CHICAGO -- The main event --= this important AFL-CIO forum -- begins at 7pm local time at Soldier field. The weather forecast calls for thunderstorms. The AFL-CIO expects more than 10,000 union members to watch the debate live. Of course, the NBC affiliate plans to carry the event live, so those members without cable can watch from the comfort of their homes.

John Edwards, Joe Biden and Bill RIchardson are hosting tailgate parties. (Richardson has a -- ssh -- private dinner after the debate with the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters.)

Barack Obama has a private meet-and-greet with union officials and his campaign has invited several key union political operatives and executives to headquarters for a special briefing with campaign manager David Plouffe.

Hillary Clinton has no special plans...planned, but her campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, will be in town and, one assumes, has meetings scheduled.

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