Some of Illinois’ most powerful Democratic women offered their pitch Tuesday to send Joe Biden to the White House — and not only because his name isn’t Donald Trump.
But that was certainly part of it.
“It is hard to consider Donald Trump the president of the United States. He really is a woman-hater,” north suburban U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky said during the Illinois delegation’s program ahead of the second night of the Democratic National Convention.
“Women in general to Donald Trump are nasty, don’t deserve equal pay for equal work, don’t deserve to control our own bodies. … But here in Illinois. It’s like breathing such incredible fresh air,” Schakowsky said, referring to the state Legislature passing the Equal Rights Amendment in 2018, and a law that protects abortion rights in Illinois even if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturns the Roe v. Wade decision.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot again piled on Trump during the virtual convention session, saying the “Constitution is again being put to the ultimate test as our current president bends and tears at every page to reshape the document to his own will.”
“It was up to us in 2018 to send a message to Donald Trump, and ultimately expose a crack in his crumbling dictatorship, and women across Illinois stepped up in a big way to meet that challenge,” Lightfoot said, referring to west suburban congressional seats won in traditionally conservative districts by Democratic Representatives Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth bemoaned the “malpractice by this president,” and contrasted it with the “educational experience” she got going through the vetting process by Biden’s campaign for the vice presidential position that ultimately went to California Sen. Kamala Harris.
“I always knew that Joe was empathetic and resilient and was somebody who’s going to fight for working families because he gets us, but you know, I really got to appreciate that,” Duckworth said. “He was a single dad during a difficult time. He understood what it meant to work an entire long day, and then have to commute for hours to get home so he could be there to tuck his kids into bed.”
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Biden and Harris “will restore compassion and common sense to a White House in shambles.”
“They’ll bring stability, experience, leadership, and a strong work ethic, to the job. Doesn’t that sound great?”
Hours later, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the nation’s first Black female senator, cast Illinois’ votes for Biden during the Democratic National Convention’s roll call, saying the presumptive Democratic nominee has a plan to “help more people of color achieve the American dream of owning a home.”
“Discrimination has denied too many black Americans the chance to own a home and build wealth,” Moseley Braun said before casting the Illinois delegation’s votes.
“Joe Biden has a plan to end racist lending practices and help more people of color achieve the American dream of owning a home. This isn’t just about racial justice. It’s about strong communities, and more economic security for working families.”
Moseley Braun cast 122 votes for Biden, and 59 for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the second night of the virtual Democratic convention.
Contributing: Rachel Hinton