What do delegates do before the convention begins at 5:00 pm? Lots! Illinois delegates began the day with breakfast at 7:00 am. At 10:00 am, delegates had the choice of a plethora of Caucus and Council meetings. The Black Caucus was the lead draw with the First Lady as the speaker.
Up next: luncheons.
Illinois Sen. Kwame Raoul managed to snag Chicagoan and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a luncheon sponsored by his law firm, Quarles and Brady. Raoul’s in with Duncan goes back to the days when they were teammates on the University of Chicago’s Lab School basketball team.
Duncan touted the Obama education record: “400,000 education jobs have been saved, college has been made more affordable. Pell grants were increased by going to banks to reduce rates, not by going to taxpayers,” he said.
Duncan was just as positive when asked about an impending teachers strike in Chicago.
“I think there is a path forward despite the rhetoric and drama, and there will be peace in Chicago for another 25 years,” he said.
Other delegates from Chicago were not so optimistic and there were grumblings that Mayor Rahm Emanuel should have gone back to Chicago after his convention speech Tuesday night.
He is expected to return to Chicago Wednesday night, but not until after he makes an appearance at a bash he is throwing, billed as “Chicago Rockin' Blues Night in Charlotte.” Featured performers include Branford Marsalis and Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford.
Illinois delegates might keep Thursday’s 7:00 am breakfast in mind.