Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Clinton Wins NEA Endorsement.

The National Education Association (NEA), according to the AP (10/4, Thomas), endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination on Saturday. The article notes that support from the NEA, comprised of 3 million members, “will help Clinton in her primary bid against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.” NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia stated, “We chose Hillary Clinton because she chose kids. She’s had kids in her heart from pre-school to graduate school.”
        In it’s vote, the NEA considered two other candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, The Hill (10/3, Richardson) “Ballot Box” blog reported. The NEA PAC, the political wing of the union, “recommended the board choose Clinton earlier this week.” In a statement, the NEA notes, “Clinton’s commitment to students, and her positions on the issues we care most about promises to make her our champion in the White House.”
        The New York Times (10/3, Subscription Publication) reports that the NEA’s endorsement of Clinton was “expected but that nonetheless gives her a boost as she heads toward the first nominating contests.” The Times notes that the American Federation of Teachers had endorsed Clinton in July, adding that while Clinton enjoys significant support from organized labor, “Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has become a favorite of many of the rank-and-file members in some unions.”
        Furthermore, the Los Angeles Times (10/4, Halper) details how, in an effort to “calm the jitters of union leaders” prior to the NEA vote, Clinton made an unscheduled visit to speak with members at union’s headquarters in Washington. The Washington Post (10/4, Layton), however, reports that some NEA members believe the endorsement is “premature” and that “Sen. Bernie Sanders was a better choice.” In an analysis piece, Politico (10/3, Hefling) similarly highlighted concerns among NEA members, noting that the endorsement “is sure to further aggravate many rank-and-file members who wanted more time to consider the candidates.”
        Alyson Klein writes at the Education Week (10/5) “Teacher Beat” blog that the union “is putting its muscle, money, and legions of teacher volunteers behind Hillary Clinton,” notwithstanding “misgivings from some of its affiliates, who were hoping for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, or at least a slower endorsement process that would give the union more time to extract policy promises from Clinton.”
        Reuters (10/3, Lopez), US News & World Report (10/3), CNN (10/3, Scott), the Huffington Post (10/5), and BuzzFeed (10/5) also cover this story.

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