Thursday, November 06, 2003

Dean: Union Man Part II

Well, this doesn't help my nerves at all even though indications are that the end result will be even better. From what I am hearing the SEIU has not officially announced an endorsement of Dean today. However, all their internal polling and voting indicates that he is getting the endorsement. So, why are they holding off on announcing it?

Because the 2nd biggest union in the country, the AFSCME asked the SEIU to hold off on the announcement until they meet next week to decide on the same matter.

Why would they do this? I think the answer is pretty clear: SEIU and AFSCME are rival unions and the leadership of the two has not always seen eye-to-eye. If one of them were to announce an endorsement first it might be difficult for the other to endorse the same candidate without coming off looking like a "me to". Also, whoever gets there first will have a greater claim to being a kingmaker in the process.

How to solve this problem? Make a joint announcement! That way both unions get equal billing on the Dean platform and neither side gets to lord it over the other.

Now this wouldn't be happening if there wasn't a very good chance Dean will get the AFSCME endorsement next week. So all in all things are looking very good for Dean right now.

Also, if this happens, Dean will have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to form coalitions. As far as I know, no presidential candidate has ever received a joint endorsement from these two powerful unions. That Dean can get them to put down their rivalries and join him together on the same stage is a major indication of his actual ability to govern.

Still, a part of me can't help but wish this were all over.

Update: Melanie in comments correctly points out that SEIU and AFSCME are not "rivals" in the sense that they organize the same groups of workers. By "rivals" I was referring to the desire of both unions to be kingmakers in this election which has lead some to speculate that they would not endorse the same candidate. By holding a joint endorsement they have neatly solved this problem and I'm sure Dean has had something to with that. That is what I was referring to when I said that this demonstrates Dean's ability to build coalitions.


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