Far-left Democrats who think President Barack Obama–and his Obamacare law–have not been liberal enough may push Democrats running for president in 2016 so far to the left that their chances in a general election may be hurt.
The Washington Post wrote that the “more liberal and populist voice is emerging within a Democratic Party” represents “both a critique of Obama’s tenure and a clear challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the party’s presumptive presidential front-runner, who carries a more centrist banner.”
The Post acknowledges that “the push from the left carries political risks for Democrats, who could be accused of being reckless about the national debt or insensitive to the demands of business and economic growth.” In addition, Americans are uncomfortable with paying more taxes for left-wing pet projects and social engineering ideas, as the Post conceded, which can make Democrats less electable.
Their darling is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has said “the absolute last thing we should do in 2013 — at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors — is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch.” She is leading a group of Democrats that want to increase Social Security payments.
TWarren has indicated she will probably not run for president even though the left-wing base wants her to run. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), an “independent who caucuses with Democrats and calls himself a socialist,” may take the plunge and serve “as an agitator who pulled other candidates to the left.”
“The first Obama administration was focused too much on saving the banks and Wall Street,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), a liberal Democrat who is retiring. “There’s going to be a big populist push on whoever’s running for office to espouse these kinds of progressive policies” he told the Post.
These Democrats view Hillary “Clinton suspiciously, arguing that longtime advisers to her and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, are too close to Wall Street.” They note that “it was these same Clinton advisers — disciples of former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin — who led Obama away from a more populist agenda, embracing conservative thinking on the virtue of spending reductions and entitlement cuts.”
Clinton advisers seem aware of this sentiment, as “top officials at the Center for American Progress — sometimes viewed as a Clinton shadow cabinet — started an independent think tank several weeks ago, the Center for Equitable Growth, to study income inequality.” That infrastructure will likely work to make Clinton more acceptable to the what former presidential candidate Howard Dean referred to as the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” if Clinton runs for president.