5 Things to Watch For on the First Day of the Democratic National Convention

PHOTO: A general view of the stage and floor as preparations continue ahead of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 24, 2016. PlayMark Kauzlarich/Reuters
WATCH What to Watch at the Democratic National Convention

The Republican National Convention wrapped in Cleveland last week, and aside from a few awkward moments, it ran fairly smoothly.

It doesn’t look as if the Democratic convention will be as lucky.

Fireworks started even before the convention was gaveled in, amping up the stakes for this week.

Here are the five biggest stories to keep an eye on as the Democratic National Convention starts today.

Drama Within the Democratic National Committee

The lead-up to the convention was not without its own share of drama.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday afternoon that she will be resigning as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee immediately after the convention.

PHOTO: Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks at a rally, before the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, in Miami, July 23, 2016. Scott Audette/Reuters
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks at a rally, before the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, in Miami, July 23, 2016.

This downgrade in her role comes after the leak of internal Democratic National Committee emails in which staffers were reportedly brainstorming ways to work against Sen. Bernie Sanders. Even a brief appearance by Wasserman Schultz, though, is likely to be met with widespread jeering among Sanders delegates, party officials acknowledge.

While the plan to have her open and close the proceedings remains in place, she said in her announcement that she will still address the convention.

Sanders Speaks

The Democratic convention is going to start off with a spark, as Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to make his address this evening.

He was Hillary Clinton’s strongest competitor during the primaries and formally endorsed her only on July 12, a month after it became clear that she had amassed the number of delegates necessary to secure the party’s nomination.

There is still a strong contingent of Sanders supporters who are upset with how the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s team handled the primaries, meaning that there could be some action on the floor during his speech.

Likely Floor Vote on Party Rules

One of the biggest orders of business scheduled for today is the convention’s acceptance of the party rules, a draft of which was settled over the weekend.

The Democratic National Convention’s Rules Committee passed a resolution Saturday establishing a “unity reform commission,” it said.

The resolution, presented to the committee as a compromise from the Sanders and Clinton campaigns, would establish a commission next year to review the nomination process and the roles of superdelegates and caucuses.

The commission will be made up of nine Clinton appointees, seven Sanders appointees and three Democratic National Committee appointees. They’ve been tasked with making recommendations to ensure caucuses are protected, less burdensome and more transparent.

Leading Women

Clinton may be making history by becoming the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party, but there are two other women who will be center stage tonight.

The first is first lady Michelle Obama, who is one of the headliners of the first night of the convention, and the second is Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Warren has campaigned with Clinton since it became clear that she secured enough delegates to clinch the nomination, and Warren was believed to be among the final contenders for Clinton’s pick for her running mate.

Between Warren and Sanders, some see today as the progressive day of the convention, since they are both viewed as two of the most outspoken advocates for left-leaning policies.

Republicans Plan Their Opposition Strategy

With their convention having wrapped up in Cleveland, the Republicans are setting their sights on Philadelphia.

They’re expecting to spend more than $350,000 on efforts at the Democratic convention, a senior Republican National Committee official told ABC News.

The RNC is sending about 36 staffers and about the same number of volunteers to get out the GOP message against Clinton in this week.

“I think it’s important for the RNC to be in Philadelphia ... so that we can have a rapid response set up,” national spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told ABC.

ABC News’ Rick Klein and MaryAlice Parks contributed to this report.