Democrats were quick to question Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) assertion that progressives are now the “heart and soul” of the Democratic Party. Warren is one of few candidates that the Democrats are expecting to put up against Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
During a speech at the liberal Netroots Nation conference last week, Warren stated that progressives have control of the party. Her remarks immediately stirred headlines such as the NY Times suggesting, “Ms. Warren sent an unambiguous message that she believes the Clinton effort to push Democrats toward the political center should be relegated to history.”
Kristen Orthman, Warren’s spokesperson, clarified the Senator’s message, saying, “If we’re going to be the people who lead the Democratic Party back from the wilderness and lead our country out of this dark time, then we can’t waste energy arguing about whose issue matters most or who in our alliance should be voted off the island.” Optimistically, she proffered that, “We need to see each other’s fights as our own. And I believe we can.”
Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist, supported Warren’s view and stated that she is a “candidate who is willing to speak their mind.” And agreed that, “progressives are the dominant voice in the party.”
Talking about Warren, Democratic Strategist Brad Bannon speculated that Warren will, “inherit the Sanders vote,” because she is willing to speak her mind, having “a better chance than a centrist, who is calculating about everything he or she says. I don’t think the electorate wants someone calculating. … They had cool and calculating with Hillary Clinton.”
Democratic strategist Jim Manley, spokesman for retired Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), responded to the controversy by noting, “I don’t think we as a party can be casting too many people aside.” He added, “We need to figure out how to grow and bring everybody together. I realize that’s happy talk but that’s the reality. When you start talking about purity tests, that’s a little problematic.”
Kamala Harris, who is also expected to run in the 2020 presidential elections strongly disagreed with Warren’s characterization that Progressives were the heart of the Democratic party. “We can’t afford to be purists,” Harris pleaded, “You have to ask that question of yourself. Are we going to be purists to this resistance to the point that you let these guys go? Or can you understand that you may not agree with 50 percent of their policy positions, but I can guarantee you will disagree with 100 percent of their replacements’ policy positions. So, that is part of the question. What do we have to do in this movement to be pragmatic?,”