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Teachers Tap Clinton

Some might say Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is on a roll. She picked up the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers today -- an important "get," one that will no doubt add to speculation that she has the whole nomination locked up. "Our members have told us that they want a leader they can trust to strengthen public education, increase access to healthcare, promote commonsense economic priorities and secure America's place in the world," AFT President Edward J. McElroy said in a statement. "Hillary Clinton is that leader." The union represents 1.4 million members.

The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama had been braced for this announcement, after the senator gave a speech to teachers earlier this year in which he backed the idea of merit pay -- which teachers largely oppose. Other Democrats also note that the AFT is a New York-centric organization that considered Clinton a hometown candidate.

In the 2004 race, the AFT declined to endorse a Democratic candidate at this point in the campaign, issuing a statement in October of 2003 saying that, among other things, there was a lack of consensus among its members. The union endorsed Sen. John Kerry in February of 2004, after it was clear he was winning the primaries.

--Anne E. Kornblut

By Washington Post editors  |  October 3, 2007; 1:27 PM ET
 
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Comments

The AFT hardly represents the interests of teachers. In fact, most teachers are not even concerned with the goings on of the AFT.

As teachers begin to look at the candidates like any informed voter does in this country they will realize that being married to a lady who has taught for 30 years, lecturing himself regularly, and with his record on education (he's announcing his full education plan for the presidential campaign today) he is the best candidate for teachers and more importantly for schools and students.

-A concerned American STUDENT.

Posted by: willey | October 4, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Paying teachers more will not solve the problem of poor schooling in America. Merit pay for teachers will not solve the problem either. More aggressive unions are also not the answer.

The answer is smaller class size (no more than 10 children per class). We need more teachers, more money, and the abolition of local school boards- let the states and the federal government determine what it means to be well educated, and then tell the teachers how and what to teach. Also, strip teachers of union protection.

The AFT and the NEA are enemies of education- endorsement by either oought to be the kiss of death to any presidential candidate.

The media will hype the AFT as a major victory by Clinton- "more feet on the ground to get out the vote..." Be that as it may the AFT endorsement will poison any chance of Clinton bringing about any serious education reform should she be elected.

Posted by: kolp999 | October 3, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Clinton doesn't have anything to offer teachers. Just more of the same. At least ensure them a minimum wage salary of $40,000 so they can make a decent living. That would drastically improve our education system. If anyone should be paid more, it should be teachers.

We don't need another Clinton; we need another Bill.

Bill Richardson, 2008!

Posted by: mb63143 | October 3, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The way Hillary Rodham Clinton's star is rising, probably nothing now stands in the way of her getting the Democratic nomination for president.

Mr.Obama can do all he can to personally attack Sen. Clinton, even viciously, but his efforts will only prove in vain.

A great majority of Democratic voters, millions of Independents, even Republicans, are now decided on voting for Sen. Clinton.

Sen. Clinton has a lot to thank George W. Bush and his loyal Republican supporters in Congress for the angry mood the whole country is in now, mainly because of Bush's Iraq Folly and several other missteps and mistakes in the domestic policy arena.

Posted by: MPatalinjug | October 3, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The question of good judgment... who exhibited it and who didn't?

As Senator Obama stated in his speech yesterday:

"So there is a choice that has emerged in this campaign, one that the American people need to understand."

"They should ask themselves: Who got the single most important foreign policy decision since the end of the Cold War right, and who got it wrong?"

Hillary not only got it wrong, but she had the callousness to not even read the 90 page National Intelligence Estimate, even with 10 days to read it before the vote. Had she done so, she would have seen many caveats, as did former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who could not vote for the war based upon this report's findings.

She made a political calculation, planning on running for prez, and didn't want to look weak, and voted for this ideological war of choice.

People, please wake up and don't drink the Koolaid that the mainstream media is feeding us with her 'aura of inevitability' and self and media coronation. This is a democracy, and THE PEOPLE will decide who will be our next president, not the 7 media corporations who own everything we see, read and hear. Please check out independent media, like democracynowdotorg and best of all, buzzlashdotcom.

