CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois delegates geared up for Monday’s start of the virtual Democratic National Convention, with an online rally of their own Sunday evening.
With most participants meeting from their homes, embattled House Speaker Michael Madigan—who chairs the State Democratic Party and is under scrutiny by the feds —made a brief appearance, only welcoming the delegates.
"We welcome you all, we look forward to a successful convention and a successful election in November," he said.
The event was more of a star-studded pep talk than a reception. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth was among several speakers to point accusatory fingers at the President. She said they are unable to hold a regular convention because Donald Trump mismanaged the pandemic.
State Senate President Don Harmon said there’s a menace in the White House that threatens "the very democracy we love so dearly," clearly indicating the President, and he said Democrats must fight harder than they ever have.
Governor Pritzker called President Trump "utterly incompetent."
"Over 168,000 Americans are dead because of his failure to lead and our economy is in its worst position than even during the last great recession," Pritzker said.
Gov. Pritzker warned Democrats not to take anything for granted, especially the polls. "We’re in the fight of our lives," he said.
Like other Democrats, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused President Trump of leading an attack on democracy itself.
"Undermining everything that we know as our democracy, as our American identity, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the attacks on our environment and our courts," she said.
Lightfoot said this is the most consequential election of their lives.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin told the delegates that the House will try to block the President’s attempts to thwart mail-in voting despite COVID-19 fears.
"So what people would like to have is the option to vote by mail. We have done it for years and years and years in America. No one has ever questioned it until this president did," Durbin said.
Illinois delegates begin the real work of the convention on Monday. The virtual Democratic National Convention gets underway in Monday morning with national programming beginning at 8 p.m.