Tuesday, August 05, 2003


Just when I finished the previous post, I hear Chris Matthews of Hardball and guests screeching about Bill Clinton giving advice to the demos as to how to beat Bush, and that he can be beaten in 2004. We lovingly welcome Bill Clinton back into our ranks. Let's just hope he stays there:

CHICAGO -- Former President Clinton rallied the ground troops of the Democratic Party -- organized labor -- with a pep talk to union leaders gathered yesterday to draw up a political strategy they hoped would take back the White House in 2004. Speaking privately to union political directors, Clinton told them President Bush can be beaten next year. What is needed, he said, is the right emphasis on the underperforming economy, unemployment, tax cuts that have benefited the wealthy, and questions on the war in Iraq and the credibility of the administration's case for war.

The AFL-CIO's executive council meeting officially opens today, with union presidents set to gauge whether Democrat Richard A. Gephardt, who received organized labor's endorsement in 1988, when he last ran for president, can muster support for a laborwide endorsement this time. Gephardt and the other eight Democratic hopefuls will participate in a presidential forum in the evening.

Perhaps the dress rehearsal for labor in 2004 is coming in California, where Democratic governor Gray Davis faces an October recall election. Davis, who received big backing from organized labor in his previous two elections, sought labor's help again yesterday in meetings with AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and other officials. He was to address the full council, which meets in closed sessions, today.

Davis had an hourlong private meeting with Clinton. Neither man would discuss the substance of their talks.