Unprecedented: Teamsters President Asks to Speak at GOP and Democrat Conventions

AP Photo

The president of the Teamsters union, Sean O'Brien, is taking a new approach to the presidential election this year. O'Brien is asking to speak to both the Democrat and Republican conventions this summer. 

This is an unprecedented move. Unions are the property of the Democrat Party and their leaders dare not support Republicans. As with other groups under the Democrat umbrella, the party takes for granted their presidential endorsements.

President Biden and former President Donald Trump are both seeking the endorsement of the Teamsters. Joe Biden panders at every opportunity. He likes to call himself the most union-friendly president ever. Biden visited a UAW picket line in Michigan in September 2023, which was a first for a president. He got the photo op with a black female union member among other strikers. That photo checked three identity boxes for Biden's re-election campaign - black, female, and union member. Biden is losing support among all of those demographics this year. 

O'Brien is doing things a little differently this time around. He has invited Biden, Trump, and other candidates to speak with the union members. He has no plans to announce an endorsement until later this year. 

Why would O'Brien be paying attention to Republicans this year? It's because a percentage of his union members will vote for former President Trump. They did before and they will do it again in November. 

Union spokesperson Kara Deniz confirmed to Axios the request by O'Brien. 

  • "We have made it clear we want our members' voices heard at both conventions," Deniz said, adding that it's an unprecedented ask from the union. "Sean is a leader who wants to make sure our members' voices are heard."

O'Brien wants to let the union members know he realizes that not everyone will vote for Biden and he acknowledges that by listening to everyone. That's kind of refreshing coming for a union boss. 

The Teamsters made headlines in February when its political action committee made an unprecedented move. Union leadership voted to approve a $45,000 donation to the Republican National Committee's convention fund. The donation to the Republican convention showed a pivot to large donations to both parties. Of course, the majority of donations will still go to Democrats but it was a noteworthy move.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has about 1.3 million members. It's possible that about one-third of them will vote for Donald Trump in November, maybe more. The United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Laborers' International Union of North America have already endorsed Biden's re-election. 

Did O'Brien get the union's PAC to contribute to the Republican convention in hopes of being allowed to speak at their convention? Yes. Nothing is done with union money without a purpose. This is O'Brien straddling the political fence to keep peace among the union members. He's not stupid. He knows that when the union contributes to only Democrats it pisses off members who vote for Republicans. Republicans in unions want their dues to be spent in a manner that represents them, not just their Democrat-voting fellow union members. 

The emergence of Donald Trump in politics changed the Republican Party. It changed the Democrat Party, too. The Republican Party is now the party of the middle class and regular working Americans. The populism of Trump's political ideology caused a shift. He actively campaigned in areas that were often ignored by Republicans in past elections when he entered the race in 2015. He reached out to workers in the dying Rust Belt and courted union members. He showed a willingness to not leave any votes on the table. Hillary Clinton, you may remember, didn't even bother to campaign in Wisconsin. Guess who won Wisconsin in 2016?

The Democrat Party is now led by far-left progressives and wealthy donors. They don't represent the views of regular Americans who don't live on a coast or a big city. 

This year, the top priorities for American voters are the economy, inflation, border security, and illegal immigration. President Biden is behind Donald Trump by double digits on those issues. Are Democrat union members going to hold their noses and vote for Biden because he has a D next to his name? They have voted as loyal Democrats for decades. Are they ready to vote for their personal interests over party loyalty? That remains to be seen.

This is very important in battleground states like Michigan. I think we'll see a lot of voters sitting this election out. Voters are frustrated that the choice is between Biden and Trump, a re-match of 2020, but this time around, Biden has a record in the White House. A very bad record. If voters look back to a pre-pandemic America under Donald Trump's administration, they remember how well everything was going. The economy was booming, there was no inflation to speak of, employment was high, the southern border was closed, and there were no new wars. All of that looks pretty damn good now. I think many Democrats who cannot bring themselves to vote Republican, or specifically for Trump, will either stay home or skip the top of the ballot. YMMV.

Republicans have to come out in record-breaking numbers. Trump has to win and win big to show he has a mandate when he returns to the White House. Union members can play a role in that. 

Do I think the Teamsters will endorse Trump? Of course not. But, it can show the possibility that a change may be underway. It can show that Democrats don't necessarily own the unions. Make Democrats fight for their votes and spend their resources and time during the campaign doing so. 

The Republican convention begins on July 15, just a few days after Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in Manhattan for his hush money trial convictions. The Democrat convention is in August. If O'Brien is given a speaking slot at both conventions, it would be an unprecedented move. 

It's time for that move to happen. There are more registered Independents than there are registered Republicans or Democrats. American voters may be willing to think differently during this election cycle. Remember when Democrats lectured voters that everyone had to put country over party in 2020? Does the same hold true now? If so, how can any reasonable voter support Biden's re-election when he has spent almost four years ushering in a Marxist takeover of our constitutional republic? He suffers from dementia. He isn't capable of doing his job. Only the fringe far-left should be supporting Biden's re-election if that is true. 

Trump is still ahead of Biden in most polls, even after his felony convictions in the Manhattan show trial. We'll see if that holds.  

Trending on HotAir Videos