Last Friday Senate Democrats announced that Mark Warner is to be named policy development adviser at the Democratic Policy and Communications center, an advisory group headed by Sen. Chuck E. Schumer (N.Y.), reports The Washington Post. The announcement was initially delayed due to holiday timing and policy concerns.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) promotion to a similar position two weeks earlier was met with great enthusiasm, but the announcement of Warner’s new post was announced in a much more quiet fashion. Aides stated that the plan to promote Warner had been in the works after a three-hour post-election caucus meeting where several moderate Democrats did not vote for Majority leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.).
Despite the quiet announcement the day after Thanksgiving, moderate Democrats rejoiced at the announcement.
“We know he will be a great voice for business,” remarked Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.).
However, some of the more liberal observers took the decision as a betrayal of the party.
A blogger from liberal site Daily Kos called Warner a ” Wall Street Shill, and right-wing defector.” Salon writer Luke Brinker said of the Senator, “The Warren wing of the party may be exceedingly passionate and engaged, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that it’s carrying the day.”
After the election, where Democrats lost eight Senate seats, leadership of the party remains the same. Instead, they are using the approach of expanding their team to include moderates like Warner and Warren as well as John Tester from Montana, a red state, and Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota.
“The thing that leadership has done very well is Warner, Tester, Klobuchar, Warren, adding them, adding that to the leadership team,” remarked fellow Democratic Virginia senator Tim Kaine. He added that he did not see the decision as a matter of trying to balance ideologies.