Barack Obama won the blessing today of the 1.4-million-member Teamsters union, who could prove valuable allies in upcoming showdowns with Hillary Clinton.
The endorsement immediately activates the union's political activities, including its thousands of members in Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania -- states that Clinton badly needs to win.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa met with Obama today in Texas. "Senator Obama understands the challenges working people face every day," Hoffa said afterwards in a statement issued by the Obama campaign. "He is the candidate in the best position to lead our movement to restore the American dream for working people in this country."
"Senator Obama will fight for better wages, real healthcare reform, stronger retirement security, fair trade and an end to the outsourcing of good jobs," Hoffa continued. "He understands the importance of giving workers a voice at work and will fight for strong unions to help rebuild America’s middle class."
In soundly beating Clinton in the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, Obama broke into Clinton's union support. Last week, he received the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union, whose members helped his surge in Wisconsin.