Now left-leaning Democrats, worried about being shut out of a centrist administration if Hillary Clinton wins in November, are furiously compiling what amount to binders full of liberals for the presumptive nominee’s consideration.
Spearheading the effort is a New York-based liberal think tank called the Roosevelt Institute, whose top economists include a prominent Warren ally. Staff members from the institute have been interviewing hundreds of progressive economists and other professionals who could fill posts throughout a Clinton administration.
“It’s a big undertaking to staff up an entire government,” said Marcus Mrowka, a spokesman for the institute. Eager to avoid seeming presumptive and creating a backlash, the institute is billing its work as an intensive networking effort.
The Roosevelt Institute is a liberal counterweight to the more centrist power bases in Washington like the Center for American Progress and the Brookings Institution, which are loaded with Clinton loyalists.
Five people familiar with the Roosevelt Institute’s initiative who weren’t authorized to talk about it publicly said the goal is to ensure that a hypothetical Clinton administration has access to a cadre of potential staff — particularly on financial issues — who aren’t closely connected to Wall Street interests.
The article notes that the Roosevelt Institute is the home of Joseph Stiglitz, a key Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) ally. "Working for him and conducting many of the interviews is Lenore Palladino, a well-respected progressive who has been on the payroll of MoveOn.org and Demos, a left-wing group co-founded by Warren's daughter." [Her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Demos.]
The Roosevelt Institute, however, isn't the only think tank trying to influence a Clinton Cabinet. The article also mentions that some think tanks are putting together "opposition-research-style dossiers" that detail past positions taken by more centrist Democrats who might be in line for regulatory jobs in a Clinton Administration. Here is more on that effort:
Some of that work is being done by the Revolving Door Project, an initiative housed in the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). It is part of a coalition of groups that is waging a more overt push to lobby around presidential appointments.
“In this environment, appointments really matter,” said Jeff Hauser, executive director of the Revolving Door Project, who said he’s pushing for political appointees who focus on the public interest. “There are a lot of different progressives that have come to the same conclusion over the last eight years, that focusing exclusively on legislative goals is impractical.”
Despite that effort, think tanks closer to the Clintons, including Center for American Progress (CAP), Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and the Brookings Institution, will likely play an overwhelming role in helping decide and staff actual Cabinet posts.