The nation’s largest teachers union endorses President Obama

More of that famous lose of the base…

CHICAGO —The nation’s largest teachers union voted Monday to endorse President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid, despite teachers’ widespread unhappiness with his education policies.

The vote, which came during the annual convention of the National Education Association, was supported by 72 percent of the union’s 9,000-member representative assembly. The assembly is the top decision making body for the union.

The endorsement allows the union, which represents 3.2 million teachers, to start working to help re-elect Mr. Obama.

The NEA has never endorsed a presidential candidate this early in the campaign cycle, instead waiting to make the decision during the election year. But union leaders, anticipating a tough re-election campaign, wanted to bolster support for the president early on.

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76 thoughts on “The nation’s largest teachers union endorses President Obama

  1. 2012 here we come the army is rounding up early GOP better recognise we ain’t stopping untill president obama is the next president again in your face! by the way i am first

  2. Wow. After years spent in the gimme gimme me mine give me now professional left, it almost takes my breath away, to see a group of people, who don’t agree with the administration on everything and are vociferous about that, yet and still keep their eyes on the prize and vote to keep a benevolent presidency in place rather than shoot us all in the collective feet. Never say that the left still consists of many grown ups? Who knew? I can only plead that the WH listen to the thoughts and valid concerns of people who have some of the hardest, least appreciated jobs in this country when crafting education policy going forward. Yes we can.

    Thanks a million, bwd, and the happiest of July 4th to you, for everything which you do day in day out.

  3. They just want attention; i wish that the POTUS would have spent that letter writing to a non-dkox, non-fdl, non-salon, good faith, earnest person. They use the WH attention and access to the WH to feel important and then in turn use that notoriety to bash the WH even further. At some point I wish we’d just stop giving it an audience, although I understand the arguments to the contrary. I’m just so done with that place, been for months.

  4. Teachers know the President is the only one fighting for educational values.The Republican goal is to not fund educational programs. The President cares about the future of our country in every way. They found out from the actions of all the Republican Governors out in the nation that say the first way to balance their state budgets is cut Teachers and Education funding first. So they can give all the tax breaks their corporate handlers tell them to. With Republicans it is always GREED OVER PEOPLE.

  5. I am the proud mama of a “union thug” teacher who supports our president 100%! With the Repugs anti-union fever running rampant in red states I hope that more unions will sign on early to re-elect President Obama. Governors like Scott and Christie are slashing education budgets to give even more tax breaks to the wealthy. The middle class needs to wise up and rise up and take back what’s ours before we have only wealthy and poor in our country – the Republican ideal.

  6. I don’t understand why they would be disappointed in PBO’s education policies. All he as been doing is trying to get a education package through Congress. He is promoting education in some of his economic speeches. Nice to know they committed early. Good.

  7. Maybe, but this makes him look so incredibly wonderful. I’m pretty sure many of them felt embarrassed reading the nasty mail this person sent, and then seeing the calm, classy reply by a man who is actually *choose* to read such vile.

    The hell with them, they don’t deserve him.

  8. Now, the Song by the late MJ:

    Starting Something, I think applies here.

    The NEA are definitely, starting something.

    Bravo.

    It is indeed a Happy Day.

  9. They’re not even waiting to see who the GOP candidate is – Ha! I guess they see the radical cuts the GOP governors are making and know there is more where that came from.

    Or that one party pushes education spending whereas the other pushes cuts to eduction and believes a less education population is in their best political interests.

  10. I dunno, I don’t think that these are folks who are capable of appreciating President Obama. Like “Lady” de Rothschild, they’ll never forgive him for being elected without their permission, and for governing without feeling the need to be their puppet. That said, Happy 4th to everyone, and thanks a million, bwd for providing such a respite! I know that a lot of people don’t agree with me about dfox, but I’m just so glad to be away from it, and I’d love for the WH to feel this same sense of liberation from people who will never ever give POTUS a fair shake and believe themselves superior on general principle. But I see your point, and that of TiMT and so many other wonderful people as well, in terms of confronting these attitudes.

