Over at Politico Magazine, I argued that the real Democratic race is “not about whether Hillary will win. Rather, it’s who will win Hillary.” In other words, who will exert the most influence over her platform: Establishment wonks like Larry Summers, who led the “Commission on Inclusive Prosperity” (see Robert Borosage’s analysis of that here) or populist progressives, who will be convening in Washington this weekend for the Populism2015 conference.
Fortunately, the two camps are not diametrically opposed. There are plenty of proposals for activist government coming out of the Summers commissions: infrastructure spending, “virtually-free” public college and rules for easier union organizing, just to name of a few.
But there are areas where populists would go farther, such as more money for infrastructure and student debt forgiveness. And there are areas where the camps just disagree, like trade and Social Security expansion.
The populists will have an opportunity to make themselves heard at the Populism2015 conference, where a 12-point platform will be unveiled.
It is unlikely that Clinton is going to be pressured into taking stances she doesn’t hold. But what a populist movement can do best is show that certain policies and positions dismissed by Beltway elites actually resonates with the broader public. Pundits will argue that a Warrenesque agenda is “left” and not “center.” If the populist movement can prove that distinction to be unfounded, then there’s more of a chance the Clinton campaign will reconsider what is politically feasible.
Making sure the populist platform is known by the public and politicians is a top priority of the Populism2015 conference. Click here to be a part of it.