This is fascinating, really:
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.”
Mostly because Mayor Pizzi gave the answer and never even noticed. “No matter what city you go to in the United States, you’re going to have some union that’s having problems.” Well, yes. That’s why the White House just demonstrated where local mayors stand in this administration’s pecking order: the President will not fail to get re-elected in 2012 if he snubs the mayor of Miami Lakes, Florida. He will fail to get re-elected if he snubs the AFL-CIO too severely, and organized labor is having enough upsets already over Card Check. So not crossing the picket line is pretty much an easy way to score points with the entities that will be of most use to this administration in about three years. There’s nothing personal about this: I’m sure that the White House doesn’t particularly want to offend urban mayors.
It’s just that none of them are worth the effort it’d take to avoid giving offense.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.