Illinois Democrats' breakfast meetings all week were peppered with a high-powered speaking lineup of national labor leaders, an acknowledgment of the importance of union support to the party's candidates.
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Leaders from the United Auto Workers, National Education Association and others spoke to the state's delegates over the week to rally the troops.
Notably absent from the breakfasts was any speaker from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest union for state workers. They're embroiled in a very public battle with the state's top Democrats over pension cuts, prison closures and pay raises.
Still, labor leaders seemed strongly behind Illinois Democrats at the daily meetings -- a time when speakers of all kinds can test out the newly minted lines and talking points that have developed in Charlotte.
"Bin Laden dead, General Motors alive," said national Teamsters union President James Hoffa Thursday.
"I'm going to use that the rest of the campaign," he said.