  11. Yes – that’s my union backing our prez. Although, we’d all like to dump Duncan.

  12. Oh, I totally agree with you about dfox. Nasty, nasty place. Yea, I’m just floored by the fact that PBO actually ask to read these kinds of letters. How much hate can one man tolerate? This guy is destroying my cynicism towards mankind piece by piece.

  13. lol@he’s destroying cynicism, indeed! I always thought myself this big optimist, but being up fdl or dfox, and then I’m the biggest cynic on the planet, who knew. Clearly I’ve got a little work to do. I hope that this terrific family is having the most wonderful of holidays. When I think of America, at risk of sounding hokey, this place, wsy, tpv…I wouldn’t want to be celebrating the online 4th anywhere else.

  14. Widespread disappointment in his educational polocies? It is the state and local level Rethug Governments decimating the public education system. Boy the media just makes stuff up.

  15. Deep down people know President is trying to do needs to be done. Teachers know and they know who he is talking about when he tells them things must change. 72% The PL needs to go sit down somewhere because their game is not working.

  16. I know this school year Rahm Emmanuel has already put one of his measure in , longer school hours effective this year. My son school will go from 8:15 to 4:00. most school are going year round. parents here seem to like it.

  17. He’s open to a number of solutions, some of which include — gasp! — charter schools, etc. Charter schools are often non-union.

    He has NEVER, EVER said that he wants to replace public education with for-profit education. He has said a million times that he not only supports public education but wants to improve it. If anything, this President would shovel the money from Iraq into education if he could. He is as truly progressive on education as any President we could hope for and yes, he looks for solutions from all quarters. But the looney left must only focus on what they don’t like and completely dismiss what they should like.

    Because the answer, particularly in urban school districts, is going to have to be an amalgam of many solutions. The one-size-fits-all No Child Left Behind did nothing but leave millions of children behind, unable to contextualize the the 3 R’s that have been shoved down their throats. Unable to learn critical thinking skills, but just learn how to regurgitate stuff in the proper order. We are desperately falling behind in education.

    The looney left has fallen into a dangerous pattern of black/white thinking that is no better than the teabaggers. Because Rahm Emanuel in Chicago wants to include the diversity offered by very limited charter schools, that means he’s an enemy of the union. Charter schools can try different methods, get and receive feedback on results in a smaller framework and come up with solutions.

    No one is more liberal than I am or a bigger supporter of unionization, but the unions are going to have to work with municipalities to solve the desperate failing of American schools. The head of the Chicago Teachers Union has already worked substantively with Emanuel (whom she respects) and the state legislature. The bill didn’t make anyone completely happy — that’s as it should be because the solutions are complex and the issues are multi-faceted.

    But unless it’s Unions Are Perfect, then you’re a corporatist sell-out. I live in Chicago, I have family members and friends who are city workers in various areas from Street and Sanitation to the police and fire departments and other jobs in between. Believe me, caving to unions throughout the last 70 years has not done a service to the Chicago taxpayer or the health of the city. It’s time that everyone accept responsibility and work together for solutions. And put in a full day’s work. That’s all Emanuel’s asking.

    That’s what Obama wants. That’s what his Education Sec’y wants. And that means they’re sell-outs to the looney left.

  18. I read the diary and challenged the diarist (who claimed he has been writing letters to Presidents long ago) to say something about the tone of the previous letters he wrote to the previous Presidents – crickets. The fact that he couldn’t give me a straight answer told me all I needed to know.

  19. I also believe that teachers were compensated for that. That’s how these things are supposed to work.

    I heard a great interview with the head of the CTU on progressive radio a few months back. The longer school day was troublesome for her because there is no longer recess and the kids sit at their desks all day. She didn’t much care about monetary compensation, but wanted to fill that extra time with art and music and other means of helping children contextualize what they’re learning.

