August 25th, 2008
06:17 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Opening Night

Sen. Edward Kennedy will appear tonight at the Democratic National Convention.

Sen. Edward Kennedy will appear tonight at the Democratic National Convention.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

It's the opening night of the Democratic National Convention. You could say this is like an opening night on Broadway. The stage (Denver's Pepsi Center) is set. The "stars" (the politicians) are ready to shine. And, the audience (the delegates) are ready to clap and cheer. We'd love to know: what do you want to see out of this 4-day political extravaganza? Got any expectations?

Tonight, the big buzz is over Senator Ted Kennedy. He's making a surprise appearance in Denver on this the first night of the convention. The Massachusetts senator will watch a video in his honor, and may speak to the delegates if he feels up to it. This will be only the second time he has been seen in public since brain surgery in June.

The night also belongs to Michelle Obama, as she delivers her biggest speech ever in prime-time. She's expected to focus on family and values. Barack Obama will be watching from Kansas City and will address the crowd via satellite after his wife's speech.

Democrats start this convention with Barack Obama in a dead heat with John McCain. The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows the race tied at 47 percent each. It's the first poll since the Obama picked Joe Biden as his running mate. "This looks like a step backward for Obama, who had a 51 to 44 percent advantage last month," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. Do you agree?

With the tight race as a backdrop, the DNC has a lineup of heavy hitters who will take the stage tonight to praise Obama and likely tear into John McCain. Here's tonight's list of speakers:

Democratic National Convention Podium Schedule
Monday, August 25, 2008

Today's Theme: "One Nation"

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Denver, Colorado MST)

The Honorable Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Member of the US House of Representatives, Illinois

Mike Fisher & Cheryl Fisher – Beech Grove, Indiana
Mike – Amtrak tech & Cheryl – hospital tech (hosted Obama for lunch)

Tom Balanoff
President, SEIU Local 1 (Chicago)

Senator Edward M. Kennedy Tribute
Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg
Daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy

Video – Edward M. Kennedy Video

The Honorable Miguel Del Valle
City Clerk of Chicago, Illinois

Candi Schmieder
Delegate Chair, Iowa County Convention

Jerry Kellman
Hired & supervised Obama at Developing Communities Project – Chicago, Illinois

Introduction of Jim Leach by
The Honorable Tom Harkin
US Senator, Iowa

The Honorable Jim Leach
Former Republican Member of the US House of Representatives, 1st District, Iowa

Introduction of Claire McCaskill by
Austin Esposito
Son of Senator McCaskill

The Honorable Claire McCaskill
U.S. Senator, Missouri

Video – Michelle Obama Package

Introduction to the Michelle Obama Package
Craig Robinson
Older brother of Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama
Wife of Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

Don Miller -Portland, Oregon
Best-selling author & public speaker focusing on Christian spirituality

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Governor of Kansas

It's going to be a busy night.
Keep it locked on CNN.
We'll be bringing it all to you live from Denver.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Jenny

    Obama refused to give the delegates from Florida and Michigan full votes in May 2008 so that Hillary had no chance to claim she won the popular vote. This action made the difference on how the super delegates vote. This is how Obama became the nominee. Now he needs the vote of the people from these two States in the general election. He proposed to give their delegates full rights. Why do DNC and Obama expect Hillary supporters to support a candidate who is nominated through an un-democratic primary process?

    Don't tell Hillary supporters to grow up for party's interest. Party's interest is not something worth fighting for.

    August 26, 2008 at 3:06 am |
  2. Jenny

    Ted Kennedy was treated in the DNC convention like a hero of the party. Does anyone still remember that he refused to reconcile with Jimmy Carter at the DNC Convention that partially contributed to Democratic Party’s loss in the general election?

    Why does Hillary need to support Obama in order to secure her future in the party? Ted Kennedy has proven that disloyalty to the party would be forgotten as soon as the political rival lost election.

    August 26, 2008 at 2:45 am |
  3. J.V.hodgson

    You said it yourself guys. The poll was too soon after the Biden announcement. Polling between now and the end of the Republican convention are meaningless in the end, simply fodder for the talking heads. Give polls a rest and discuss the real policy differences arising from the conventions.
    A couple of days after the conventions take a poll and you might have an aswer to where things are going, but at 1000 voters over 50 states, I do not believe a word of the results.
    It's common sense and based on my knowledge of statistics, the ethnic, religious, coloured versus non coloured and Hispanic etc influences which are variable by state and the demographic change of more younger voters likely to vote, you need at least 50,000 in your national poll, very carefully reflecting the variable demographics in each state, and more so if you combine polls they must ask exactly the same question(s), to have any meaning whatsoever. Unless they ask exactly the same questions stop this poll of polls nonsense.

    August 26, 2008 at 2:28 am |
  4. Michael

    Did you guys not get enough sleep last night or something? You are all cranky about the opening night of the DNC!!! Its not just "cnnpolitics" news junkies watching – some of us still want some hope and positivity!!! Maybe tomorrow night I will watch on one of the other news networks!

    August 26, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  5. Audrey

    Windy, when were the odds against Hillary? If I remember correctly, she was winning towards the end. Also, clinching the nomination required a certain number of delegates and neither of them had this until the end.

    "I say ‘The Lords’ will with Obama."

    So, I guess you're saying he's the "Chosen One." This is what I find remarkable about some of Obama's supporters. They blindly support him because they feel he is the "Chosen One" who will save us.

    August 26, 2008 at 12:07 am |
  6. N. Troche-Estess

    The coverage is old school...you do not get it ...The Change!?!
    wake up to the change...the news and news casters have fail this Season. with H.Clinton, Obama...you do not get...Why! Everybody is ready for change, are you?

