◼ Centrist angst over Dems' leftward lurch - Washington Examiner
Obama cannot discount the shrinking centrist group because they can cross the aisle and hand the new GOP's new Senate majority victories on everything from the Keystone XL oil pipeline and banking reforms, to dismantling Obamacare.
Will Marshall, a founder of the New Democrat centrist movement and president of the Progressive Policy Institute, said he viewed Obama’s veto threat as a first positioning shot.
Republicans, he said, are “obsessed” with Keystone, which would boost Canadian energy companies more than American ones because the pipeline would simply carry oil from Alberta to the gulf for export.
Still, he urged Obama to get into “good, old-fashioned horse-trading” and use Keystone to bargain for something else, such as building the oil and gas production infrastructure, or possibly for GOP agreement to pass a gas tax.
He warned Obama and Democratic leaders not to keep alienating centrists or face the consequences in the 2016 presidential election.
Republicans, Marshall said, are showing signs that they are “sobering up politically” and positioning themselves to appeal to a larger swath of voters than they did in the 2012 presidential contest.
“It would be foolish to disrespect the moderates who embrace a more growth oriented agenda because that’s what this party needs if Democrats are going to expand their appeal to moderate voters … voters who are going to be essential in putting together a winning coalition in 2016.
“They are going to have to be more credible and present themselves as a party of growth and shared prosperity not simply class warfare and redistribution,” he said.