Business & Lobbying

Clinton hobnobs with labor at Super Bowl

Former President Bill Clinton hobnobbed at the Super Bowl on Sunday with union leaders who could be crucial to helping Hillary Clinton win the White House in 2016.

DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA) executive director, tweeted out a photo of Bill Clinton hanging out with labor officials attending the big game.

{mosads}“Honored to host @billclinton and labor leaders at SB48,” Smith said in his tweet during the second half of the Denver Broncos-Seattle Seahawks matchup.

The picture he shared showed Clinton and labor officials posing in what appears to be a skybox in MetLife Stadium, the New Jersey home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.

The picture shows Clinton, Smith and Lorretta Johnson, the American Federation of Teachers’ (AFT) secretary-treasurer, along with several other unidentified people.

It’s unclear who else attended the event and met with the former president, although Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, one of the country’s most politically powerful unions, thanked Smith for hosting her.

“We were honored to join you,” Henry said over Twitter to Smith.

Clinton’s office said the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department, which, like the AFT, is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, was also represented in the executive box.

A spokesman for the NFLPA said representatives from the AFL-CIO and Unite Here, which represents hotel and service workers, also attended the game.

Former President Clinton’s office said the NFLPA invited him to the game. Hillary Clinton, who is seen as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination if she chooses to run, was not in attendance.

There was no conversation about 2016, just football, according to Clinton’s office.

Labor is a crucial ally for Democrats, when it comes to campaign season. Unions help turn out the vote for Democrats and played a big part in President Obama’s 2012 reelection victory in vital swing states.

During presidential primaries, Democratic candidates typically jostle with each other over unions’ endorsements.

When she ran for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton won the backing of several unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the International Association of Machinists, the Sheet Metal Workers International Association and the United Transportation Union.

Last month, AFT President Randi Weingarten and United Association President William Hite joined the board for Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC that helped reelect Obama in 2012 and is now reportedly gearing up for a potential Clinton campaign in 2016.

Tags American Federation of Teachers Bill Clinton DeMaurice Smith Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton National Football League Players Association

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