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Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA– The White House is pitching first lady Michelle Obama’s speech Monday night as a barometer of party unity.

Democrats are trying to overcome anger from Bernie Sanders supporters to the leaked emails indicating staffers at the Democratic National Committee favored Clinton over Sanders.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says he’s confident Mrs. Obama will be warmly received at the Democratic National Convention. He says the first lady will give voice to the values and agenda that the Obama administration has pursued over the past seven years.

The White House says Mrs. Obama plans to talk about the role the president plays in the lives of children, shaping their values and aspirations, and why she believes Clinton is the leader with the ability to best fill that role.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been chosen to gavel in the full convention on Monday in place of Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for the mayor, confirmed Monday she has accepted the role.

Rawlings-Blake currently serves as secretary of the Democratic National Committee.