"After the AFL-CIO executive council decided not to meet in mid-October to propose a unified endorsement, IUPAT's political officials began to discuss the possibility of selecting their own candidate."
"'We decided to do it for no other reason than our members have 15 percent unemployment,' Williams said."
"When the secretary-treasurers teleconferenced and laid out their arguments in mid-October, Dean was the clear favorite, union officials said."
From ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:
"Michael Kramer, formerly of the New York Daily News, left the paper and the "column-izing business" two weeks ago and was set to continue work on his books and a play when he received a call to join The General's staff. 'Wes asked me to do this,' Kramer told ABC News. 'This' is traveling with The General on the campaign trail, advising him on day-to-day issues from campaign strategy to media relations to speech preparations. Kramer has been on the trail now for about five days."
"Clark and Kramer have been friends for years and it seems that the veteran campaign press reporter could not refuse a job as an insider campaign adviser. According to campaign sources, no specific position has yet been announced for Kramer."
ABC News got a "sneak peek" of Clark's health care policy speech, which he is set to deliver in New Hampshire today. It's The General's third New American Patriotism address, and will contain a plan to cover the uninsured and control costs, with an emphasis on children and preventive care.
"'In recent weeks, as part of my New American Patriotism speech tour, I've laid out the type of choices we need to make to get our country moving forward when it comes to jobs, the deficit, and national service. However, I approach this as more than just the right choices — I approach this as someone who served in the U.S. Army for 34 years and got things done. I am not a career politician but someone who believes you must set goals and objectives and put a plan in place to reach those goals. In the Army, I had to make decisions every day about the welfare, safety and security of those who served with me. You couldn't pass the buck — you had to get the job done. No delays. No excuses. No apologies. We need to bring this "can do" approach and attitude to Washington, D.C. Today, I want to speak about an issue that is one of the biggest challenges American families face today: the challenge of paying for decent health care.'"
"'My plan for health reform addresses the daunting challenges faced by America's families. It provides real leadership and shifts the focus of the health care debate by insisting that any commitment to expanding health insurance be accompanied with a requirement to improve as well as expand coverage. It would improve health care by emphasizing prevention, medical outcomes accountability, and cost effectiveness, all the while guaranteeing universal coverage for children and access for all Americans.'"
"The plan's three main components: focusing on prevention and management; universal coverage for children and universal access to insurance for all Americans; extra assistance for low-income adults, the unemployed, military reservists and their families, veterans and small businesses."