Tom Steyer, a California hedge fund billionaire, had the dubious honor of being the largest donor to the Democratic party – spending a whopping $87 million on Democratic candidates and causes in 2016 and endorsed Clinton after the primaries. With Schumer and the Democrats pushing their ‘new better deal’ and admitting the Russians didn’t do it (and being anti-Trump is not enough), Steyer is supporting his party’s perspective and dumping Hillary’s ‘but but but it was the Russians… and Comey’ narrative’.
Steyer recently spoke to Mic.com’s Jake Horowitz to discuss the state of play for Democrats in the Trump era – the good, bad and yes, the ugly…
“Democrats have to move from resistance to offense,” Steyer said.
“Being not-Trump is not nearly enough. We have to put forward our positive vision for the future. If we can’t do that, then I don’t understand the point.”
Today however, Steyer is now an unabashed supporter of Sanders’ progressive vision…
“When people say Bernie is crazy, no. Bernie is talking about inequality. That is the burning issue in the United States.”
“There is an absolute, unspoken war between corporate interests and the American people,” he said. “That’s the underlying subtext for all of the public discussions within the Democratic party.”
“We’re seeing a deliberate attempt to take away [working families’] future by really rich people. Until we address that, I don’t think we’re dealing with the reality Americans are facing today,” he continued.
But Democrats, Steyer said, have yet to develop a compelling and positive message to channel the energy Sanders generated on the campaign and help the party win back working class voters in the Rust Belt who flipped for Trump – let alone turn their own base out at the polls on Election Day. For Steyer, that message must start with inequality, not jobs.
“Before you freak out on the jobs question, which everyone loves to do, understand that we [only] have 4.3% unemployment,” Steyer said.
“But what we do have is a whole bunch of people who have jobs they can’t live on,” he added, a reference to the thinking behind the Fight for $15 and other progressive campaigns to raise working class wages.
Steyer, who said he considers himself a Democrat but “not part of the party apparatus in any shape or form,” was the largest individual funder of the 2016 election. The results were obviously quite disappointing. Of the seven candidates for national office that Steyer supported through NextGen’s Action Committee, four lost — including, of course, Clinton.
Coming off those bruising defeats, Steyer has only redoubled his efforts.
“One of the absolute necessities for Democrats in 2018 is going to be to recruit credible and good candidates that line up well with their districts,” Steyer said.
Still, aside from Sanders, it’s not immediately obvious who would be the best candidate to advance the economic message Steyer is championing, between the dozen or so names that are frequently mentioned as 2020 contenders — from Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, to outsiders like Howard Schultz. But one thing is clear: Steyer has his eyes on 2018 and 2020, and he’s in favor of the party adopting a solidly progressive agenda, rather than just running on an anti-Trump platform or trying to fight for the center.
Well it can’t get much worse?
We suspect,. however, that no matter what Steyer and Schumer say, Maxine Waters and her ilk will be unable to change their narrative… like this little beauty over the weekend…
Mike Pence is somewhere planning an inauguration. Priebus and Spicer will lead the transition.
— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) July 30, 2017