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Randi Weingarten's tardiness in the spotlight

A Times report on this morning’s meeting between Caroline Kennedy and Randi Weingarten includes a tidbit that will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had a meeting with the teachers union leader:

Sitting at a table by the restaurant’s front door, Ms. Kennedy sat alone for a short time until Ms. Weingarten arrived.

The first time I ever saw Weingarten in a close setting, it was at Sarabeth’s on the Upper West Side, where I noticed a man (Michael Mendel, it turned out, a vice president of the union) waiting for at least 20 minutes for his breakfast date. I also once sat for half an hour in the grand dining room of the Harvard Club, waiting for her to show.

The tardiness was no surprise, given Weingarten’s tireless work ethic, and neither was it irritating, given that she will always sit with you through and beyond the allotted time, once she’s arrived. Now that she’s not only president of the local union but also the national, commuting between New York and Washington, the astonishing thing is that she can ever make a date at all.

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