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