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 6 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 has resigned as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, effective at the end of the party’s convention this week, after the release of internal committee emails by WikiLeaks that appear to show party officials strategizing how to harm Sen. Bernie Sanders politically during the primaries.
The committee’s communications director, Luis Miranda, tweeted that vice chairwoman Donna Brazile will serve as interim chairwoman “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 “Emails” or were wearing shirts in support of Sanders.
It is not known whether Wasserman Schultz will still take the stage on the convention floor tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. If she does, she could face a similar crowd.
“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 Sen. 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 throw behind Clinton.
“What I’m going to be looking for is, ‘How forcefully do they actually defend Hillary Clinton and her agenda?’” said Stephanopoulos. “Do they show the love for Hillary Clinton?”
Sanders and Warren have formally endorsed Clinton, a former secretary of state. But Sanders supporters, fuming over the hacked emails, demonstrated against Clinton over the weekend and are expected to make noise during the convention.
When introducing Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate on Saturday, Clinton called him “a progressive who likes to get things done.” But Sanders admitted Sunday he would have preferred if Clinton chose someone more progressive, like Warren, who was on Clinton’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,” Sanders 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.”
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 Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, denied allegations that Melania Trump, a former model and Donald Trump’s third wife lifted portions of her speech from Obama.
But 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.