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DNC Day 1: Full-throated support from party stars

First lady joins senators to back Clinton

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA –  

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker and first lady Michelle Obama declared undeniably their support for Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party nominee for president Monday at the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Sanders delivered a full-throated endorsement for Clinton.

"Any objective observer will conclude that -- based on her ideas and her leadership -- Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States," Sanders told delegates, spurring a cascade of cheers.

First lady discusses America’s greatness

Michelle Obama provided an emotional highpoint when she cast the race as one between a positive role model for children in Hillary Clinton and a damaging one in Donald Trump. While she never mentioned Trump by name, she condemned “the hateful language that we hear from public figures on TV,” saying that “our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

The first lady discussed raising her children in a White House that was built by slaves. “Don't let anyone tell you that this country isn't great. This right now is the greatest country on earth," the first lady said.

Handicapped woman despairs a Trump presidency

Meanwhile, Anastasia Somoza, who has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, responded to Trump's mocking of a New York Times reporter with a disability in November 2015.

"I fear the day we elect a president who defines being an American in the narrowest possible of terms, who shouts, bullies and profits off of the vulnerable Americans," she said. "Donald Trump has shown us who he really he is. I honestly feel bad for anyone with that much hate in their heart."

While Sanders gave his full support to Clinton, there were some delegates at the convention who remained unsupportive.  Some in the Michigan delegation were shouting "Not for Sale! Not for Sale!" and "Cheaters! Cheaters!" during Sanders' speech. And nearby, Sanders delegates wore blue tape over their mouths in protest.

"They want us to fall in line and get behind Clinton," said Dianne Fowler, a delegate from Michigan who was wearing blue tape over her mouth that read: "Silenced by the DNC."  Fowler won't fall in line, she said through her tape, "with what's coming out: the lying, the sabotage of Sanders campaign, and questions about the integrity of the voting."

Rising stars back Clinton

Warren, a senator from Massachusetts and a rising star in the Democratic Party, described the choice faced by voters in November: “On one side is a man who inherited a fortune from his father, and kept it going by cheating people, by skipping out on debts, a man who cares only for himself. On the other side is one of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on this planet."

She then declared: "I'm with Hillary."

Booker, a senator from New Jersey and also a rising star within the party, delivered a sweeping oratory that harkened back to the nation's founding, ending with him leading the crowd in a chant: "We. Will. Rise."

"Let us declare, so that generations yet unborn can hear us, 'We are the United States of America, our best days are ahead of us! And together with Hillary Clinton as our president -- We. Will. Rise," Booker said as he led the crowd to a booming crescendo.

On tap for Tuesday

On Tuesday, Democrats will settle down to the business of officially making Clinton the first female presidential nominee from a major party.

Later in the evening, President Bill Clinton, the first of two former presidents to address the convention, will make the case for his wife's election. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.

The theme of the day, though, will be driven by the "Mothers of the Movement" -- a group of speakers that includes the mothers of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Sandra Bland, all of whom died in police custody or as a result of police actions. Trayvon Martin's mother, whose son died at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida, will also speak.