An item to delay a vote on whether or not to endorse Barack Obama was just voted down by the National Education Association’s delegate assembly.
Now, pay attention please: This does not mean that the union will actually endorse Obama later this weekend! It merely means the vote won’t be put off.
There was quite a fierce debate on both sides of the equation on this one, and some really fabulous quotes.
Like one from the delegate in favor of a delay: “We are not pregnant, and we don’t need a shotgun wedding,” she said. “Let’s wait and not allow ourselves to be taken for granted and taken for another ride.”
Or this one from Mary Bell, the president of the Wisconsin state affiliate, who criticized the proposed delay. She said that every minute of NEA support counts in the face of anti-bargaining Republican candidates: “How does delay build on our capacity to deliver?” she said to loud applause. “How does delay help the most important recommendation in years?”
Or this one, from a pro-delay delegate who (finally!) acknowledged that Obama and Duncan are on the same page: “If President Obama didn’t agree with what Arne Duncan was saying, Arne Duncan would no longer have a job.”
Or the one that really takes the cake: “If a better candidate comes along, can we remove our endorsement?”
(The answer, by the way, is no.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.