Clinton Shadows Nurse While Vying for Union Endorsement
Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Monday shadowed a nurse as part of the "Walk a Day in My Shoes" program sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, USA Today reports. Clinton followed a nurse in the medical/surgery ward of St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nev., for more than two hours.
Clinton shadowed Michelle Estrada, who has served as a nurse for more than 26 years, through an abridged daily routine, in which Estrada drew blood from patients, flushed their IV lines and monitored their blood sugar levels. Nurses often have five or six patients per shift, but Estrada on Monday had only four patients to accommodate the newspaper reporters, television crew and Secret Service agents that followed Clinton.
SEIU has announced that presidential candidates must participate in the program to be considered for an endorsement from the union. SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger said that the program seeks to "challenge the candidates to spend real time working in our members' shoes so it wasn't just a photo op or just speaking to a rally."
In addition to Clinton, presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) have participated in the program. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) have agreed to do so in the future.
SEIU members will meet next month to discuss the endorsement of a presidential candidate, although they might not reach a decision until a later date (Page, USA Today, 8/14).
In related news, Clinton on Monday released her first television advertisement, which criticizes President Bush for his lack of attention to health care and other domestic issues, USA Today reports.
The 60-second ad, which will begin to air in Iowa on Tuesday, features Clinton in a field with a farmer; in conversations with women, children and seniors; and during a speech at a campaign event.
In the ad, Clinton states, "If you're a family that is struggling and you don't have health care, you are invisible to this president. ... Americans from all walks of life across our country may be invisible to this president, but they're not invisible to me, and they won't be invisible to the next president" (USA Today, 8/14).