Delegates' days ran long at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., with keynote speeches going late into the night and Illinois breakfast meetings starting early in the morning. The sheer excitement of being with hundreds of kindred spirits helped keep the adrenaline high -- and so did the added Illinois perk of name-dropping the chief executive, said delegate Sue Walton of Rolling Meadows, a candidate for Illinois Senate in 2000.
On the nightly replay:
"Even when you get back to the room, there are so many things someone said, and you replay the whole day. So it takes a fair amount of time to kind of wind down. And it's very helpful to have had the other delegates there because you kind of say, 'Well, did you hear this?' and 'I heard that' and 'Can you believe?'"
It's all in the family:
"It seems like it's a lot of parties. And it seems like it's a lot of rushing to and from. But what's really key, and probably the neatest part, is that you just begin to meet like-minded people on the streets."
About Madeleine Albright and her famous collection of pins:
"Everywhere you go there's kind of star power. ... I got to talk to (former Secretary of State) Madeleine Albright. I talked to her about her pins being on display at the Mint (Museum)."
On Illinois' personal connection to President Barack Obama:
"What we really like about this is that we do go back some distance with him from before he became a rock star. I did host several events for him. If I tell the story to someone, they will be: 'Oh, my gosh, you know (Obama)? You were there?'"