The NEA’s failed strategy of electability.


The IEA’s unanimous vote to endorse Clinton early in no way reflected the mixed views of the rank-and-file.

In the lead up to the NEA leadership vote to give an early, no-strings endorsement to Hillary, I posted and wrote elsewhere that NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia was doing some hard lobbying.

Although the vote of the NEA PAC members and the NEA board of directors went overwhelmingly in favor of the endorsement, that did not represent the divisions within the rank-and-file. For example, all of Illinois’ votes went to Hillary. But in no way does that reflect those in this state that believed we should wait or who support Bernie Sanders.

Garcia made no argument that Clinton should be endorsed because her positions on education issues were better than Sanders. Her main argument was that of Clinton’s electability.

And when you read the post-endorsement talking points that the NEA sent to state and local leaders, you can see that electability is the entire basis for their strategy.

It doesn’t matter whether they are wrong or right on predicting Clinton will win.

Here is their argument as I understand it: We should support Clinton now because she is going to get the nomination anyway and if we wait like we waited to endorse Obama in 2008 we won’t be allowed at the table that’s in the room.

Even from a purely pragmatic point of view that didn’t work.

If Clinton is going to get the nomination anyway, which is by no means a sure thing, what does the NEA bring to the game if it is going to happen anyway.

What bargaining chips does the NEA have if it adds nothing to the equation?

The NEA endorsed Obama at the 2008 RA after he was assured the nomination. They endorsed him two years early in 2012. Did the early endorsement change anything coming from inside the Department of Education. In fact, things only got worse.

All this does is make the NEA look weak.

Although maybe it’s not just a look.

5 thoughts on “The NEA’s failed strategy of electability.

  1. Thanks for bringing up Obama, Fred. The latest stab-in-the-back to educators: appointment of John King. Also, the most important point that the NEA asked for–& so is receiving–nothing in exchange for the endorsement
    (I would urge people to read Carl Bernstein’s 2007 book–A Woman in Charge–specifically, pages 168-174, all defining what took place between HRC, the Arkansas Teachers Assn & the NEA. Teachers were turned into “villains,” & teacher testing was put into place.)
    Anyway, I, for one, am sick of that same old “more electable” song, which has repeatedly led us to voting “for the lesser of two evils.”
    Aren’t you all SICK of “the lesser of two evils?” As our wise friend Ken Previti has said, “The lesser of two evils is still…evil.”
    Sorry to drag the Green Party in here (Dr. Jill Stein is a fine & worthy candidate), but that third party situation has, in the past, been “unelectable.”
    That’s why so many of us were thrilled when Bernie Sanders made the decision to run as a Democrat. It’s what so many of us hoped for. His money-raising efforts and “for the people” stance gives us a possibility that we had not had in past elections.
    I’m not a believer of fairy tales, but I do believe in hard work and in all of the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting who are working on the Sanders Campaign. If we work hard enough, I believe we can get him nominated.
    99% is a far greater number than 1%.
    All of you–all of us–who are sick & tired of the mantra–take your energy to the Bernie 2016 campaign. If you can’t, donate–any little bit from 88% of the people becomes large. (In fact, the thought just occurred to me that, perhaps, this is why the staggering increase in Medicare premiums at the same time stagnancy in SS payments were just announced. This will certainly cause people to be even more careful about how they spend their
    money, & those people most affected are, of course, 99%ers who just might not now donate money to anyone or agency. Coincidence, or crazy thought {on my part}?)

  2. Why hasn’t Sanders set himself apart from Clinton in his education policy. As far as education, Sanders and Clinton have nearly the same stance. In a debate about education, the two would pat each other on the back. Isn’t that a problem?

  3. Here’s a good presentation on Bernie Sanders’ stand on education that you’ll find on Diane Ravitch’s blog. Bernie responded to an education questionnaire. There are also reactions from teachers:

    Q. What are your views on private school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and charter school accountability and transparency?

    BS: I am strongly opposed to any voucher system that would re-direct public education dollars to private schools, including through the use of tax credits. In addition, I believe charter schools should be held to the same standards of transparency as public schools, and that these standards should also apply to the non-profit and for-profit entities that organize charter schools.

    For the complete article, go to…

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