Edwards Goes All-Out in Courting Labor

Candidate can't count on AFL-CIO but can target individual unions
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 7, 2007 3:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Even though he can’t expect broad endorsement, John Edwards is pushing hard for labor support, hoping to rack up the backing of a slew of individual unions. The Washington Post reports ahead of tonight’s AFL-CIO-sponsored Democratic forum that union backing is key to the Southerner’s strategy, even though a collective federation endorsement—which takes a two-thirds vote—is highly unlikely.

Labor is powerful in Iowa, but two dozen union endorsements (to John Kerry's one) didn’t save Dick Gephardt’s candidacy in 2004. Still, Edwards is leaning on labor-friendly platforms like universal health care, tax reform, minimum wage hikes and NAFTA renegotation in hopes of advancing from the mire of third place in the polls.