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Michelle Obama, Sanders, Kasich to be featured on first night of Democratic convention: report

Former first lady Michelle Obama, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will reportedly be featured speakers on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

The lineup, which represents a broad ideological cross-section, is part of a broader theme of unity against President Trump and in support of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a source who has seen convention plans told CNN. Sanders, a one-time presidential candidate himself, is a standard-bearer within the party's progressive wing. Kasich is a vocal GOP critic of Trump, a demographic the party hopes to attract in November. And Michelle Obama is widely popular across the party.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, are expected to speak Wednesday, Aug. 19, according to Axios. Other expected speakers include Barack Obama and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a contender to be Biden's running mate. Virginia Del. Danica Roem (D) is also a possible speaker, and a source familiar with the convention told Politico that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) "will have some role."

The plans come as the coronavirus pandemic has forced an all-virtual convention. Biden was originally set to personally travel to Milwaukee to accept the party's nomination but will now accept it remotely from Delaware. The convention, already delayed a month, will take place Aug. 17-20, with two hours of events per night.

"There won't be the hoopla. There won't be the cheering and yelling," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), a friend of Biden's and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, told Politico. "But people are interested and I think they'll listen. And because we have so many people who've been in the public eye this year and so many in the past, like the Obamas and the Clintons and people like that, we have a terrific lineup."

A Biden adviser told Politico the convention is placing less emphasis on securing big names this year.

"We want to have as few elected officials as possible," the adviser said. "Every one of these politicians - they give them three minutes but then they take 15. We are trying to avoid that. There will be a lot of video and a lot of regular people."

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