Posted by: pacifica1 | October 3, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If this is any indication of the perspicacity or values of the teaching profession, no wonder, in the grammar of the Dunce-in-chief, "our childrens isn't learning." I've been withing three feet of Hillary, and she exudes phoniness. Her votes show that due diligence is not her forte. She gave Bush, a chimpanzee, free rein to wage war, and signed on to the PATRIOT Act, which, like Prohibition and the Alien and Sedition Laws, will go down as the worst legislation for freedom in American history.

Posted by: edwcorey | October 3, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

These latest polls show Hillary gaining support all across the country. I think the only state that she does not lead by double digits is Iowa, and at some time the top three have polled at #1, and even[within the margin of error] in some of the different polls from Iowa. Should Hillary win Iowa, imo, it is all over.

Posted by: lylepink | October 3, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

'petra2' writes:
I've always voted Republican in elections -- going all the way back to Reagan. And guess what, barring something unforeseen, I'm planning to pull the lever for Hillary in November of 2008 (and yes, folks, I know there's that little matter of her having to win the nomination). I like Obama, too, but he's frankly a bit too far to the left for me. John Edwards just seems tired, and all the Republicans running are incredible pander bears (pandering to the extreme right wing, that is). It is somewhat disconcerting to have yet another dynasty member as our next president. But the times we live in are too critical NOT to choose the best person for the job. I don't care if she's not warm, or not spontaneous, or not likable. Dogonnit, she's clearly the most polished, intelligent, hard-working, well-prepared, and competent candidate running. We can't settle for anything else. I'm personally hoping for a Hillary-Obama ticket in 2008.
'freespeak' writes:
The question is, can anyone stop Clinton?
I say, if they can, now is the time to step up to the plate. She just did five talk shows in one day and hit it out of the ballpark.
Batter up?
I'm a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton (and an Independent from New Hampshire).
I don't understand who these people are, who have these 'HORRIBLE' memories of the nation under the leadership of Bill Clinton.
When Clinton left office, 70% of the nation thought we were going in the right direction.
Currently, 70% of the nation thinks we're going in the WRONG direction.
Oh!
The people who have bad memories of the Clinton years think Bush is doing' a heckuva job!
I get it.
'charly_n' writes:
After the 2006 midterm election, I think Hillary couldn't choose a more perfect year to run for president.
The whole country is now leaning toward Democrats. People are just so unhappy and fed up with the Republican Party which has controlled the country for almost 8 years now. Any Democrats (yes even Hillary) has better chance to win 2008 presidency than any republican. I don't see all these unhappy Americans who clearly want a change in direction in 2006 would vote for another republican again over Hillary.
In 2006, we all saw a lot of good republicans lost their seats to some never-heard-before Democrats because of this effect.
I'm certain that Hillary will prove everybody wrong and she will become the first woman President.
'jnurse' writes:
All you Hillary haters on here are just mad because your candidates have been getting stomped by her for almost a year now. Underestimate her at your own expense. The woman is brilliant, and more politically skilled than her husband. In the general election, she is going to do the Republicans, what she has done to her fellow Democrats for the past year, and that is make them luck unprepared to lead the free world. In November 08, voters are going to be faced with a choice: vote to make history with electing the first woman and also change the course of the past 8 years, or vote for more of the same with a boring white male who backs all of Bush's policies. I think that we have 51% of America that will vote for the former. If you disagree, just wait and see. Her campaign has been flawless, and will continue as such... Enjoy the shadow.
'winngerald' writes:
petera1, no one could say it better than you did! The Republicans view her as a "bogeyman" because she fights back against their smears...and because they have sunk way below their previous depths to a point where they have NO positives to run on...they depend on nothing more than the modern equivalent of inciting mobs with pitchforks and torches into voting AGAINST anything/anyone from gays to non-Christians to communism to deficits (at least until Darth Cheney declared that deficits are GOOD when they're run up by Republicans) to Bill Clinton. I think their formerly mindless followers are wising up to the fact that their party has not been their friend. The left-wing fringe Democrats are so desperate to put a rehabilitated image of "liberalism" on a pedestal that they aren't bothering to notice that the nation isn't becoming, necessarily, more "liberal" as much as it is becoming "anti-right-wing-conservative"...and they hang their hats on my--yes MY--Senator Obama to be their champion without bothering to look at his actual history here in Illinois. He is NOT exactly a "liberal", and he hasn't proven that he can LEAD, let alone be an executive. You can't base your entire candidacy on a) not supporting the Iraq invasion during your tenure in the Illinois State Senate (which can't even manage to do the State's business right now), and b) NOT being Hillary. Edwards would be in the single digits were it not for sympathy for his wife (if it weren't for her tragic cancer, she'd make a better candidate), and ALL of the Republican candidates are flip-flopping jokes worse than fish just pulled out of the water.
