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Labor support for Barack Obama expands

Unions large and small are jumping  on board what increasingly looks like a Barack Obama bandwagon.

The Associated Press reports that Obama will be meeting today with Teamsters head James Hoffa in Austin, Texas, and that the union's endorsement then will follow.

The Teamsters are one of the nation's largest labor groups, with a membership of about 1.4 million. Perhaps more important, the union's support should send a good message about Obama to the working-class voters he needs to attract in Ohio to beat Hillary Clinton in that state's March 4 primary.

As Marc Ambinder notes in his blog for the Atlantic: "Nothing says tough, or evokes 'gruff,' more than the Teamsters." You can check out Ambinder's posting here.

The Republican National Committee's Alex Conant then chimed in with his own (sarcastic) comment: "Nothing says ‘change’ like the Teamsters and James Hoffa."

Earlier today, Obama scarfed up ...

the backing of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. It has a membership of about 65,000 -- with an estimated 3,500 living in Ohio. Here's the release with the announcement.

Last week, fresh on the heels of his triumphs in the Potomac primaries, Obama similarly won the backing of one huge labor group -- the Service Employees International Union -- and a smaller one -- the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (7)

The comments to this entry are closed.

It's a shame labor and the Unions have deteroiated so much that they are so desperate for members and dues money they turn their backs on the American workers who made them to support Illegal Alien Canadiates ! These unions have become the very thing they were created to fight! Goodby America !!!

It seems like the Teamsters always choose the losing candidate ... won't they ever learn?

Way to go USA

..from New Zealand

I have family in Texas and Ohio that are members of many of the unions that have now endorsed Senator Obama. Although they are members, they are also individuals who believe in Senator Clinton's experience. It's a true shame that the minute an endorsement comes from one of these union groups, everyone just assumes every member will vote for that candidate.

Clinton 08

(Good point. So why do you support Clinton against the union's wishes?)

To put it simply the Union doesn't speak for everyone's ideals and principles. We support Clinton based on experience, record, and what we know she can offer this country. It goes beyond the union's endorsement.

Obama is more real to working people than Hillary. Here in Chicago he organized economically depressed black communities that suffered from the Chicago South Side steel mill closures and he fought for job training centers, better schools, and better housing. He also is a community organizer at heart in the Saul Alinsky tradition of Chicago. If you don't know who Saul is than you don't know blue collar community organizing. He has more years in public office than Hillary and has served both state and federal senate posts, so what are people talking about when they talk about experience?

Hey im from NZ aswell, and i think the US could use a yank Helen Clark, Hillary all the way!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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