Obama, Sanders make case for Clinton at chaotic convention
PHILADELPHIA – Agence France-Presse
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to delegates during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. AP photoDemocratic power players Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders offered contrasting heartfelt and hard-headed endorsements of Hillary Clinton July 25, imploring a riven and feisty party convention to unite against Donald Trump.
As polls showed Trump ahead of Clinton in the race to the White House, the first lady wowed the Philadelphia crowd as she impeached Trump’s character and hailed the inspirational power of putting a female U.S. president in the White House for the first time.
From Sanders, Clinton’s vanquished primary rival, there was a much more pragmatic embrace.
“Based on her ideas and her leadership” Clinton was a better choice than Trump and “must become the next president of the United States,” he said.
The opening throes of the four-day convention in Philadelphia were dominated by boos and jeers from disgruntled Sanders supporters almost every time Clinton’s name was mentioned.
Sanders had called on his backers to get behind the Democratic nominee twice on July 25 before his primetime endorsement speech.
That included a text message sent to supporters asking them not to protest on the floor of the convention as a “personal courtesy” to him.
But Sanders’ self-styled “political revolution” appeared to have transformed into an open revolt.
With some delegates in tears, Sanders received cheers and boos when he told the crowd: “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight.”
Hoping to poach some of Sanders’ supporters, Trump tweeted: “Bernie Sanders totally sold out to Crooked Hillary Clinton. All of that work, energy and money, and nothing to show for it! Waste of time.”
Michelle Obama’s message was at once conciliatory, raw and personal - and earned by far the most positive response of the night.
“Because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States,” said the wife of America’s first black president, her voice cracking with emotion.
The outgoing first lady reminisced about her two “bubbly little girls” Sasha and Malia as they entered the White House almost eight years ago, and how they are leaving it as “poised young women.”
But - in a thinly veiled jab at Trump - she also painted a picture of a family that along the way struggled with the shrill tone of today’s zero-sum politics.
“We urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith,” she said, a clear reference to Trump’s baseless claim that Barack Obama is not American.
Obama is scheduled to address the convention on July 27.
FBI launches probe into leaked DNC emails
Meanwhile, the FBI announced July 25 that it was investigating the embarrassing hack of Democratic National Committee emails - a breach the Clinton campaign blamed on Russia, accusing Moscow of seeking to influence the U.S. presidential election.
The emails leaked by WikiLeaks, which reveal that party leaders sought to undermine the campaign of Sanders, threw the Democratic National Convention into disarray on its first day and prompted the party boss to resign.
While a series of experts pointed the finger at Moscow, others urged caution. Russia denied any involvement.
“The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter,” the agency said, making no mention of possible culprits.
“A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”