Hillary Comes Home to AFT

By Vaishali Honawar — July 12, 2008 1 min read
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Hillary Clinton gave a “get-out-the-vote-for-Obama” speech to more than 3,000 AFT delegates this morning, focusing more on what might happen if a Democrat didn’t win the White House this November rather than on any education issues.

“There is so much at stake in this election...Making this victory happen will require AFT, 1.4 million strong,” said Clinton who was the union’s first choice for president before she pulled out of the race.

Clinton, dressed in sunny yellow, took the dais to enthusiastic applause (there were no NEA-like noisemakers, though). She pointed out she has served with Barack Obama for four years, and that she has “campaigned for him and against him.”

“I know that his story represents the American dream. I have seen his passion, his determination and his grit,” she said, adding that in 40 years, the nation has had only three Democratic presidential victories. As a result, she said, the United States has fallen back on healthcare and higher education, among other issues.

“I look back at 40 years...and see how much we have lost,” she said.

After Clinton, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois took the stage and came up with a math equation for the teachers in the audience: ""Eight years divided by two oilmen equals $4 gas,” he deadpanned, referring to the Bush-Cheney administration.

Obama is now scheduled to speak to delegates via satellite feed tomorrow morning, although one wonders why he chose not to appear in person given that the convention is happening in his home town of Chicago.

Any guesses, anyone?

A version of this news article first appeared in the NEA & AFT: Live From the Conventions blog.