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Democratic Soul-Searching In 201646:55
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The Democrats’ internal battle over what to stand for in 2016. Hard Left or Center Left, Warren or Clinton?

In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo (L), former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Georgetown University in Washington. In this file photo (R), Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. speaks about raising wages during the forum AFL-CIO National Summit, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at Gallaudet University in Washington. (AP)
In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo (L), former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Georgetown University in Washington. In this file photo (R), Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. speaks about raising wages during the forum AFL-CIO National Summit, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at Gallaudet University in Washington. (AP)

Republicans famously debate these days just how conservative their Presidential candidate ought to be.  This time out, there is a vivid counterpart debate on the other side of the political aisle.  Democrats debating just how liberal, how progressive their candidate ought to be in 2016.  As Hillary Clinton waits in the wings, the presumed frontrunner, that debate is boiling.  Backers of Senator Elizabeth Warren say she’s the one who would really stand up for the little guy and gal.  It’s the Democrats’ battle for the soul of the party – and a winning strategy.  This hour On Point:  the Democrats debate how progressive to be in 2016.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Howard Fineman, editorial director of the Huffington Post Group. Author of "The Thirteen American Arguments." (@howardfineman)

Erica Sagrans, campaign manager at Ready For Warren, an unaffiliated group urging Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to run for President in 2016. (@ericas)

Elaine Kamarck, senior fellow in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution, where she is also the director of the Management and Leadership Initiative. Author of "Primary Politics." (ekamarck)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Daily Beast: Progressives: Between Hillary and a Hard Place — "At a moment when a handful of issues that liberal activists have campaigned on for years, from raising the minimum wage to the growth of corporate power to climate change to criminal justice reform, are entering the mainstream debate—even within the Republican Party—progressives are facing the prospect of being rendered voiceless just as the nation is tuning in to the 2016 presidential primary."

Washington Post: Can this woman convince Elizabeth Warren to run for president? -- "I have worked in Democratic party operations and the Obama campaign, and worked with activists and progressives. It’s a strategy that is both inside and outside. There are activists pushing from the outside. But there is some support from people on the inside who are supportive but they don’t feel like they can be public about it. This is an effort to make them comfortable and to show that there are other people out there so that they can publicly support Warren too."

The Wall Street Journal: Liberals Seek Alternative to Hillary Clinton — "As formidable as Mrs. Clinton looks even before declaring herself a candidate, liberals are casting about for a committed populist to run against her in 2016. They see the former secretary of state and senator as too closely aligned with large corporations and question whether she can be counted on to narrow the income gap in America."

This program aired on February 17, 2015.

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