Democratic National Convention: What to Expect in Charlotte

Michelle Obama, Julian Castro, Eva Longoria and Elizabeth Warren are among those on tap to speak at the Democratic Party's big event

The Democratic National Convention kicks off today in Charlotte, North Carolina, and runs through Thursday. The first two days of events will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena, and on Thursday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will accept the Democratic nominations for president and vice president at Bank of America Stadium.

Among the major highlights of day one will be San Antonio mayor and rising party star Julian Castro's keynote address tonight. A senior campaign official told CBS News that Castro's speech will share his personal story "and reflect on the things we need to do as a country to create more Julian Castros, more Barack Obamas to ensure that every young person across this country can achieve their dreams." 

Later tonight, Michelle Obama will take the stage to deliver a speech about her husband’s motivating values. When she’s at the podium, however, the president won’t be in the audience. Instead, he will be home in Washington, D.C. taking care of their daughters, as today was Malia Obama’s first day of high school, according to Entertainment Tonight

"I hope they watch [my speech] at home," the first lady told ET in an interview on Monday. "But if there's homework, I'm not going to get too upset about that."

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Representing Hollywood -- and also women and the Hispanic community -- Eva Longoria will speak on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, watch out for speeches from senate candidate and financial reformer Elizabeth Warren, as well as former President Bill Clinton, who will deliver unvetted remarks a la Clint Eastwood. (Political strategists say they’re not worried even a little bit.) 

Biden will speak on Thursday, a slot aides say reflects the role he has played in the administration. According to The Hill, “He’s always the last one in the room with President Obama and the one who can best portray the president's decision-making skills.” 

On Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. EST, look out for the convention’s main event: President Obama’s highly anticipated DNC speech.

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the Chief Election News Blogger for iVillage. Follow her on Twitter: @alicedubin.

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