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October 6, 2014

Third Way in struggle for the Democratic Party’s soul

“On a summer afternoon amid the frenzy of the Democratic National Convention in Boston 10 years ago, a group of Washington business lobbyists, political operatives, and a smattering of senators gathered at one of the city’s downtown law firms to hear a plan.

“Members of the group worried that, with the end of the Bill Clinton era, the Democratic Party’s centrist wing had lost its way. Over sodas, they pitched a new think tank named for Clinton’s political philosophy, Third Way.

“Third Way, backed by Wall Street titans, corporate money, and congressional allies, is publicly warning against divisive “soak-the-rich” politics voiced by populist Democrats. Its target: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator whose rise to power two years ago helped galvanize Democratic grass roots against Wall Street and pushed the issue of income inequality to the forefront.Fast forward a decade: The philosophy, sketched out privately at the Boston office of Brown Rudnick, is now at the center of an intense struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party.”

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“To some of Wall Street’s harshest critics, such talking points — which could have easily come from a public relations shop in Lower Manhattan — undercut the group’s entire mission.

“When your positions correlate 100 percent with your paymasters, you have to wonder about the independentness and robustness of the work product,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and chief executive of Better Markets, a Wall Street watchdog.”

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Read the full Boston Globe article by Noah Bierman here

 
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