Despite my ideological objections, the idea of sending Weingarten to the Senate is intriguing. She’d represent a wide array of constituencies that merit more influence, and she’d give opponents of educational reform a prominent platform. Just as we once had a “Senator from Boeing,” we’d have a “Senator from the UFT.” Not to say that we don’t already have dozens of senators from the UFT — not as many as we do from the oil and gas industries, perhaps — but there is a lot to be said for clarity. As Chris Rovzar suggests, her appointment might solve a political problem for Paterson:
But we see another advantage in all of this: Weingarten is the ultimate power broker with teachers in-state (and nationally, with her recent appointment to head the American Federation of Teachers). Teachers are already among Paterson’s biggest foes in his budget fight — giving them a powerful national advocate in the Senate might give him some bargaining chips.
And she’d be preferable to either Cuomo or Kennedy simply by virtue of her humble suburban origins.
I could be wrong here. Who’d be a better choice?