The simplest way to tell that Illinois has one of the most prominent delegations at the Democratic National Convention is location, location, location.
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First, Illinois delegates' hotels are right down the street from the convention center, allowing them to avoid the sluggish shuttle buses, overworked taxi drivers or whole-car security inspections that delegations (and reporters) situated farther away have to endure.
And more obviously for people watching at home, President Barack Obama's home state is situated near the front on the convention floor, ready to lead on what's sure to be an enthusiastic crowd.
Reporters are camped out for the day at one of the delegation's hotels -- even though we're not staying here -- to have easy access both to delegates and (we hope) a solid Internet connection.