Wanted: A Smoke-Filled Room

It was a great Election Day for progressives, suggesting a path to victory in 2020. But now, progressives are at risk having an embarrassment of riches.

Sherrod Brown, fresh from his re-election as senator from Ohio, has said he’s taking a serious look at the presidential race. Ditto Elizabeth Warren. Now Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is looking into changing Oregon election law so that he, too, can run. And Montana’s populist Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, has signaled that he may make the race. And of course, there is always Bernie Sanders.

Uh-oh. One of these worthies would be plenty. Four or five of them could splinter the party’s progressive base, opening the door to the nomination of a corporate Democrat.

Maybe these prospective candidates could lock themselves in a room, come up with some kind of surrogate progressive primary, and all pledge to back the winner. Or maybe they could promise to back whoever is ahead after the first five primaries. Or something. Please?

Gone are the days when this could be decided by party bosses in a smoke-filled room. But the last thing we need is an enervating full primary season, with several progressives kicking the stuffing out of each other.

By |2018-11-14T23:37:33+00:00November 14th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

About the Author:

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect as well as a Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe. He co-founded the Economic Policy Institute in Washington and serves on its executive committee.

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