Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet: Teamsters endorse Obama. Obama and Hoffa meeting now.


AUSTIN, TEXAS--White House hopeful Barack Obama and Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa are meeting right now as I type this; they are together in the motorcade from the airport to a hotel here. Hoffa met Obama at the airport, where Obama was arriving after a rally in Dallas. The union is endorsing the Illinois Democrat for president over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Hoffa may be meeting with the Obama press corps later today; it's not clear yet if it will happen. UPDATE. Will huddle with Hoffa at 5:30 p.m. Chicago time.

React from the Republican National Committee

“Nothing says ‘change’ like the Teamsters and James Hoffa. Long-winded speeches and partisan endorsements are no substitute for serious policy discussions. Some partisan groups may applaud Obama’s ‘most liberal’ rhetoric, but the freshman senator must still answer real questions about his record and experience.” – Alex Conant, RNC Spokesman

Release from the Teamsters....


Hoffa Makes Announcement Following Texas Meeting With Obama

(Washington, D.C.) – Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced today the union’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for president. The endorsement is the first step in mobilizing the union’s 1.4 million members and their families to elect Obama.

“Senator Obama understands the challenges working people face every day,” Hoffa said. “He is the candidate in the best position to lead our movement to restore the American dream for working people in this country. Senator Obama will fight for better wages, real health care reform, stronger retirement security, fair trade and an end to the outsourcing of good jobs. He understands the importance of giving workers a voice at work and will fight for strong unions to help rebuild America’s middle class.”

The endorsement decision follows a meeting in Austin, Texas, between Hoffa and Obama, and completes a months-long process that included scientific polling of Teamster members, surveys of local union and joint council leaders and deliberations by the union’s democratically elected General Executive Board.

“We have been fortunate to have candidates throughout the Democratic primary who are friends of working families and the Teamsters Union,” Hoffa said. “We are pleased that all of the Democratic candidates have focused on issues of importance to working people, including wages, health care, retirement security, fair trade and outsourcing.”

The union’s endorsement immediately activates the union’s 50-state election program, with special emphasis on swing states.

“Senator Obama will stand with the Teamsters when it comes to fighting for working families,” Hoffa said. “This endorsement begins a partnership to change America. Together we will reinvent the political process and give a voice to those who have been ignored by the Bush administration for the past eight years.”

Hoffa emphasized Obama’s commitment to rebuilding and strengthening the national transportation infrastructure, a key priority of the Teamsters Union.

“Senator Obama will fight to rebuild our transportation infrastructure,” Hoffa said. “He will work with us to address critical issues from our ports to our highways, rails and airports. We need a president who is focused on rebuilding America and Barack Obama will be that president.”

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.



Great. The sonofa guy who sold the teamsters to Richard Nixon is sharing a limo with our nominee/wannabe. Must be the fix is already in. Wake me up in 8 years.

How important do you think are these endorsements? Do they really matter? Hillary and John Edwards were endorsed by big labor during earlier contests, but Obama still prevailed.

So have Alex Conant and other Republican brass so smug and dismissive of the Teamsters when they endorsed Republicans like Peter King (R-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and our own Peter Roskam?

Just wondering.

She didn't say anything about what made her to be proud of this country just about him running for president. To me it doesnt clear he on her statement.

It great that teamster supporting Obama. Let don't forget that the union employee make average of $70,000. year per employee. that not going to help me Making only making $22,000.00 a year they are out looking or them not the lower, lower class people. Why do you think that GM wants to but out the employees. They won't to replace them with lower wages because they make an average of $ 70,000.00 a year. All of the people voting For Obama making over $70,000.00 year feel that Obama is not going to help the lower class people he just won't there vote.

I thought Barry Obama was supposed to be different? I thought he didn't deal with insiders? I thought he wasn't going to put himself in the position of owing people once he was in the white house? This endorsement means he will now owe those shiftless, lazy union clowns from the teamsters if elected.

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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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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 20, 2008 4:12 PM.

Sweet: Obama spells out conditions for taking public financing as McCain says he is waffling on pledge. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Obama on trajectory to win. Change to Win union federation will endorse Obama. is the next entry in this blog.

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