A couple of years ago, all the talk on the left was about the emerging populist movement as evidenced by the election of Senator Elizabeth Warren and NY Mayor Bill de Blasio. Since then, some of the biggest battles President Obama has faced have been – not with Republicans – but with leaders of this populist movement over budget agreements and trade policy. In those fights, Sen. Warren has been joined by politicians like Senators Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown. All of that was the groundwork that led to the presidential candidacy of Sanders.
That’s why the big news on the Democratic side of the presidential primaries is that Senator Sherrod Brown has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
“As Ohio’s working families continue to recover from the worst economic recession in our country’s history, we need a president who’s committed to growing our economy by lifting up the middle class,” Brown said in a statement. “I am proud to endorse her today because I know she will keep Ohio moving forward.”
It is also pretty clear that an endorsement from Mayor de Blasio will come shortly.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, is reportedly ready to finally endorse a presidential candidate after months of saying he was still thinking about it, so stop asking him.
Politico New York reports that de Blasio is expected to endorse his former boss before the presidential forum in Iowa he’s hosting this December.
I suspect that Sen. Warren will keep her powder dry until a Democratic nominee is chosen. But who knows?
I personally don’t think these endorsements actually sway many voters. But they are important as a statement of the endorsers view on where the electorate is going. While Clinton’s style and approach are very different from Sanders’, her campaign has articulated the message that fueled the populist movement on the left. Endorsements from Brown and de Blassio confirm that.