    August 25, 2008 at 11:51 pm |
  7. Mary

    With the exception of the tribute to Senator Kennedy, the whole convention, especially Michelle Obama's speech was a dud. More political rhetric and conning. He will not get my vote.

    August 25, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  8. Jade

    I want to know why everyone keeps telling the Hillary Clinton supporters to grow up. If Florida and Michigan would have been seated before Obama became the nominee he would have never made it. Than it would be the Clinton Supporters shaking the Obama suppporters hands saying "good game"!!!!

    August 25, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Annie Kate


    To answer your question I'm looking forward to seeing the Kennedys tonight; I'm afraid with Ted Kennedy's health that we will be seeing the passing of an age in American history – the Kennedy brothers have contributed to our American story and our American dream like no other family we have seen. I just hope that Senator Kennedy beats his cancer and is back in the Senate in January ready to help push universal health care into existence.

    The rest of the convention I'm looking forward to hearing Bill Clinton speak – I still think he is a great politician and a great humanitarian with his foundation. And as a woman I am looking forward to hearing Hillary speak and am hoping that the next convention she will be the candidate. The convention should be a great show – all the excitement and politicians there. I'm set to enjoy it all.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 25, 2008 at 9:56 pm |
  10. Dennis

    Obama will move the white house to Chicago.

    August 25, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  11. lampe

    Windy: If God like Obama, can't stop your evil-hatred remarks,and your his supporter? What in the Hell makes you think he will be able to stop anyone else who has a hate-filled heart against the USA. My God you should be the one thats ashamed of yourself, you should be the one that grows-up. Your man won, be happy, spread happiness, not Hate. If you had tried to be understanding towards Clinton Supporte's , instead of calling them names, maybe some of this mess would be over with now. Good Work on your part. Maybe Obama, should read your blog, wonder what his feelings towards that would be?

    August 25, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  12. Winnie

    My opinion of Obama dropped significantly when he didn't choose the ones who could ensure the Democrats would take back the Whitehouse (the Clintons) as his team mates in Washington. I thought there was a magic when he and Hillary appeared together and I know of no better politicians than the Clintons. It seems to me that magic has disappeared. and he lost a great asset I like Joe Biden but I thought Obama was big enough to choose the most deserving.

    Why have Hillary supporters lost their enthusiasm? Because we feel she was cheated twice. She was cheated out of the votes she won fairly. She was cheated a second time by being treated as an outsider when the VP was being chosen. I think Howard Dean is a big part of the problem. I feel when a Kennedy was chosen as Obama’s advisor Hillary didn’t get a fair shake. I don’t know but the rumor is the Clinton’s and the Kennedy’s are not bosom buddies.

    I also think Hillary did not get a fair shake in the media.

    I will not vote for McCain because 4 more years of Bush policy would finish off this country. But right now, I'm not sure anymore that I want to vote for Obama. I hate to say this, but I may not vote for either presidential candidate.

    August 25, 2008 at 7:37 pm |
  13. Jeff Ball

    So, it's convention time and all of America is watching to see who can screw things up the worst. I wish we could just skip all the convention stuff and go to vote. While McCain has the most experience and some of the right tack on certain issues its no secreat that the United States is about to see it's first non-cacausin President. The single biggest reason I feel Americans are going to side with Obama is that John hasn't done nearly enough to convince us we aren't inheriting another four years of Bush reign in the country. It's sad when you can't have a candidate that you 100% agree with in either party. Right now, two things are for certain; I vill vote; I have absolutely no idea who for yet.

    August 25, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  14. JMAC from CA

    Anderson I don't understand why CNN is overwhelmingly focusing on the Clinton grump group. This is a very minor part of the deal and yet CNN, everytime I switch from MSNBC, is saying Obama needs to be more gracious. How the heck could he have been more gracious?? He has given them 2 nights. CNN needs to let this be about Obama and stop carrying only the Clinton complainers side. Really why are you (CNN) tryng to drive a wedge into the Dem Convention!!

    August 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  15. Windy

    This is ridiclous, the supporters of Hilary need to grow up. If Hilary would have gotten out of the race when the odds were heavy against her, instead of dragging her campain maybe these winers would not be so bitter. I thought registered voters were suppose to be adults; but yet they act like two year old toddlers "if I can not have my way, than I am not playing." GROW UP AND RESPOND IN THE AMERICAN WAY!!!! Hillary supporter nor anyone else should not think ,that they will stop Obama from being Presiden of the U.S. for if it is Gods' will, it will happen. I say 'The Lords' will with Obama!!!' To Hillary I say the real you has been revealed and obvisously you were not the Lords choice! For sure He seen something in you that others could not see.

    August 25, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  16. Mike in NYC

    Back in 1965, Kennedy assured Americans that the Immigration Act he was sponsoring would not change the ethnic makeup of the US, would not flood the US with a million illegal immigrants annually, and would not inundate the US with immigrants from any one country or area.

    He deserves all of the pain he is suffering, and then some.

    August 25, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  17. Cindy

    I want to see the truth tonight and all week with no spin. I want the media to cover both conventions fairly with no bias! That is what I expect but I doubt very seriously that I will get it unfortunately!

    I hope Ted Kennedy is doing well. I hope that he doesn't force himself to speak and hurt his health. We all know what he'll say anyway. Everything he's already said before.

    Obama has been falling backwards even when the primaries were going on. The media just wasn't talking about it. This new poll just goes to prove that point. The more people get to know him the more they see he is all talk with no substance that is why he is doing bad.


    August 25, 2008 at 6:30 pm |