The AFL-CIO Executive Council is hosting its summer meeting in Chicago with the emphasis on the November election. On Tuesday, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and top strategist David Axelrod address the group while presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) joins via a teleconference connection.
Obama battleground states director Jen O'Malley--with between 18 and 22 states in her portfolio--already briefed some 325 union political honchos in Chicago, where she said the union political programs will be critical to the success of the Obama campaign.
The AFL-CIO, with its massive voter mobilization Labor 2008 program is basing its political agenda around the unique role unions can play: reaching out to older working class voters in key states with high union density: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The AFL-CIO already has taken on one job: dispelling myths about Obama. The AFL-CIO sent a pamphlet to 600,000 probable swing union voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio answering questions such as, is he a Christian? Was he born in America? Yes, for both. Does he wear a flag pin on his lapel? Sometimes.
"Union voters don't know very much about him and we wanted to make sure that union voters were not taken in by rumors and untruths that are being circulated about him," said AFL-CIO national political director Karen Ackerman. "...We wanted to make sure that union voters were not taken in by rumors that are circulating that are just not true."