As the International Business Times reported on Wednesday, the Teamsters Union has decided to withhold its endorsement of Hillary Clinton. The Teamsters leaders are irate at Ms. Clinton’s opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and her unwillingness to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Teamsters’ representatives will be meeting with other candidates, including it is rumored Donald Trump, who has dealt with trade unions in the course of his various business enterprises.
As ABC News reported during the 2000 campaign, the Teamsters supported Republicans such as Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush during the 1980s, attracted by the anti-communist stance of the two men. The union switched to the Democratic Party, supporting Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Barack Obama.
A switch by the Teamsters back to the GOP would be catastrophic for the Democrats. Big labor is one of the Democratic Party’s biggest constituencies, providing reliable money and muscle for elections. Even if the union endorses a candidate besides Clinton, Biden say, such a move might be the final nail in her faltering, dysfunctional campaign.
Hillary Clinton will only have herself to blame. Her outright opposition to Keystone was a naked pander to the environmental lobby, which also provides money and warm bodies for Democrats. Unfortunately, the interests of environmentalists and labor are often at odds. A skilled politician would be hard pressed to balance the two competing special interest groups and keep both satisfied. And, one of the great inconvenient truths of modern politics is that Hillary Clinton does not have a lot of political skills.