[Editor’s note: Watch Obama speak on the livestream broadcast at left at 10:50 am EDT. We’ll update with You Tube video when it’s available. — dn]
I’m sitting at the back of the hall in the press section, and I’m looking at a sea of SEIU/Obama t-shirts. The room is filled to capacity in anticipation of the arrival (on screen) of Barack Obama.
The SEIU endorsed Obama on February 15, 2008, and immediately mobilized its members to canvass their districts in support of his candidacy. According to Andy Stern, the union’s president:
"There has never been a fight in Illinois or a fight in the nation where our members have not asked Barack Obama for assistance and he has not done everything he could to help us."
Despite an initial hesitancy on the part of the unions, the SEIU endorsement marked a shift in the zeitgeist, with the Teamsters and locals across the country throwing their weight behind Obama.