Refusing to risk even a couple of bad news cycles (which he ended up having anyway for other reasons), President Obama refused to enter the fray in Wisconsin and personally rally on behalf of the public sector unions who staked everything on the June 5 recall election targeting Republican governor Scott Walker.
To add insult to injury, when asked why he didn’t go to Wisconsin, the President claimed he was too busy — which is an absolute falsehood. Obama was on a record fundraising spree the final weekend before the recall vote, and a couple of them took place in states right next door to Wisconsin.
The President had plenty of time to rally voters and to show some moral support to the unions who helped him win the presidency. He simply chose to abandon them for his own selfish political reasons.
According to a new poll, the rift between Obama and unions is real and now threatens the President’s reelection chances:
Two new and disturbing polls just out suggest that the road to reelection is getting tougher for President Obama.
In the most significant, Gallup found that union member support for the president is weaker than it was on Election Day. While Obama took 67 of the union vote, according to 2008 election night polling by Peter Hart for the AFL-CIO, Gallup discovered that just 58 percent of union members back the president now. Some 35 percent support Mitt Romney, 5 percent more than Sen. John McCain won in 2008.
That poll was taken after the Wisconsin recall.
Though I vehemently disagree with the very idea that public sector unions are allowed to exist at all, I do understand the concept of loyalty and don’t blame any union member for feeling betrayed. Without their grassroots organizing and hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s unlikely Obama (or any Democrat for that matter) would ever win the White House. These groups poured everything into Obama and when they chose a hill named Wisconsin to do or die on, Obama let them die.
As I said in this post-Wisconsin article, it’s unlikely Obama’s presence could’ve changed the outcome. But the President might have galvanized enough voters to decrease Walker’s margin of victory, which would’ve made this less of a humiliation for the losers.
At the very worse, even in defeat, the unions would’ve known that through thick or thin, the President of the United States has their back — and that’s not a small comfort.
Instead, under the bus they went.
And now it looks as though union members are more than willing to return the favor.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC