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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

HRC’s Consolation Prize

As my last post noted, last night wasn’t exactly a shining moment for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But today brought news that should cheer her up: an endorsement by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
This is a pretty big deal, given AFSCME’s size and political clout. And it’s a particularly big deal in Iowa, where AFSCME is generally considered the most politically important union. Because it’s a national endorsement, she will also be able to draw on AFSCME heft from other states in the final drive towards the Caucuses.
I’m sure the Edwards campaign was praying for a “no endorsement” vote by AFSCME, but the North Carolinian did get a consolation prize of his own on the labor front: an endorsement from SEIU’s state council in New Hampshire. Since Edwards has already been endorsed by a dozen or so SEIU locals elsewhere (including neighboring Massachusetts), he, too, can draw on out-of-state help from the union in NH, just as he can in IA. But it was apparently a very near thing: according to various stories leaking out today, the executive council of the NH SEIU actually voted last week to endorse Obama, and then reversed the vote on murky procedural grounds, citing a membership straw poll that gave Edwards plurality support. An Obama endorsement would have been a really big deal, giving him a key boost in NH while locking Edwards’ SEIU supporters out of active campaigning in the state.

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