Here’s how you know which way Senate Democrats are shifting

While they were creating a brand new window dressing leadership position for Elizabeth Warren yesterday, Senate Democrats named Jon Tester of Montana as the new chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, where among other things he’ll be responsible for recruiting candidates to run for the Senate in 2016. In contrast to Warren, Tester’s record boasts opposition to the DREAM Act, support for Keystone XL, and a strong desire to give a hand to those poor trodden down Wall Street folks whenever he can. He’s definitely the right guy to recruit Senate candidates who will appeal to a Democratic base that is increasingly diverse, pro-environment, and economically populist.

Now there is an argument to be made that putting a red-state Democrat in a position like this will help in terms of finding and running candidates in reddish-purple states like Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, etc. But if this last election showed anything, it showed that voters everywhere will choose a full-bodied Republican over a “Republican Light” Democrat nearly every time. Note that Senate Democrats didn’t have to invent a new job for Tester like they did for Warren, they just slotted him in to an established leadership gig as the guy who is directly responsible for putting the Senate back into Democratic hands in 2016. That suggests something to me about which of the two of them the Senate Democratic caucus plans to take after in the next Congress, though obviously time will tell.


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