Hillary Clinton has a union problem. Actually, with her Benghazi, Clinton Foundation, and e-mail scandals, she has more than just a union problem.
However, since no Democrat can win the White House without union support, it is the union problem that may pose a bigger problem than all the others…And, it has her campaign very worried.
Although Hillary Clinton may have once thought that, after Barack Obama, it would be her turn, the entry of the self-described socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, into the 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton’s union problem has become even more amplified.
First, she has refused to publicly give a position on ObamaTrade (the free-trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership)—which labor leaders vehemently oppose, calling it “NAFTA on steroids.” Ironically, of course, it was Hillarys husband, President Bill Clinton who signed the original NAFTA—something union members have not forgotten.
Second, unlike Sanders, who has introduced legislation to roll-back the Multi-Employer Protection Act—which enables pension funds to cut retirees pensions—Clinton has done, literally, nothing to benefit organized labor.
In fact, due to her time spent with the employer-friendly Rose law firm (which helps employers fight unions), as well as her stint on the board of directors for Wal-Mart, many union members believe Clinton cannot be trusted.
Third, with Elizabeth Warren not running for the White House, Clinton may have thought her clear shot to the Oval Office would go unchallenged–at least seriously challenged. However, Bernie Sanders has quickly stepped into the void and appears to be raining Hillary’s parade.
To see how how much union member support Bernie Sanders has compared to Hillary Clinton (or any other declared and undeclared Democrat candidate), an informal poll was run on LaborUnionReport.com (and promoted on the LUR Facebook page) in mid-June.
While the poll is not scientific by any means, there were over 1,500 respondents and the results resoundingly favored Bernie Sanders (by nearly eight to one) over Hillary Clinton.
Here is the poll question and the responses in order of popularity.
“Which of the Democrat Party’s (declared and undeclared) candidates do you support for President of the United States?”
- Bernie Sanders (Declared) (76%, 1,181 Votes)
- Hillary Clinton (Declared) (11%, 170 Votes)
- None of the above as I am a Republican (4%, 68 Votes)
- Elizabeth Warren (Undeclared) (4%, 61 Votes)
- I am a Democrat, but do not support any of the above choices (2%, 28 Votes)
- Joe Biden (Undeclared) (1%, 19 Votes)
- Martin O’Malley (Declared) (1%, 15 Votes)
- Jim Webb (Undeclared) (0%, 7 Votes)
- Dennis Kucinich (Undeclared) (0%, 4 Votes)
- Lincoln Chafee (Declared) (0%, 1 Votes)
- Andrew Cuomo (Undeclared) (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,554
Seeming to recognize her union problem, Clinton’s campaign has become so nervous that she is holding an “informal, intimate get-together” with union leaders at her campaign manager John Podesta’s Washington, D.C. home on July 14th. Her likely goal: Try to convince union leaders that her silence on ObamaTrade doesn’t mean she can’t be their “champion” in the future.
However, it may be too late. In Iowa, “more than a dozen Iowa labor leaders announced support for Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders,” according to WCFCourier.com.
While it is still early in the 2016 season, if Sanders continues to pick up momentum and unions fail to endorse Clinton, this may be like 2008 all over again for Hillary.
Instead of sitting in the office her husband once occupied, she may very well be relegated back to giving speeches and writing books…again.