will not just solve our problems for the next few months but rather for the next few decades. We will put forward a strong program to move all voting online — at the federal, state, and local levels. And we will use that infrastructure and those tools to get closer to understanding how we can better serve our citizens. Working with the best security and privacy experts, of course. Stay tuned.

We will also push for term limits in congress, abolition of gerrymandering, retirement of the electoral college, significant limits to corporate lobbying, reversal of “Citizens United” and caps on election financing.

We will be the most transparent government ever — and we’ll do so using the latest technology. You’ll be able to view our deliberations as a team online and even join the discussion first hand. It’s time to bring the US Government into the 21st century.


So, with that as preamble, I’m proud to announce that former First Lady, Michelle Obama, has agreed to be my running mate. The first priority for our government is to heal our society, and no one is more qualified to help us do that than Michelle. I want to also briefly mention the process we went through to make this decision and we have dedicated a whole separate video to that topic. Suffice it to say that all the top candidates for Vice President have enthusiastically agreed to join our team in other roles if Michelle joins.

She will be joined by her husband, former president Barack Obama, who has agreed to join the Supreme Court as soon as an opening comes up.

Look, we’re not going to go back to the way things used to be. Everything is going to change. Get used to it. Not just because of COVID-19 but because its second cousin once removed, COVID-24, is right around the corner. What if that mutation attacks our children instead of our elderly? How much longer do you, dear voter, want to live in quarantine?

We need a systemic approach to healthcare and pandemic research. I’m proud to announce that Dr. Anthony Fauci has accepted the position of Secretary of Health. He will work with the CDC and the WHO and other global entities to ensure proper response to all future pandemics. Not just this one but also the ones coming after it. That’s one of our highest priorities in this administration. Never again will a virus bring our country (or the world) to its knees.

I’ve asked Kamala Harris to take over as Attorney General. She will work to heal our judicial system so we never again have to see an incident like what happened to George Floyd.

Elizabeth Warren will serve as Secretary of State. Her highest priority will be repairing our relationships with our allies around the world as we work together to bring the world economy back to being fully functional.

Andrew Yang has graciously accepted the position of Secretary of Education. I’ve asked him to come back with a plan not to just add Plexiglas to our current classrooms — literally a band-aid — but to totally rethink how we educate the next generation. Not the same way we have done it for the past two hundred years but the way we would do it for the next two hundred.

As I said earlier, this is a team of rivals. You will not just be voting for me this November but for this whole team. I hope you will vote for us.

These times are as difficult as Abraham Lincoln had in front of him. And I’ll be the first to admit I ain’t no Abe. But I can pull together the best team and I can work with them constructively as we rebuild America — and the world. I’ll be back with more specific details as we work through our planning process. These are not normal times and we need to work together to bring America back not just to a competitive stance but to the leadership position we must occupy going forward. It will take a lot to recover from the carnage that four years of Trump politics have left but we will be there with you at every step as we work together to rebuild America better than ever.

And, oh yeah, thanks for the nomination. I accept. No need to have a convention. I hope to see you in November. Now let’s get to work.

[ Camera cuts to Michelle… ]



Ben Fathi

Former {CTO at VMware, VP at Microsoft, SVP at Cisco, Head of Eng & Cloud Ops at Cloudflare}. Recovering distance runner, avid cyclist, newly minted grandpa.