Why The Chicago Teachers Strike Is A Huge Bummer For Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Photo: AP

It’s been less than a day since the Chicago teachers’ union went on strike, but the move is already turning into a major headached for Barack Obama and his re-election campaign. On the surface, the strike is obviously problematic for Obama, giving Republicans an opportunity to tie the president to Big labour overreach, as well as his home town’s notoriously dirty politics

But the strike has also caused a more immediate issue for Obama’s re-election effort: It is distracting Rahm Emanuel. 

The strike comes just a few days after Emanuel announced that he would step down as honorary chair of the Obama campaign and take over fundraising for the pro-Obama SuperPAC Priorities USA. The Chicago mayor is a prolific fundraiser, and Democrats were giddy at the prospect of putting some real muscle behind the party’s relatively lackluster SuperPAC efforts.

But all that is in jeopardy now that Emanuel has to deal with his city’s teachers’ strike. Politico reported today that Emanuel is suspending his fundraising efforts during the strike, and has cancelled an appearance at a SuperPAC fundraiser in Chicago tonight. 

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