Biden marks one-year anniversary of campaign launch with livestream celebration

By MOLLY NAGLE and JOHN VERHOVEK, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Former Vice President Joe Biden will hold a virtual event Saturday night marking the one year anniversary of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s entrance into the 2020 race.

“Saturday marks a tremendous milestone for our campaign. One year since we launched this journey with a simple idea: we’re in the battle for the soul of the nation,” Biden said in a video alongside his wife posted on Twitter Thursday, previewing Saturday’s message. 

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of our campaign, we’re hosting our first #SOULSaturday this weekend. Folks across the nation will be taking time to check-in on neighbors and thank those on the front lines of this fight.

I hope you’ll join us: https://t.co/45jVuvcaGf pic.twitter.com/U4WHSkzvSb

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 23, 2020

According to a release of the event obtained first by ABC News, Biden’s event will include messages from some of the campaign’s surrogates focused on the “soul of the nation,” both as a key pillar of the campaign for the last year, and amid the coronavirus pandemic still gripping the country.

Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will close the virtual event with live remarks “about the last year of the campaign and its plans to “unite the country to defeat Donald Trump,” according to the release.

Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, the campaign’s first national co-chairman, will take part in the event, along with Biden’s daughter, Ashley, and singer and actor Billy Porter, who recently took part in a virtual fundraiser for the former vice president’s campaign that raised more than $1.1 million.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who endorsed the former vice president last June, and has been floated by Rep. Jim Clyburn as a possible candidate for the vice presidency, will also deliver a message highlighting the work of first responders and essential workers, as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has begun reopening some non-essential businesses despite criticism from the White House.

The virtual event will also feature videos highlighting the last year of the campaign, and call to actions from organizers in hopes of growing the Biden campaign as they gear up for the general election, according to a Biden campaign aide.

Ahead of the livestream, the former vice president and Dr. Biden will also make phone calls to nurses, firefighters, frontline workers, teachers and everyday people who are taking action in their communities, according to a Biden campaign aide, as part of a previously announced “SOUL of the nation Saturday,” encouraging supporters to take action to help support their local communities.

A slew of former top 2020 presidential candidates have also promoted the event, including former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand.

“I’ll be taking part in @JoeBiden’s #SOULSaturday and I hope you’ll join me in thanking our nation’s heroic essential workers and working to ensure they have the resources needed to safely do their jobs,” Harris, another name rumored to be on Biden’s short list of potential running mates, tweeted earlier this week.

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