The opening of the 2016 DNC had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, it wasn't going to be compared to the start of the RNC, but rather the close this past Thursday, where Donald Trump spoke for over an hour in a blistering speech (complete with raging ad-libs!) where he attacked Hillary Clinton and, ultimately, united the GOP against his opponent if not on the same platform. So, here we are in Philadelphia.
The early hours of the convention were buzzing with Bernie or Bust protesters downtown (two young voters, separately, told me how Bernie Sanders is a symbol to them now and it's not about holding out hope he will win the nomination; they feel the system is rigged) and at the delegate breakfast meetings. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was newly resigned (she certainly attempted to tip the scale, re: those rigged feelings), however, at the time she still planned to address the convention. There was a sense from many that the proceedings could be more unruly than in Cleveland (which is saying a lot).
But then day turned to night, with the help of a torrential downpour, and one by one the speakers stepped to the podium — if the Republicans were a disparate bunch, the Democrats tried their best to prove they were a diverse group.
How did the evening go? Here's five tweets that pretty much summarize things. (And, despite the posts below, it wasn't all peaches and cream: In the 200 level a Hillary supporter shouted down a Bernie advocate in very NSFW language.)
America, Meet Karla Ortiz [Watch]
Has anyone asked Karla Ortiz to run for office yet? Even student council, something... #DemsInPhilly— Alison McQuade (@akmcquade) July 26, 2016
This 11-year-old girl was full of passion, grace and just a touch of youthful overconfidence when she set things off with a speech on immigration and the fear she has her parents will be deported. "I wonder, 'What if I come home and find it empty?'" she told the crowd. Ortiz wants to be a lawyer when she grows up, so that run for office idea isn't so farfetched.
Line of the Night: Sarah Silverman [Watch]
It's so fitting, in a campaign where a TV star may become president, we're debating "Did Sarah Silverman unite or divide the convention?"— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) July 26, 2016
It's so ridiculous it makes sense. After Sen. Al Franken delivered a (so-so) comedic speech aimed at Trump, Silverman followed him with a mix of humor and heart where she doted on Hillary Clinton and her support for the Democratic candidate; she even acknowledged Bernie Sanders and the energy he brought to the primary. The pair were then set to introduce a musical performance by Paul Simon (baby boomers, you guys really need to make better music picks; Paul is a legend but the first night needed something different). Those Bros, though. The chants for Bernie became too much and Silverman zinged them with, "Can I just say to the 'Bernie or bust' people, you're being ridiculous." It was as if the ghost of 2001 Allen Iverson was back in the building. A raucous cheer erupted.
FLOTUS Flower Bomb [Watch]
I want Michelle Obama to take over as God when Morgan Freeman's term is over. #DemsInPhilly— Jayson (@jaysonrodriguez) July 26, 2016
Michelle Obama is a national treasure, and she reminds us as effortlessly as Steph Curry flicks his wrists to launch a jumper. She delivered a 14-minute remark that helped to humanize Hillary by touching on her determination, her failures and her compassion. We'll miss Barack Obama in office, for sure, but the feeling is just the same for his wife.
Elizabeth Warren on the Attack [Watch]
President Obama lashed out at Trump and Republicans for casting a dark forecast on the country during RNC and the Dems did their best to keep things upbeat. For the most part. Elizabeth Warren wasn't afraid to go there and she launched a missive directly at Trump. It was really the best she could do considering she has to follow FLOTUS.
I Am Legend, Starring Bernie Sanders [Watch]
*BERNIE STEPS TO MIC*— THE KID MERO (@THEKIDMERO) July 26, 2016
"I GOT 7 MAC 11'S... "
*CROWD LOSES THEIR SHIT*
Sen. Bernie Sanders certainly cemented his status in the history books. He didn't ride the wave to the White House like Obama, but he didn't crash like Howard Dean. The unlikely presidential candidate from the far Northeast of the country, with a Brooklyn accent and hair that goes just about everywhere, rallied a young base of voters, become a phenomenon and, when it was all said and done, pushed HRC to expand her platform. His candidacy was a success. But what of his supporters? He milked the moment for all it was worth last night — pre-empting his entrance with his campaign video, pregnant pauses during his speech — and he was nearly on Cruz Control (if you know what we mean) until he finally endorsed Hillary. It was lit. And polls suggest his followers will vote for Clinton. Now, we wait for his encore.
REVOLT 2 Vote is on the scene in Philadelphia for the DNC, conducting interviews, engaging young voters and joining the conversation. Check out our Day 1 recap below to watch us in action.