Takeaways from the final night of the Democratic convention

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Supporters watch Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speak, during the final day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, on a screen at a drive-in theater watch party during the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

A convention without a roaring crowd, confetti cannons, funny hats — a gathering in name only — delivered the Democratic presidential nomination to Joe Biden, the culmination of a lifelong pursuit that comes at a time of crisis.

Here are key takeaways from the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

BIDEN MET THE MOMENT

Biden needed an eloquent, emotional, clear speech accepting the Democratic nomination to dispel the criticisms lobbed at him almost daily by President Donald Trump, and even to allay the concerns of some of his supporters about whether, at 77, he was up to the job.

He delivered. His performance in many ways sounded more like the Biden of his early Senate career, when he was considered one of the finest orators in his party, than the Biden in winter who at times has been halting in speeches and debates.

He offered contrasts of character, and policy, with Trump, pledging to unify a country that has grown more polarized during Trump's time in office.

It was clear Biden wanted voters to end the night seeing optimism and possibility, even as he continued his dire warnings about Trump, whose name he did not speak.

“If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst,” Biden countered. “I’ll be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”