THERE MAY NOT BE ROOM, BUT THERE'S CERTAINLY MONEY. The Big Bossman and I had slightly different interpretations of Mark Warner's admonition that Democrats shouldn't alienate the wealthy by opposing their tax cuts the other day. I viewed the move as politically unhelpful anti-populism of the type favored by influential elites but harmful to the progressive project, while Mike saw the effort as a substantively insignificant move that would project electability and centrism and allow Warner space to push the progressive line on other subjects. Maybe we're both wrong.
Writing in the New York Observer, Jason Horowitz details Warner's hunt for funds among rich Democratic donors unconvinced about Hillary Clinton's viability. It may indeed be that if Warner sees an opening on Hillary's right, part of that opening contains megawealthy funders unnerved by the renewed populism of many in the Democratic Party. Signaling that he'll be a centrist, incrementalist executive in the pro-wealth, Bill Clinton mold may attract donors with political doubts about Hillary but ideological fears about the rest of the field. And that may provide Warner with not only the space, but the money, to project his progressivism on safer, more consensus-oriented issues.