The Democrats would do well to remember the lessons of 2016 at this moment.
You see, in that fateful election of four years ago, there was no real belief that Donald Trump would be walking away a winner. The left was simply convinced that Hillary Clinton had it in the bag, and were so stunned when she lost that they began blaming The Kremlin for their defeat.
Also, let’s not forget that Hillary herself hadn’t even written a concession speech, and didn’t address the public until the next day.
Now, in 2020, it looks as thought Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is similarly counting his chickens before they hatch.
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Sherrod Brown, the progressive senator from Ohio, says he’s talking with the Biden campaign about “where he needs to look and who he needs to look at” as he begins to form a potential administration.
Other people in positions of power, both inside and outside government, are engaged in similar conversations.
It’s part of an early, behind-the-scenes effort by the Biden campaign to shape the contours of a government he has pledged would be “the most progressive administration since FDR.”
Biden’s White House and his Cabinet would likely lean on his connections from the Obama administration, including institutionalists who are palatable to centrist Democrats. But in the same way Biden shifted left on policy in recent months in response to the pandemic, he is also taking advice from the progressive wing of the party.
And his reach appears to be fairly wide.
Interviews with more than a dozen Democrats familiar with his transition process describe an effort by his campaign to assemble a center-left amalgamation of personnel designed to prioritize speed over ideology in responding to the coronavirus and the resulting economic ruin. Think Susan Rice, but also Elizabeth Warren. Pete Buttigieg, but also Karen Bass.
Will this preemptive cabinet creation come back to bite Biden karmically?
We’ll have to wait until November to find out.
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