Change To Win Labor Federation Endorses Obama
by Todd Beeton, Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 09:25:51 AM EST
Some more labor love for Obama going into March 4th.
From Chris Cilizza:
Change To Win has officially decided to throw its endorsement behind Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), according to Anna Burger, the chair of the group.
"Change to Win is excited to announce the endorsement of Barack Obama for President. We are the unions that organize and mobilize working people and believe that we can make a huge difference on the ground in the upcoming primaries. Change To Win is the new labor movement, the labor movement of the 21st century and we are excited about our ability to make a difference."
Change to Win is the 6 million member, 7-union federation that split from the AFL-CIO in 2005.
Of the group's seven member unions, four have endorsed Obama: Service Employees International Union, UNITE Here, Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers. For Change To Win to offer a formal endorsement, two-thirds of the member unions or unions representing two-thirds of the total membership must agree on a single candidate.
Cilliza noted in his original story that were the federation to take the major step of endorsing Obama, they'd likely want there to be a unanimous vote, which would have entailed The United Farm Workers switching from Clinton to Obama. Cilliza was half right.
From The AP:
[Change To Win's executive director, Greg] Tarpinian said the vote was unanimous although the United Farm Workers, the Laborers' Union and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners had abstained. The farmworkers already had endorsed Clinton; the Carpenters originally endorsed John Edwards, who has dropped out, and the Laborers had yet to make an endorsement. Tarpinian said, however, the three unions released the federation to work for Obama in the upcoming primaries and caucuses.
It's still unclear what the real world impact of labor endorsements actually is in the 2008 presidential primaries; weren't they supposed to send John Edwards over the top in Iowa and likewise for Barack Obama in Nevada and California? But clearly this is a blow to Clinton not only in boots on the ground in labor-heavy states Ohio and Pennsylvania but also just in perception that everything's going Obama's way.