  20. Truly the professional Left believe their own hype and I think they love to hear their own voices. But more and more people are tunning them out.

    I had a most wonderful encounter this morning. I live in a deep red district in my state. In my neighborhood, I have seen only one other young couple with an “Obama” bumper sticker. Each day at about 5:30 a.m. I leave my house for my morning walk. Along the route, I pass the same people. We exchange pleasantries and keep on moving.

    A couple of weeks ago, instead of just saying morning, I asked one of the ladies, an elderly Caucasian woman how she was doing. She literally stopped and starting explaining to me her many health problems. Ever since then we always stop and chat a bit. I hadn’t seen her for a long while and was worried about her. Then I saw her this morning. We got to talking and we got on the subject of the Ryan budget and Medicare cuts. I always try to bring up the topic with the elderly to get a reaction.

    For sure I thought I was going to hear her beat up on the president, because I pegged her to be a Republican. And indeed she was. But she was having none of this hate toward PBO. She told me that she couldn’t understand why people like “Maher” and “Moore” criticize POTUS all the time after he “saved” this country from a “disaster.”

    She says her neighbors don’t like her too much because every time she hears them call him a muslim or blame him for the economy, she sets them straight. Furthermore, “what if he was a Muslim?” she asked.

    She was on fire. Good thing I had been out for about an hour before I ran into her because we stood talking for nearly another 45 minutes.

    She says all of those people criticizing this president should be thanking him for bringing this country back from the brink. I won’t tell you here what she called GWB. She also had some choice words for the GOP leaders and the Teaparty.

    Sorry for the long explanation here, but this little pleased me so much, Ithought I share.

  21. Ive seen a lot of obama/Biden 2012 on cars, some of those new gm cars. LOL!

  22. Hi guys. I am a teacher, AND a NEA member, AND a devoted supporter of POTUS. How about that! I can perhaps enlighten you a little bit about what has been going on politically in the organization lately. There was lots of noise with the merit pay proposition and Duncan’s support for charter schools. Folks were mad. But that was before the mid terms, and the antiObama comments have decreased markedly. What you have to understand is that this is a very diverse organization of teachers throughout the country, both urban and rural. Many are Republicans. But I will tell you I think that there were some folks that infiltrated the organization in the upper levels that were GOP operatives, or at least acting that way. Very strange stuff going on with endorsements for local races, etc. But I am glad that the endorsement is on the books now so that some of the smaller issues can be worked out. I know that the administrations positions have been misrepresented by some union people, just like with every issue; we have a real problem with the RW noise machine. Its EVERYWHERE! Not just on cable news.

  23. This person should be embarrassed for writing that nonsense to the President. I am so pleased the Prez smacked him/her down. Reading what that person wrote sounds to me like some one who needs some mental health help.Hope he/she gets it.

  24. I know and I’m sorry about that. This is all WordPress nonsense. :( The best advice I can give you is to switch to Google Chrome. Maybe that’s the whole purpose. Damn corporate.

  25. Thanks Maggy, nice to hear a teacher’s pov. I am certain that seeing the repug govs attacking teachers relentlessly has managed to wake some folks up.

  26. WhatIsWorkin’ (and others, who are probably TOAITR’ers/TOD’ers, I cannot remember their usernames, right now.) *IS* a perfect example! ;)

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!

  27. Well said Faith. Excellent description of the the issues that the unions must confront to get to the solutions for everyone.

  28. Thanks Faith. Great explanation. I would have never known that was going on. Appreciate your response to my question.

  29. Thanks. It’s so embarrassing to see those awful typos. Google Chrome interferes with my work Microsoft Outlook, etc but I might just have to switch nonetheless.

  30. Thanks Africa. What a heartwarming story. This is how the good word is spread.

  31. The fixed idea that DK is important is a tough one to break. It took me a long time, plus exposure to TRW AND other blogs. Suc is their [power. Sometimes I wonder whether Markos accomplished this through cult development techniques, even inadvertantly.
    And then all that blasting bWD followers as a “cult” was projjection. Just a thought. Happy holiday, my old friend.

