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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Teamsters Endorse Obama

Wisconsin and Hawaii wins "sealed the deal"

The 1.4-million member Teamster's Union has officially endorsed Barack Obama. Teamster President James P. Hoffa met with Obama in Texas today to seal the deal. The endorsement should provide a huge boost to Obama in the upcoming blue-collar states of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The three states have a combined Teamster's membership in excess of 150,000 as well as a large machine to organize and get out the vote.

"We're going to say, 'Yes, yes, we can elect Barack Obama,'" Hoffa said. " ... He's got the best chance to win in the November elections."

Obama's wins Tuesday in Wisconsin and Hawaii helped seal the endorsement, Hoffa said. Clinton has now lost 10 contests in a row to Obama.

"We see the trends and we're impressed by the momentum of the Barack Obama campaign," said Hoffa, who noted that the union's executive board voted unanimously to endorse Obama. Internal polling of the union's members also showed they preferred Obama and that they thought he would do better against presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Hoffa said.

Hoffa said he planned to call Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton, to tell them why the union made its decision. "I owe it to them," said Hoffa, who said he had been lobbied by the former president to endorse his wife.

Ohio and Pennsylvania are both strong union states; more than 15% of the work force unionized in Pennsylvania and more than 14% in Ohio. This marks the fourth union endorsement of Obama in the last week. The 65,000 member International Brotherhood of Boilermakers endorsed Obama on Wednesday, the 1.9-million member Service Employees International Union backed the Illinois senator last Friday, and the smaller United Food and Commercial Workers endorsed him last Thursday.

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Blogger Human said...

Yeahhhh! Although I'm still not a big fan of the Teamsters, it's a good endorsement. Peace.

title="comment permalink">February 21, 2008 9:03 AM  

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