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Quinn, Emanuel To Address Democratic National Convention On Opening Night

Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn talks with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine in Charlotte, N.C., as the Democratic National Convention begins. (Credit: CBS)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS) — One might call it Illinois Day at Democratic National Convention as officials prepare for opening night Tuesday.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports from Charlotte, N.C., that First Lady Michelle Obama is the featured speaker Tuesday night. She will talk about the president as a husband and a father.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

But three others from Illinois are also on the program, beginning with Gov. Pat Quinn.

Quinn says he will emphasize job growth in Illinois during the Obama years in his speech – despite a perception that the state is in worse shape economically than it was four years ago. Quinn says he can win people over who have nagging doubts.

“I think a few anecdotes would help. For you, a few examples – you know when President Obama was sworn in January 2009, the Chrysler plant in our state in Belvidere had 200 workers and was about ready to close. Today, this summer, they have 4,000 workers, and I think we have to show, by the record, exactly what the president has done,” Quinn said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will also address the convention Tuesday, talking from his perspective as President Obama’s chief of staff.

The mayor plans to will cut short his stay at the convention. An aide says the reason Emanuel been asked to host a convention watching party back in Chicago Thursday night, but Levine says it is hard to believe that the ongoing teachers talks didn’t have at least something to do with his choice to return to Chicago early.

Communications director Sarah Hamilton insisted that such was not the case.

“They’re making good progress, and the mayor believes the right people are at the table,” Hamilton said.

She said Emanuel’s abbreviated trip likewise doesn’t have anything to do with the city’s higher murder rate this year.

Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth is also on the docket for the convention Tuesday.

In all, seven speakers from Illinois will address the delegates during the convention.