Monday, December 21, 2015

Who's the Next Education President?

There's a lot of loose talk about what's ahead for our union leaders. Friends keep saying Randi Weingarten is eyeing a position in the Hillary Clinton cabinet, and Michael Mulgrew is next AFT President. At least part of that is a good bet, as every single UFT President has moved on to be AFT President. And Randi is certainly waving the Hillary flag, going so far as to be freaked out over the now pretty much irrelevant flap over DNC data.

I was a little taken aback by that, as I doubt Senator Sanders plays that way, and I told her so.

Randi has a response, of course.

I'm uncomfortable with what Hillary has "made clear," as I value action a whole lot more than words. I frequently read tweets and columns from Randi about how people like Hillary and Obama have said this or that. Obama, in particular, has now outdone GW Bush as the most anti-public education President of all time. I also question why, if Hillary is not all that reformy, that Eli Broad would be sending her money. I don't think he does things like that just for fun. 

Would a victorious Hillary place a teacher union leader as Secretary of Education? While I have my issues with Randi, I'd certainly like her better than Arne Duncan, or the execrable John King. My sense is that Hillary would stab Randi in the back in a New York minute. I very much doubt she wants to read headlines in the tabloids and even the faux-liberal NY Times about how she'd sold out to the teacher unions.

But it's a tough time for Hillary supporters, what with Bernie Sanders, with a DNC that appears in the bag for Hillary, with virtually no media coverage, still outpolling her against every GOP candidate. Senator Sanders has not really keyed into educational issues the way I'd like, but I support his overall policies and will certainly vote for him in a primary.

Eight years ago I voted for Hillary against Obama in the NYS primary. I thought she was marginally less likely to be hostile to us than Obama. While Obama has been such a disappointment I was unable to vote for him a second time, I'm still only marginally hopeful that she would represent an improvement. The fact that Broad puts his money on her makes that hope even more marginal.

I hope Sanders can accomplish what Obama did eight years ago. American voters deserve a real choice, and while Hillary looks better than Donald Trump, that's really not something worth bragging about.
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