BOSTON (CBS) – It didn’t take long into the first presidential debate back in September for Donald Trump to hit on one of his primary lines of attack against Joe Biden.
“Your party wants to go socialist medicine and socialist healthcare,” he said.
“The party is me,” replied Biden, noting how he was the lone major Democratic candidate to reject Medicare for All. “Right now, I am the Democratic Party.”
“And they’re going to dominate you, Joe, you know that,” barked Trump.
Repeated Biden: “I am the Democratic Party right now.”
It’s unclear how many voters wound up buying Trump’s claim that Biden, an avowed moderate, would become, as Trump put it in his convention speech, a “Trojan horse” for the left. But now that Biden has won, some elements on the left want him to saddle up.
“Joe Biden has a choice to make,” says a video on the climatemandate.org website, a product of the Bernie Sanders-affiliated Sunrise Movement. “Will he be the leader of the American majority? Or will he be Mitch McConnell’s vice president?”
The initial focus of Sunrise and other left-wing groups is cabinet appointments. “Picture this,” says the video. “In 2021, young people all over the country will celebrate as Treasury Secretary Elizabeth Warren enacts Biden’s plan to cancel most student loan debt.”
But there’s a problem with the idea of putting Warren or Sanders in the cabinet. Biden desperately needs their votes in the Senate, and both come from states where a Republican governor would appoint their interim successors.
The same goes for several House democrats on the left-wing wish list. The election left Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a narrowed margin in the House, and she can ill afford to lose more seats.
“None of this happens unless we demand it,” concludes the Sunrise video. “Your vote was an invitation to power. Now it’s time to throw your power around.”
Or is it time to let the president-elect build a team that maximizes his chances of getting anything done at all?