hillary-obmana.jpgAs expected, the nation’s unions are lining up behind their favorite candidates.

Last week, the Service Employees International Union, representing nearly 2 million workers, threw their support behind Obama.

“This is about more than one election. It’s about building for the next generation of America,” said SEIU President Andy Stern. “Barack Obama is creating the broadest and deepest coalition of voters we’ve ever seen.”

The Teamsters have yet to endorse any candidate, but AFSCME chose Clinton; the Food and Commercial Workers chose Obama; the American Federation of Teachers and Machinists chose Clinton; Unite Here and the Plumbers and Pipefitters chose Obama: and the Letter Carriers and Amalgamated Transit chose Clinton. (All this according the the Wall Street Journal.)

Now, many of you may have thought union support would be a no brainer for Hillary. Well, there was one little thing in her husband’s past that is coming back to haunt her–NAFTA. You remember NAFTA right? The North American Free Trade Agreement. Many in labor saw Bill Clinton’s support of NAFTA as a slap in the face of U.S. workers. Lots of jobs did indeed go South of the Border, and manufacturing jobs continue to disappear in this country.

Obama made a shrewd move on Wednesday, choosing to pander to a crowd of auto workers.

This from the Detroit News:

JANESVILLE, Wis . — Calling the current economic downturn “a failure of leadership and imagination in Washington,” Sen. Barack Obama pledged Wednesday before an audience of General Motors workers here to restore economic balance to a nation that has forgotten the middle class.

In a speech heavy on policy specifics, Obama spoke in a makeshift auditorium just above the assembly line floor where more than 2,000 workers build GM’s largest sport utility vehicles — vehicles Obama has criticized in the past as signs of a domestic auto industry unwilling to adjust to a new, environmentally conscious era.

Hillary is doing what she can as well to pander to the rank and file.

This from the Wall Street Journal:

Mrs. Clinton described herself as the “candidate of, from and for the middle class of America” to roundtable of voters in Cincinnati.

“It is wrong that an investment money manager in Wall Street making $50 million a year gets a lower tax rate than a teacher, a nurse, a truck driver, and autoworker making $50,000 a year.”

It might be too late for autoworkers. Their numbers are shrinking more and more every day.

I chose the word “pander” to refer to what these two candidates are doing because at this point it’s just that, pandering. Many workers are at their weakest point as far as job stability and negotiating power in the workplace today. And these candidates know the right thing to say to them. But the proof will come after one of these candidates, or McCain, are in office.

Hopefully, these labor groups that are so vocal now about getting their support behind these candidates will keep the fire burning when the next president doesn’t live up to his or her election promises.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]