John Edwards wins endorsements from the Steelworkers and Minworkers unions. This reminds me that I forgot to post on Hillary Clinton’s endorsement by the Machinists union last week. I found this kind of puzzling. Word on the street was that they did this because they think she’s going to win, and they wanted to endorse the winner. That makes some sense to me, but if that’s what you’re going to do then it really seems like you need to do a better job of pretending that’s not why you did it. Sending the message the machinists sent — “we think you’re not the best choice on the merits, but we’ll support you anyway because we’re desperate for access” — seems designed to minimize the union’s leverage.
It seems to me that if your union likes Edwards but thinks Clinton is going to win, then the right thing to do is to stay neutral. Or, even better, is to follow the Firefighters and find a second-tier candidate who’s rock-solid on your key issues, though the match between Dodd and the Firefighters was unusually good.