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What Democrats Want

Progressives and Democratic centrists on what they want from Obama now.

Members of Progressive Change Campaign Committee upset over potential cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security walks to President Obama's campaign headquarters to deliver 200,000 signatures from people who are refusing to donate or volunteer for his re-election campaign if Obama cuts entitlement programs, Friday, July. 15, 2011 in Chicago. (AP)

Members of Progressive Change Campaign Committee upset over potential cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security walks to President Obama’s campaign headquarters to deliver 200,000 signatures from people who are refusing to donate or volunteer for his re-election campaign if Obama cuts entitlement programs, Friday, July. 15, 2011 in Chicago. (AP)

Former president Bill Clinton, the star speaker at the Democrats’ big shindig in Charlotte tonight.  He’s here to raise the roof for Barack Obama, lend his unique appeal.  Obama’s got his own star power, but he can use

Clinton’s too.  It’s neck and neck out there.  Clinton was the great centrist.  Obama’s been the great… well, it depends who you ask.  Post-partisan pragmatist?  Wall Street-whacking populist?  On the Democratic party’s right, or left, or center?

This hour, On Point:  at their convention in Charlotte, Democrats talk about their own political stripes now.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gerald Seib, assistant managing editor and executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Joan Walsh, editor-at-large at Salon.com.

David Corn, Washington, D.C. bureau chief for Mother Jones.

Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Nation “True reformers—like Republican Teddy Roosevelt and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt—were believers in the American experiment. But they knew that it was an experiment; to function properly it needed to adjust at critical junctures, to improve and to repair so that a broken status quo did not become the norm.”

BeyondChron “Many Democrats have their own criticisms of Obama, but still get angry when the president’s actions are lied about. And they are angry over the GOP’s mean spirited attacks on the progressive parts of the president’s agenda.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune “They see elements of the far left dispirited, including the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street crowd whose remnants have been rallying in Charlotte. At a campaign kickoff in May, they remind people, Obama failed to fill Ohio State University’s 18,000 seat basketball arena.”

 

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