SEIU Delays Dean Endorsement Announcement
by CA Pol Junkie
by CA Pol Junkie
It was interesting political theater today, as the SEIU had said it would announce its endorsement of Howard Dean today. They gave Dean the SEIU jacket with "Dr. Dean" on the back, and there were smiles all around, but they delayed the announcement of their endorsement. At first glance, this would appear to be bad news for Dean, but it is clear nothing has changed with the SEIU:
In a major boost to his campaign, Democrat Howard Dean is getting a prized presidential endorsement from one of the nation's largest unions.
However, the Service Employees International Union, which has 1.6 million members, said it would not announce its endorsement decision until next week, at the request of Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
"It has been a great process and a great pleasure," Dean said, adding that "on Wednesday we're going to have a lot more to say."
SEIU President Andy Stern said the union's endorsement would be announced Wednesday.
"We have reached a decision and we are hopeful that there are other unions who share our members excitement for Dr. Dean's candidacy," Stern said.
Intense rivals, SEIU and AFSCME and its leaders recently extended olive branches to one another after realizing that they had to unite if they had any hope of defeating President Bush in 2004.
I don't think there is any reasonable reading to say that SEIU is going to do anything other than formally endorse Dean next Wednesday. The question now is what AFSCME does. It might be that the AFSCME decision still needs to be made, but it's pretty clear the worst case scenario for Dean means only getting SEIU. Gerald McEntee, president of AFSCME, had been opposed to Dean in favor of Kerry and then Clark. Both have sagging campaigns, and Clark pulled out of Iowa, where AFSCME support could make the difference. Recently, rumors have been swirling about Dean being under consideration for AFSCME endorsement. A joint announcement by SEIU and AFSCME is a strong possibility, so the unions become the kingmakers. There are alot of phone calls and deals being made as we speak - the rest of us will find out what happens Wednesday.