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Shanker and Clinton

June 4, 2008 pm30 3:58 pm

Last night I went to the Albert Shanker Scholarship awards at UFT headquarters downtown. Second time in two years. The United Federation of Teachers gives out a large number of $5000 college scholarships to kids from across the city.

Kids, parents, counselors, chapter leaders (!), and principals get fed. The guy who runs the fund, Jeffrey Huart, opens up. Randi Weingarten speaks. There is a guest speaker (this year, Lori Stokes from ABC), interludes from a couple of bands (the Latin jazz band (?) really caught the audience).

And then 200 winners come up, one at a time, announce name, high school, and college, and Randi and Jeffrey shake their hands. The kids get some sort of bag (gift? certificate?) on the way back to their seats.

Lots of SUNYs, some CUNYs. Lots of St. Johns and Fordham. A number of liberal arts colleges across the northeast. And a handful of ivies. Lots of good kids, proud, making parents smile. Long. Hours long. But pleasant.

So Randi’s not there when the time comes to shake hands. Where is she? They announce she’s with Senator Clinton. Wow, I wonder, is it the concession speech? Nope. No concession speech yesterday.

(continues below the fold –>)

I can understand not staying; it’s a long ceremony. I don’t think she stayed last year. But she doesn’t stay for very much lately. Arrives late, leaves early, or both, to Exec Boards, to Delegate Assemblies, to other meetings.

1. Why is our union president’s time still going into the Clinton campaign? I asked another version of this question last week.

2. Is Weingarten simply overcommitted?

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