You are absolutely right in pointing out Hillary's reelection support in highly-Republican Upstate New York...THEY have had her representing them for almost 8 years, and their Republican support of her says all that needs to be said. Her Republican Senate colleagues speak highly of her, too...she is OBVIOUSLY NOT a polarizing figure, but the fringes in both parties still try to paint her as one for the very simple reason that they are trying to beat her in the upcoming elections...and because she DOES know what she's talking about and DOES have more than basic competence, the only way they can beat her is to plant the red herring that many people have preconceived notions of not liking her. They are TRYING to scare support away from her without letting people see her for herself...without her being filtered and framed by the fringes of both parties. And they seem to forget that Bush was reelected with some very high negatives...people are so numbed by the partisan sniping of the past 12 years and incompetence of the past 6 years that personal negatives don't matter to them nearly as much as much as intelligence and competence do.
I hope that these people start pulling their heads out of their backsides pretty darned quick...and stop living in the past...and stop spewing the old venom that no one is interested in hearing anymore. The Nation has work to do, and no one is better versed, better educated, and better qualified to lead it out of the Republican-created nightmare...ready to roll up sleeves and get to work on Day 1...than Hillary. And when she DOES get elected, I hope that the Republicans give her the deference due her as President that they never gave her husband but expected for his successor for the 8 years to which we have been subjugated. They had their chance, and they've perverted everything they've touched. It's time for a woman to clean the White House!
'jmmiller' writes:
"As a moderate Republican, I find the remarks about Hillary being too divisive either unreflective or disingenuous. Of all the Democratic candidates, she is the one I would consider voting for because she is the only one who takes seriously America's role in the wider world. It strikes me that a lot of the animosity towards her is from the far left that wants to return to the labor glory days of the 1930's. They're upset because she won't hew to the MoveOn orthodoxy. The netroots who are drunk now with their power better get some religion soon - a perception that the Democratic nominee is too closely associated with them will be poison in the general election."
'ogdeeds' writes:
jeez...get over it...for every nasty accusation hurled at Clinton, you can find an equally nasty (if that is how some choose to see it) issue in someone else. All this talk about her taking big $ from corporations, etc.....it is what she does with it that matters. Mostly what I hear her talking about is helping families, children, and the middle class. And oh, by the way, she also has to be president to all those other groups (lawyers, lobbyists, teachers, carpenters, rich CEOs, etc., etc.)Which some of you may or may not like, you know, like other Americans? The last thing we need is another president who only wants to be president to his base. Clinton is inclusive, and will lead for the good of all Americans as well as putting our country back where we deserve to be....respected and (jealously) admired, both for our greatness, and for the goodness we represent...and let me tell you, goodness does not include invading other countries under the guise of "protecting America" - just so one uninformed and ideological president can play out his ideological fantasies of 'transforming the middle east'...what a joke (instead of going after bin laden, the one who attacked us on 9/11 - oops, sorry, some of you still believe Iraq was connected to 9/11) we need someone like Hillary...thoughtful, knowledgeable and smart.
'wesfromGA' writes:
