The Democratic National Convention gets under way Monday, with the Illinois delegation again pulling for a home-state candidate for president.
The Illinois delegation bubbled with excitement when Barack Obama was nominated four years ago. Now, says Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a super delegate, the thrill is gone.
“I don’t think we’ll have quite that electricity on our side, but we have an incumbent president who has been doing what I see as incredible work in very challenging times, and I’m proud to be supporting him for re-election,” she said.
Simon says the convention is odd because many members of the Illinois delegation in Charlotte know the president personally from before he was anything. She says many of the president’s Illinois supporters will be traveling to nearby swing states to campaign.
Simon says she will have a yard sign for Obama in front of her home in Carbondale, and she expects many Illinois supporters to have yard signs and bumper stickers, even though Illinois is not a swing state.
Gov. Pat Quinn will spend a week in Charlotte, where a speech he will deliver will talk of the importance of job creation, a platform of the current White House. “I think I’m going to talk a lot about jobs and the importance of investing in education and never forgetting everyday people,” he said.
In 2008, Gov. Rod Blagojevich was kept away from the convention, an unusual situation for the same-party governor of the state that’s home to the nominee for president. Quinn is personally and politically closer to President Obama than Blagojevich was.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) is also headed to the convention, which he says is a chance to catch up with other Democrats. “It’s an opportunity to work with my fellow Democrats, push thee national platform, work on the policy issues,” Quigley said. “I get the chance to meet and work with all the Democrats across the state of Illinois who are gathered there at the same time.”