What You Need to Know About DNC Day 1
Several storylines are already unfolding as the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia today. ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos has it covered.
First Day of the Convention
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has jumped six percentage points in a new CNN poll after his party’s convention in Cleveland last week, his highest support against Hillary Clinton since last September. Now, Clinton is vying to do the same at her party’s convention in Philadelphia amid controversy over leaked emails from top Democratic National Committee aides.
“[Trump] did himself some good in Cleveland,” Stephanopoulos said. “The question is, will Democrats do the same?”
Drama within the Democratic National Committee
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to resign as chair of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the party’s convention this week following the release of internal committee emails by WikiLeaks that appear to show party officials strategizing ways to harm Sen. Bernie Sanders politically during the primaries.
The committee’s communications director, Luis Miranda, tweeted that vice chair Donna Brazile will serve as interim chair “through the election.” According to party sources, Wasserman Schultz’s role at the convention will be severely limited.
Wasserman Schultz was jeered at a Florida delegation breakfast today, where members of the audience shouted “shame” and interrupted her speech. Some of the protesters were holding signs that read “e-mails” or were wearing shirts in support of Sanders.
It remains to be seen whether Wasserman Schultz will still take the stage on the convention floor tonight and if she will face a similar crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
“They have to get past this Debbie Wasserman Schultz problem,” Stephanopoulos said. “Will she get booed when she appears in the hall today?”
Sanders and Warren Speak Tonight
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are among the prime-time speakers at the convention tonight. The progressive senators are expected to take shots at Trump in an effort to unite their party against the Republican presidential nominee. But it’s unclear how much weight they’ll actually throw behind Clinton.
“What I’m going to be looking for is how forcefully do they actually defend Hillary Clinton and her agenda,” Stephanopoulos said. “Do they show the love for Hillary Clinton?”
Both Sanders and Warren have formally endorsed Clinton. But Sanders supporters, fuming over the hacked emails, protested against the presumptive Democratic nominee over the weekend and are expected to make noise during the convention.
When introducing Tim Kaine as her running mate on Saturday, Clinton called the Virginia senator “a progressive who likes to get things done.” But even Sanders admitted Sunday he would have preferred if Clinton chose someone more progressive like Warren, who was on the former secretary of state’s shortlist of vice presidential picks.
“I’ve known Tim Kaine for a number of years. We’ve served in the Senate together, obviously. Tim is a very, very smart guy,” the Vermont senator said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “He’s a very nice guy. His political views are not my political views. He is more conservative than I am. Would I have preferred to see somebody like an Elizabeth Warren selected by Secretary Clinton? Yes, I would have.”
Will Michelle Obama Comment on Melania Trump’s Speech?
First Lady Michelle Obama will also take the stage tonight, and everybody’s wondering whether she will address the allegations that Melania Trump plagiarized one of her speeches.
“Does she tease her, does she make a joke, does she reach out, does she thank her? I think that’s going to be one of the highlights tonight,” Stephanopoulos said.
Melania Trump came under fire for delivering a speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention that mirrored portions of Michelle Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, denied allegations that the former model and Trump’s third wife lifted portions of her speech from Michelle Obama.
Meredith McIver, a longtime friend and staffer of the Trump family, ultimately stepped forward with an apology for her involvement in the preparation of Melania Trump’s address. The staffer said she submitted her resignation but the Trump family rejected it.