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Sweet blog scoop: SEIU makes no endorsement--for now--after 8 hour executive board session. Setback for Edwards.


CARBONDALE, Ill.--This just in. After an eight-hour board meeting in Chicago on Monday, the executive board of the Service Employees International Union decided not to endorse for now in the Democratic primary. The executive board will revisit an endorsement on Oct. 8, after the third quarter fund-raising totals are in.

This is a big setback for White House hopeful former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) who has been working the SEIU leaders (first, second and third tier) for years. This is very good news for rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) who now has bought time to persuade SEIU leaders that he is the most politically viable contender. I'm told the leaders of the SEIU--one of the most politically active unions in the nation---want to make an endorsement. And there are elements within the leadership who want to stop Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who is the frontrunner in most polls--national and in the four early primary states.

I'm told the executive board never even took a vote. That's all bad news for the Edwards forces, who hoped to lock-in the SEIU endorsement last week, after the top Dem contenders addressed their political conference in Washington. But SEIU chief Andy Stern and SEIU chief politico Anna Burger said the executive board needed to hear more from the top strategists for the campaigns. Team Obama sent strategist David Axelrod and campaign manager David Plouffe.

Obama delivered a stemwinder last week at the conference. I wrote last week he faced an uphill battle getting the union backing. By slowing down the process on Monday--he's leveling the hill. Presumably Obama will have a strong third quarter showing. The books close Sept. 30 and Edwards will be lucky to have $8 million. Obama and Clinton should be reporting at least $20 million in third quarter results.

On Tuesday Change-to-Win, a labor federation of which the SEIU is a member, meets in Chicago. No endorsement is expected.


I will NOT vote for a corporate Democrat!

Never underestimate John Edwards.

It’s about trust; trust in the president and trust between the United States and the rest of the world.

SEIU may think it's about who raises the most money. I've seen John Edwards in Iowa. The folks he talks to are from all walks but by committing to visiting all 99 counties (he's visited 79 so far); he meets with many, many people who are older, low income folks. They may not give money but they will give their vote.

SEIU needs to know that John wins the match up contests with the Republican Contenders better than Obama or Clinton if they want to consider a poll.

They should look beyond either poll. Serving our country is what's important. Honesty, sincerity, integrity, and principle are important. And giving voice not only to union members but to others who for so long have had no voice.

John Edwards is the man.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 24, 2007 5:22 PM.

Sweet blog extra: As 3Q end looms, Obama appeals to small donors. Make the story "people, not dollars." was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet's Obamaville: Top Dems in Chicago Tuesday to pitch Change-to-Win. Obama to Maine. is the next entry in this blog.

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