There's a terrific piece of gumshoe reporting in the Washington Post on how Dean got both the SEIU and AFSCME endorsements
For people like me who know little about how different unions arrive at their endorsements, it's an eye opener. Yes, there have been many good discussions here, but Balz is able to quote Stern and McEntee on record and gets several unattributed background quotes as well.
It shows how Clark messed up the AFSCME endorsement and how everyone except Dean messed up with the SEIU. Among the interesting bits:
The move stunned labor and political insiders and left some of Dean's rivals furious. Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), who has the support of 20 unions, believed he would get the AFSCME endorsement and was particularly upset. According to one person, he fumed that McEntee had just "turned over the country to the Republicans for four more years."
The SEIU offered all the candidates the same resources: a list of their local leadership and a warning that the route to the endorsement began not in Stern's fifth-floor office on L Street NW but through the rank and file. "Everybody got the same advice," an SEIU official said. "Howard Dean took it to heart." No other candidate came close to Dean's outreach. "Shockingly" not close, Stern said.
McEntee: "We [AFSCME] had many meetings with [Clark]. We had him go over to the AFL-CIO and meet with the political committee. But then we got, I guess you would say, somewhat disturbed by his organizational infrastructure."
The fatal blow for Clark came when his campaign team decided last month to pull out of Iowa.