It’s unclear how much of an impact this will have on the ongoing battle in Michigan. There were already signs that Governor Rick Snyder didn’t fully understand how unions work and what the “right to work” laws speeding towards his desk actually do. In a private meeting today, top Michigan Democrats reiterated to him that labor and Dems simply want to ensure that unions have the right to collect fees from non-union members who benefit from their collective bargaining along with union members. And word is that Governor Snyder prides himself on being a pragmatic problem solving type, rather than an ideologue. So it can’t hurt to have the President come into his state and tell the truth about these laws in such a high profile way, arguing that “right to work” isn’t really about budgeting and won’t help us innovate, compete, or move the country forward.
So: Good for Obama for saying what needed to be said. We’ll see if it makes a difference.