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What to look for at the Democratic convention today

What Bernie has to say. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton two weeks ago -- but many of his followers never have, and now they are outraged over leaked emails that show the Democratic National Committee bashing their hero in hopes of helping Clinton. Sanders speaks to his delegates this afternoon and before the convention tonight, and what he says may well set the tone for the entire four-day convention. Chances are that he will try to unite the party behind Clinton, but his exact words and tone will mean volumes.

[Live coverage: News' staffers at Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia]

What Bernie delegates have to say. Conversations with Sanders delegates prove that he started a movement that's bigger than any one campaign -- and that many delegates are willing to exert some independence from the Vermont senator. So even if Sanders tries to calm the furor over the leaked emails, will his followers calm down? Scenes on the convention floor tonight and through the week will provide the answer.

[Divisions erupt as Democrats gather in Philadelphia to nominate Clinton]

The reaction from Hillaryland. Clinton won't make an appearance today at the convention where she will be nominated later this week, but her surrogates will be out in full force, trying to spin the embarrassing email leak story in a way to end it, or at least to change the dialogue surrounding it. Will it work? It depends, in part, on whether more emails surface.

[State's convention delegates include notables from Western New York]

Did the Russians do it? Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook Sunday blamed Russia for hacking into the DNC and leaking the emails, and private security experts suspect that's what happened, too. Will there be any proof? If so, this will be the biggest attempt at campaign espionage since Watergate -- and arguably, it would be bigger, as it would raise a scary possibility: that a U.S. adversary is actively trying to influence an American presidential election.

Michelle Obama's speech. The first lady is scheduled to speak last tonight, right after Sanders. Expect a standard-issue, warm-and-fuzzy speech looking back at the Obama presidency and forward to a Clinton presidency.

 

 

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