"Economic populism" was wedged this week into the 2014 Democratic primary election for governor. It started when top staffers of Third Way, which bills itself as representing the "vital center" of the political spectrum, went after U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, in a Wall Street Journal editorial page article for what it called a "potent 'we can have it all' fantasy" on issues such as Social Security.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which says it helped draft Warren for the 2012 election and raised more than $1 million for her campaign, took offense and showed it in a curious way. The liberal group emailed journalists with this headline: "Allyson Schwartz group attacking Elisabeth Warren."
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a top-tier candidate in the Democratic primary for governor, is one of 12 "honorary co-chairs" -- six from the U.S. House, six from the U.S. Senate -- for Third Way. But the PCCC didn't go after any of the other co-chairs.
Schwartz thought the op-ed "was outrageous and strongly disagrees with it," according to campaign spokesman Mark Bergman. Schwartz shared that opinion with Third Way but will continue on as a co-chair for the group, Bergman said.
Political piling on ensued. John Hanger, a second-tier candidate in the primary, called on Schwartz to renounce her leadership role at Third Way. Hanger's statement was distributed by PCCC, which denounced Third Way as a "Wall Street front group."
Another group, Democracy for America, then issued a statement that it is "joining a growing movement calling" for Schwartz to resign from Third Way. DFA's statement used similar language to the PCCC rhetoric about Third Way.