Dems’ Post-Obama Future
Dan Balz and Philip Rucker speculate on the Democrats’ post-Obama direction in The Washington Post.
With three years remaining in the presidency of Barack Obama, the party he has led since mesmerizing members with his 2008 campaign has begun debating a post-Obama future. Though more united than Republicans, Democrats nevertheless face simmering tensions between the establishment and a newly energized populist wing, led by the unabashed liberalism of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the fiery rhetoric of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
For Democrats who could lead the party in the future, the challenge will be to articulate a new populist direction without denigrating the Obama record or abandoning the contributions of Bill Clinton. At the moment, Hillary Clinton is an overwhelming front-runner, and Democrats expect that, should she decide to run, she would define their party for the post-Obama era.
But that does not take away from the fact that Clinton would be under pressure to articulate a fresh economic vision to a party in which there is growing demand for a more populist edge to the rhetoric. “The really interesting question is what changes in the political environment mean for the kind of economic policies she will advocate,” (Brookings Institution’s William) Galston said. “I don’t think she knows. .?.?. I’m pretty sure two things will not work: number one, pure undistilled populism; number two, a return to the centrist economics of the past. Neither of those is a formula.”
Cross-posted from The Sensible Center