  32. President Obama’s responded to that letter from the dkos nutball without knowing he was affiliated with dkos. It just made its way into his pile of 10 letters for the day. I hate the fact that he has to waste time in responding to that creep but I find it awe inspiring that he is actually willing to read that crap — that’s more than you can say for me these days!!!

  33. Unions, by and large, get it: Celebrate the progress made, push for more, and keep quiet about what we don’t like. The first two parts of the equation means — over time — you will get less and less of what you don’t like. Sometimes those of us here may bristle at the ‘criticism’ that equals pushing for more. But pretty much unions understand their political role and do it pretty well.

    This is some of the most eloquent writing I’ve read on the subject: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/04/991270/-Liberals-Original-Sin?via=hotlist

    Worth the click to the gos. It’s that good and this diarist deserves the credit.

  34. I had to stop reading him and it made me sad. His sensibilities are so good on so many levels but he has let his one issue color his judgment.

    HCR was important to me. maybe I would have been the same way if my most important issue hadn’t been addressed. I would hope my pragmatic liberal principles would still be in effect.

  35. Wait a minute, wait a minute….unions are Obama’s base>>>>>Obama’s base has deserted him>>>>>union endorses Obama.

    Ouch, that’s gonna hurt. HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!!

    If the PL were smart they would be rewriting their previous articles the way the T-party tries to rewrite wiki.

  36. Old time republicans were common sense people. I think your neighbor knows now that this is not her father’s republican party.

  37. me too – I used to like reading him but then he just kind of morphed into a hater, which was shocking, considering his basic sensibilities. I have three teachers in my family and all recognize that the particulars of union involvement in setting national educational policy are not really that important in the grand scheme of the well being of society.

  38. Well, “Ken” made sure to post a diary on Old Orange putting the endorsement in “context.” Ken argues that the union supported previous Dem candidates at a much higher rate than 72%, as high as 91% for Bill Clinton in 1996. Therefore, their current endorsement of the President is nothing to rejoice about

    A few posters (myself included) have challenged Ken re the fact that the President’s initial endorsement from the union weas at 79%, considerably lower than that of previous Dem candidates BEFORE his policies were implemented. So clearly, that union has it’s own set of factions – some of whom may have been politically opposed to the President (e.g.,PUMAs) and therefore subject him to much greater scrutiny than previous Dems.

  39. Fabulous story, very inspiring thank you so much for sharing. :) Happy 4th everyone and Happy Birthday Malia Obama….Looking forward to 2012!!

  40. me three…I used to enjoy reading him as well but after awhile it became too much I don’t even bother anymore; great writer but not so good at whole picture.

  41. hopefruit2 – both you and adeptU were kicking butts and taking names. Cracked me up.

  42. Thank you a lot when my grandson comes from Afghanistan he will go to MIT.

  43. Faith, This is a really an excellent comment! I am a strong supporter of unions when it comes to bargaining for teachers’ rights. At the same time, I don’t think teachers’ unions have all the answers on how best to craft effective solutions to address the state of education in this country.

  44. Must be a hell of an existence to have to look for the negative in everything just to protect your ego. I don’t know how half those folks at Daily Koch and the like get out of bed in the morning or not put a bullet in their heads by nightfall.

  45. me too – I always thought it was human nature to be optimistic but those guys look for the negative story line and in a way that is designed to ensure a harshly negative outcome on the issues they pretend to care about (unless they think electing Rs will bring the banksters to swift justice and inject fairness into the tax code, etc!!!). It’s all very twisted if they are the leftists they purport to be (I have my doubts about that).

  46. What she is saying is the FAR LEFT is going to ruin the Presidents re-election chances. GREAT…..SELF DESTRUCTION at is CHORE. IF PBO is not re-elected I will abandon the Democratic Party. PERIOD!!!

