Frustrated by President Barack Obama and wary of Hillary Clinton’s perceived closeness to Wall Street, several leading figures in organized labor are resisting falling in line early behind the former secretary of state as the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee.
Top officials at AFL-CIO are pressing its affiliates to hold off on an endorsement and make the eventual nominee earn their support and spell out a clear agenda. The strategy is designed to maximize labor’s strength after years of waning clout and ensure a focus on strengthening the middle class, but it could provide an opening for a candidate running to Clinton’s left to make a play for union support.
“We do have a process in place, which says before anybody endorses, we’ll talk to the candidates,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an interview. That could postpone an endorsement until the second half of 2015, he said.
“The big question we want to know is, ‘What’s the agenda?’” added Trumka. “We don’t want to hear that people have a message about correcting the economy — we want to know that they have an agenda for correcting the economy. If we get the same economic [plan] no matter who the president is, you get the same results.
But there's no wariness from Randi Weingarten - she's on board the Clinton Express already:
"There’s a sense that people — the members who have talked to me about it — they feel very close to her,” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, an AFL-CIO member and a longtime supporter of Clinton.
“They feel like she’s their colleague, that she’s their champion, that she is someone who worked doggedly in 2008 or worked doggedly as their senator,” said Weingarten, who used to helm the teachers union in New York City. She added that her own union has an endorsement process that she will adhere to.
Weingarten is also on the board of the reconstituted super PAC Priorities USA, which plans to support Clinton in a primary if necessary, according to people familiar with its plans.
No surprise that Randi is already supporting Hillary Clinton, of course - Weingarten has been close to the Clintons for a long, long time.
It's just interesting to note that many other union heads are saying we want a pro-working agenda out of her while Weingarten doesn't care a whit about even the appearance of that.
She says her union has a "process" for endorsements that she'll adhere to - but she controls that "process."
Thi is classic Weingarten, classic AFT/UFT.
Why not dispense with the sham and just endorse Hillary Clinton now?