Among the surprises at Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention was the sight of a candidate’s spouse seated next to Chicago’s most powerful person, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle.

The man, the founder of the Clinton Foundation and a former resident of Arkansas, wore a sharp blue suit and American-flag tie. The two were spotted cheering the well-received speech of Chicago’s Michelle Obama.

How in the world did he score the seat? Preckwinkle told WGN-TV the two had met in March when he stumped with her on Election Day in support of her favored candidate for state’s attorney, Kim Foxx. Foxx went on to win the Democratic primary with 62 percent of the vote, clear evidence of Preckwinkle’s rising clout in Chicago and Cook County.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is keeping a low profile at the convention, and the Tribune’s John Kass speculates that Preckwinkle’s prime-time appearance is a signal that she would enjoy national establishment support should she run for mayor in 2019. 

Other reports noted that the man, one William J. Clinton, once served as the 42nd president of the United States.