  47. Thank you so much Faith for enticing me to click to dailykos. Normally, I support GN’s position that we should ignore these sites that specialize in spreading doom and groom, because all they do is sap our energy. But because I deeply respect you, and people like TiMT, I decided to take a chance. That post by Jack23 was, as you put it, quite “eloquent.” It seems that there are still some people at that site who understand both history and the way the American political system functions.

    I think I’ve said it before in some of my other comments here, but it is worthy repeating. Contrary to what the PL says, FDR was not a radical progressive. FDR was really very pragmatic, but operated in a different political environment that allowed him to enact structural economic reforms in order to save capitalism. By the way, It should also be stressed that it took FDR three terms to finally reduce high unemployment, and WWII, not just his New Deal Programs, played a major role in accomplishing that. FDR was re-elected in 1936, while the country was still suffering double digit unemployment. This is a fact that the holier than thou progressive bashers of Obama conveniently overlook.

    Finally, on Civil Rights issues, FDR was really conservative. The worshipers of FDR would have us forget his detention camps for innocent Japanese; or the fact that he did not push, or publicly support, the 1939 federal anti-lynching bill. Yet, FDR (who by the way I greatly admire on many issues) is held out as model of progressivism by people who either know nothing about his entire record, or who are conveniently overlooking his negative side.

  48. I want to thank you, WiW, and other teachers for your service to the children, community, and country…

    And, WE have to “stick together” against the TeaPublicans, at the local/state and federal-level, and their ilk (Koch & Co., et al) who are out to destroy the America, as WE know it

    That’s why WE have to VOTE ‘EM OUT!

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
    I’M IN…FIRED UP & GOIN’! ;)

  49. Out-educatin’, along w/competin’, out-buildin’, out-innovatin’, the rest of the world, again, is part of PBHO’s “Movin’ America Forward to Win The Future” Agenda. So, that includes things WE like (public education) and things WE don’t like (private education), You know, whenever I hear our Prez “talk” about the private sector creatin’ jobs, I wish he would mention the public sector, which consists of local/state and federal employees, teachers, firefighters, police officers, EMS, non-profits, et al, because it plays a very important role in our society!

    And, for years, the TeaPublicans and their ilk have “demonized” the public sector, and anyone or anything associated w/it! They don’t “like” public workers, public education, public transportation, public services, public aid, etc.; anything w/public in it! Of course, there’s our teachers, unions, et al. When I hear anything about the PRIVATE SECTOR, I hear PROFITS OVER PEOPLE. Havin’ a PUBLIC SECTOR *IS* something to celebrate! It’s a good thing!

    By the way, the PUBLIC SECTOR does create jobs…

    So, there! ;)

    John Legend isn’t just an entertainer. He’s an education activist:

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!

  50. I am presuming that the frustrati, both professional and nonprofessional, who know exactly how President Obama should govern and how he can achieve a progressive agenda lead lives of great success and power. They must always get what they want from family, friends, and colleagues at work, certainly, if they are so confident in their advice as to how to lead a large, disparate populace, and a cranky, narcissistic Congress. I do wish, however, that they would all give us proof of their incredibly smoothly-running, fulfilling lives so that we might better understand why their perpetual kvetching is justified.

  51. Though I understand reasons for a longer schoolday in our contemporary world, I find it somewhat troubling, as the more children are institutionalized (and even the best schools ARE institutions), the less they are able to develop a strong sense of their own selves, their unique talents and needs. How are we to develop an enlightened democracy if children from the beginning of their lives are not given the time to develop (and unguided play is absolutely necessary for the development of a strong psyche and imagination) a confidence in their own abilities to think and plan for themselves (“As soon as you’re born they make you feel small/by giving you no time instead of it all”)? When it is increasingly necessary for both parents to work in order to enjoy a minimally-comfortable lifestyle, it is difficult to allow the children the freedom they need to develop their individuality, but I wish we could all work together to find a way to do so, as I think our culture would be much stronger for it.

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