Posted on Nov 26, 2008
Not only is Barack Obama packing his inner circle with neo-liberal Clinton stalwarts, he’s also avoiding the question of labor by not including any representative of workers in the economic policy team he announced Monday. What gives?
The markets rose on the news of Barack Obama’s economic policy team Monday, but some labor spirits fell.
Obama’s team of treasury secretary and four top economic advisers, introduced as the hands that will steer America’s economy, had no particular ties to the labor movement. And Obama’s secretary of labor was not introduced as part of that team — a suggestion that that post will retain its second-tier status and quiet voice in matters central to economic policy.
“I wish that [the secretary of labor] would have been among them,” former Michigan congressman David Bonior, a labor stalwart and member of Obama’s transition team, said of the group at the Chicago press conference. “I hope they take that job seriously.”
Unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, helped lift Obama in key states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.