During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama cultivated strong relationships with mayors from major cities, for good political reasons. Their liberal politics align naturally anyway, and more to the point, mayors usually control the vote-generating machines that make the difference in elections. Without strong turnouts from urban centers, Democrats have a tough time winning elections in either the primaries or the general election.
A sitting President might want to keep those people happy, but Obama apparently wants to keep unions happy instead — and the mayors are speaking out about Obama’s snub:
America’s big-city mayors are steaming over what they view as “a very dangerous precedent” set by the Obama administration in its decision to shun the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Providence, R.I., this week.
In its attempt to honor the picket line of a local firefighters union involved in a labor dispute with the city, the administration has inadvertently angered some of its staunchest supporters in urban America, who argue that by declining to send an official contingent to the three-day mayors’ conference, the administration is caving in to labor and snubbing local governments at a time of economic strife.
“It was a horrible decision,” said Mayor Michael Pizzi, an independent from Miami Lakes, Fla. “No matter where Obama goes, no matter what city you go to in the United States, you’re going to have some union that’s having problems.”
In his speech to the conference Saturday, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, president of the USCM, suggested the administration was unwilling to make the kind of tough political choices that mayors must make every day. …
“This is no longer a campaign, where slogans and sound bites dominate the day. This is the time to govern, and all of us know this because this is what mayors do 24 hours a day.”
Don’t be silly, Mayor Diaz! All Obama does is campaign. Has he yet begun to govern? He’s outsourced his stimulus plan, his health-care plan, and his cap-and-trade plan to Congress. He’s barely awake during the crisis in Iran, and he has hardly reacted to North Korea’s series of provocations.
Now the mayors know where they stand in the pecking order – right behind the unions with whom they negotiate. Welcome to Hope and Change, yerronners!
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