The message, however, coming out of Chicago was that whether it is Gephardt or John Kerry or a candidate yet to enter the race, the AFL-CIO’s endorsement is theirs.
After almost two and half years of attempting to nurture some kind of relationship with big labor, whether it be through the Teamsters or one of the lesser regional unions, the Bush campaign will again face unified labor opposition in 2004.
“There is no way the Democrats weren’t going to come out of here of some sense of where they were with us,” said an AFL-CIO congressional lobbyist who attended the big labor’s Chicago convention. “This was all about getting the party focused on the race ahead, not necessarily about any individual candidate.”
One Democrat who had to be happy about the Chicago meeting was California Gov. Gray Davis, who came away with a full endorsement from the union conglomerate which also scared off Sen. Dianne Feinstein from entering the recall race. Feinstein has not gotten along well with the AFL-CIO for years, and as the days have gone by what has become abundantly clear in California is that a Democrat has to have the backing of the AFL-CIO if he is to have a shot. According to the AFL-CIO lobbyist, the union may have committed as much as $10 million to the California race to ensure that Davis or some other Democrat will hold on to the governor’s mansion.
As with just about every AFL-CIO meeting for the past decade, the star of the convention was former president Bill Clinton, who spoke in a closed session on Monday and told the crowd that President Bush was extremely beatable if Democrats properly framed the economy and the war in Iraq. Clinton also met privately with Davis and is said by Democratic insiders to have committed to at least two additional visits to California over the next 30 days to help Davis fundraise and get out the vote.
Just how critical organized labor is to the Democrats’ political hopes became clear on Monday afternoon when in private meetings AFL-CIO leadership discussed shifting as much as $20 million to $30 million from the AFL-CIO general budget into political operations to offset Republican fundraising around the country. If for some reason the union chooses not to draw on the money it already has in its account, it has discussed levying a new set of surcharges on affiliate members to add to its political warchest.p> BOXER PUNCHES BACK br> Sen.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?