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Still Waiting on Union Endorsement

They came, they rallied and...they waited. After hearing pitches from the major Democratic presidential candidates this week, the Service Employees International Union announced today that it would take more time to decide whom to endorse in the Democratic primary.

The board of the 1.9 million-member union decided that it wanted to get additional information from each of the three leading Democratic candidates -- particularly about their campaigns' plans for victory in the primary and beyond. "They're asking the strategists of the three campaigns to come talk with them so they can get more insight into the strategies and see whether SEIU can make a difference," said union spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller. "We had a chance to hear their visions [this week] and now we want to get a better sense of their strategy."

While SEIU says it had never planned to settle on an endorsement today, the announcement of a further wait is likely most frustrating for John Edwards, who has been courting organized labor most assiduously. Reports from inside the union suggest that many of its leaders are inclined toward backing him but that they are facing resistance from their very large chapters in New York and Chicago, which are enthusiastic about, respectively, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and thus oppose a union-wide endorsement.

Mueller declined to rule out the possibility that the union would make no nationwide endorsement and also declined to give a date by which the union hopes to endorse, if it decides to do so. She noted the union did not make its endorsement in the 2004 primary (of Howard Dean) until November 2003. "It's still early, but that said, we want to be able to make a difference," she said.

--Alec MacGillis

By Washington Post editors  |  September 19, 2007; 5:32 PM ET
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I hope Hillary get's the endorsement. She is the candidate most likely to win a general election, and plenty of polls and data back up that assessment.

Posted by: mcsizzlesizzle | September 20, 2007 12:47 AM | Report abuse

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