Five things to watch at the DNC this week

Story highlights

  • San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will give the keynote address
  • Possible 2016 contenders, many of them governors, will be on display
  • Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist takes his shot at the GOP
  • Anticipation is high for former President Bill Clinton's Wednesday night address

Republicans got first serve in their convention last week. Can Democrats break serve, or will the presidential race go to a tiebreaker in November?

Here are five things to watch for at the Democratic National Convention:

1. New man on the big stage -- Most Americans have never heard of the mayor of San Antonio. They will after Tuesday night when Julian Castro becomes the first Latino to give the keynote address at a Democratic convention. Past keynote speakers such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama made it to the White House. Maybe that's raising too many expectations for Castro, but his speech will be looked upon the same way.

2. 2016 contenders -- Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan gave blockbuster speeches at the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's keynote address didn't go over as well. All three could make bids for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 if Mitt Romney doesn't win in November. So which Democrats are waiting in the wings? Govs. Martin O'Malley of Maryland, Brian Schweitzer of Montana and John Hickenlooper of Colorado all have an opportunity in Charlotte.

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3. Turncoats -- Is Charlie Crist the Artur Davis of this convention? Davis, the former Democratic congressman from Alabama who seconded Obama's nomination four years ago, had a high-profile speech at the Republican convention. Now it's Crist's turn. What will the former Republican governor of Florida, who could possibly run for his old office as a Democrat, say when he gets in front of the podium in Charlotte?

4. What will Bill Clinton say? -- There's probably more anticipation, and questions, around the former president's Wednesday prime-time address. Once former adversaries when Hillary Clinton was running against Obama, Bill Clinton has become one of Obama's strongest advocates. But the big question is what will Clinton say when he nominates Obama for re-election Wednesday? Obama campaign officials said they haven't seen Clinton's speech yet, but they said they are "not worried" about what he'll say.

5. The ticket -- The traditional role of running mate is to be the attack dog. Will Vice President Joe Biden slam Romney as much as Ryan attacked Obama? And how much of what the president will say in his acceptance speech is a defense of his first term and how much is an outline of what he wants to do over the next four years?

      Election 2012

    • CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06:  U.S. President Barack Obama stands on stage with first lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden after his victory speech on election night at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

      A black man is returning to the White House. Four years ago, it was a first, the breaking of a racial barrier. Tuesday night, it was history redux. And more.
    • CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06:  U.S. President Barack Obama stands on stage after his victory speech at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

      The 2012 presidential election shattered spending records, further polarized a divided country and launched a thousand hashtags.
    • Even though voters indicated to pollsters that their financial situation is the same or worse than it was four years ago, they put their trust in the president.
    • US President Barack Obama addresses a crowd of supporters on stage on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. President Barack Obama swept to re-election Tuesday, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

      The president faces a long and familiar set of challenges after riding a wave of support from moderates, women and minorities to victory.
    • Republicans kept a lock on the U.S. House of Representatives, a crucial victory after the party failed to wrest away the presidency from Barack Obama and the Senate from the Democrats.