One has to smile at all the "I'll never vote for her" postings. If you are a Republican you were never going to vote for her anyway, if you are one of the distinct minority of Hillary haters on the left of the Democratic Party the essential silliness of this position will soon become apparent if she gets the nod. On present evidence this seems highly likely much to the chagrin of Mr. Balz and the media world who want a horse race because it sells newspapers and air time which is why there is all the parsing in his piece although he accepts the most likely outcome. Absent a major slip up there seems little doubt she has it wrapped up. Contrary to some assertions above she does not do conspicuously worse than Edwards or Obama against any member of the Republican field. On the contrary she does better than either of them and while they have been stuck for months in the mid twenties and mid teens for months she has steadily improved her position and has now been sitting in the low forties for weeks. In Iowa she has come from behind and leads in most polls. Why? Because she is self evidently the best candidate. She has a formidable machine, plenty of money and a few more difficult to pin down advantages like Gender and the presence of Bill who is widely respected much to the chagrin of the right.
The right must have choked over their coffee when Greenspan recently gave Bill stellar grades and of course they responded as they always do by launch personal attacks (there's a typical example in today's post from Novak).
There is no question she is going to get the nomination and a 60% chance she's going to win the presidency. Even some right wingers like Karl Rove are gloomily admitting it.
All the negative comments about Hillary on this board are from disgruntled Republicans who do not have a great choice in their party and will elect a nominee called "none of the above" because Republicans will stay home in 2008.
What a stark contrast there is in the Republican nomination and the Democratic nomination campaigns. Republicans know fully well after G. W. Bush we can only have a Democratic President and its going to be Hillary this time!
People and the writer of this article give undue importance to the Iowa caucus. Isn't it time to break the back of this myth of Iowa's importance? They haven't picked a winner since 1976. And Clinton and Kerry won the democratic nominations without winning in Iowa. Enough with the rural pandering.
I fondly remember the Bill Clinton administration years as pretty good ones in spite of the personal attacks from the right. The personal problems were Bill's not Hillary's. She had to deal with him and the public and she did it expertly with a win as a junior Senator in NY and a re-election where she won 67% of the vote, with 58 of 62 counties including the MOSTly Republican "red" counties in upstate NY.
In the General election Hillary will beat the pants off any Republican nominee trying to keep us fighting the Iraq war.
People forget that Giuliani dropped out in that first Senate race not because of prostate cancer, but because he saw the writing on the wall, which was a certain defeat and an end to his political dreams.
We may have the re-match that we never had. Rudy vs. Hillary. Single point campaign of 9-11 against well rounded Hillary.
When Bill Clinton left the White House we were a nation at peace, we had a sizable surplus, we had a growing economy, and today he is the most popular politician in the nation if not the world.
Maybe that is not such a bad thing to return to. But the reality is that Hillary is not Bill. She is by all accounts smarter and definitely won't have the personal problems that Bill had. She is a master politician and is becoming a master speaker as attested to by looking at her in some of her live appearances and on yesterday's sweep of the Sunday news shows.
It is Hillary's time and it is the time for a woman to be the US President. It is time to break the highest glass ceiling in the US. I predict that many Republican women will join because they have said "I have never voted or never voted for a Democrat in my life, but if Hillary is the candidate and I have the chance to see a woman US President in my lifetime, Hillary will have my vote!"
People underestimate the positive change that will occur around the world in the way the United States is viewed when we elect Hillary. She will be symbol for women everywhere.
It's time to give up the sniping and for some women to stop venting their jealousy, which is really what it is when they complain not about her policies but about her personal choices as relates to Bill.
It's time to think about the nation and Hillary will be good for the nation and the world.
'jmartin' writes:
For people that say Hillary unelectable? Let's see.
In the September 2007 poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, Hillary 49% vs. Rudy 42%. Hillary 50% vs. Fred Thompson 41%. Hillary 51% vs. Romney 38%.
September 2007 poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp.: Hillary 50% vs. Rudy 46%, Hillary 55% vs. Fred Thompson 42%. Same poll, Obama 45% vs. Rudy 49%. Obama 53% vs. Fred Thompson 41%.
Inevitable? Perhaps not. Unelectable? Not that either.

Posted by: ajain31 | October 3, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Hillary Cliton deserved American Federation of Teachers endorsement. Americans need a leader to whom they trust.

American people view Sen. Hillary Clinton as a successful CEO, and they view the country once again run at profit.!!!!

Posted by: akber_kassam | October 3, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The AFT represents the status quou when it comes to education policy- vote for change, vote for Hillary (not).

Posted by: kolp999 | October 3, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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