"How Democrats approach the labor community has changed,'' said Jenny Backus, a Democratic political consultant in Washington who worked for the 2004 ticket of Senator John Kerry and Edwards. "You have to approach each group individually. Labor power has become decentralized.''Let's think about this for a minute. This quote comes from a story about John Edwards' attempt to get to the White House by focusing his attention on individual unions at the local level in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early primary states.
If true, this is a good thing. It used to be that candidates could drop by the International union office, kiss the ring of the high poo-bah, collect their check, and move on. That they now have to spend more time with actual, you know, workers, will lead them to take worker issues more seriously.
Edwards will be the first to participate in the "Walk a day in my shoes" program that the SEIU is launching. All candidates have to walk a day in the shoes of a union member. It's that simple. If they screw that up, no endorsement.
Isn't that how it should always work? That this is a new campaign says volumes about how slack labor has been in giving away its endorsement lovin'.