Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama, Chelsea Clinton Among Democratic Convention Speakers
Wednesday is traditionally reserved for the vice presidential pick to speak.
By MARYALICE PARKS
July 15, 2016, 7:05 PM
• 3 min read
-- Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Convention committee announced Friday afternoon the headline speakers for their party’s convention in Philadelphia later this month. The much anticipated list includes heavy hitters such as Senator Bernie Sanders and President Barack Obama.
The official press release puts to bed lingering questions about whether Sanders, who proved a formidable primary opponent for Clinton, would be offered a coveted speaking spot. Sanders said this weekend that he expected to speak at the convention -- as many of his fans and aides believe he an earned a right to do -- but his staff told ABC News as late as yesterday nothing was set in stone.
Convention schedules typically crescendo toward the final night, when, as will be the case again this year, the candidate herself speaks. According to Friday’s announcement, Sanders will speak on the first night on the convention along with First Lady Michelle Obama and an immigration reform advocate. The timing for Sanders arguably allows the Clinton campaign to acknowledge his role and pay respect to his fans while also shifting the focus firmly to her later in the week.
On Tuesday night, President Bill Clinton will be joined by mothers of victims of police violence for speeches focusing on families, children, and calls for criminal justice reform. The group of mothers include: Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown; and Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland.
Wednesday night, the second to last night of the convention, has traditionally been reserved for the vice presidential pick to speak. Joe Biden, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman all spoke on the Wednesday nights of their respective conventions after formally accepting their nominations for the number two spot. But, the schedule released today says both Obama and Biden will speak on Wednesday this year. Although Clinton has yet to name her running mate, that person's speech will have to be slotted in somewhere too. Will he or she have to compete with a sitting president and vice president for the limelight on Wednesday? That could be tricky.
Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will cap the four-day show on Thursday, the campaign says.