Third Way Encourages Centrist Allies to Embrace Opportunity 2020

June 18, 2019 by Dan McCue
Representative Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., at the Third Way Opportunity 2020 meeting in Charleston, S.C. (via Third Way Twitter)

WASHINGTON – Third Way, the centrist Democratic think-tank based in Washington, D.C., took its message to Charleston, South Carolina Monday and Tuesday, rallying its supporters and bolstering its efforts to keep the party from veering too far left ahead of the 2020 election.

Though the organizers of the Opportunity 2020 event did not invite presidential candidates to participate, presidential politics is very much in the air this week in South Carolina, where Democrats will hold their annual state convention next Saturday.

Instead the crowd of several hundred gathered in Charleston included elected officials, consultants, strategists and pollsters, all intent on talking not about pipedreams, but kitchen table issues such as good jobs that are too scarce, health care costs that are too high, and a future that is uncertain for too many Americans.

“It’s about building an economy and a community,” said former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota Tuesday afternoon.

“Republicans are taking rural communities for granted. Among the questions they should be asking is ‘How do we keep churches open and a local basketball team thriving that drive pride in their towns?’

“Republicans never ask those kinds of questions,” she said.

Later Heitkamp told the large crowd gathered to hear her that what small business owners in rural North Dakota want is no different from what the cab driver in New York wants.

“They want opportunity for themselves and their kids, safe communities, and health care they can count on,” she said.

Taking aim at the progressive wing of the party that is courting young voters, by, among other things, promising them free college, Heitkamp told her fellow centrist Democrats “We need an economic message … and it can’t be about free stuff.”

Representative Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., told attendees that “the loudest voices are not necessarily representative of the people who are working two or three jobs and trying to raise their families.

“We should be making moral and economic arguments so people hear their values and priorities,” she said.

‏Later, appearing onstage with Representative Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., the two agreed that at the end of the day candidates need to represent their constituents – and understand and represent the needs of their districts.”

In an interview with the Charleston Post and Courier newspaper, Matt Bennett, a co-founder of Third Way, said the choice of Charleston for the group’s 2019 session was no coincidence.

“We wanted to be in one of the first four states, but our view is that South Carolina in some ways is vitally important in its own right because it’s the first primary that involves a diverse electorate,” Bennett said.

And diversity ruled during the two-day event, where participants spoke on a wide range of issues ranging from basic civil rights to improving the quality of public education.

Offstage and in the hallways, many people also talked about Third Way’s recently launched Twitter initiative to divert voters’ attention from the leftist activists who dominate the social media platform.

“Checking Twitter might be a quick way to tune into the political conversation, but it’s probably warping your sense of the electorate,” the group said in one recent tweet.

“Playing to the far left on Twitter is a surefire way to leave moderate & independent voters at home on election day,” it said in another.

Third Way is targeting roughly 10,000 influencers on the platform by promoting paid content that aims to change the progressive chatter to centrist dialogue ahead of 2020.

“We don’t want to cede the digital conversation to the far left,” Matt Bennett said.

2020 Elections

IAVA Protecting Veterans from Predatory Schools
IAVA Protecting Veterans from Predatory Schools
February 22, 2021
by TWN Staff

NEW YORK - The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America kicked off veteran education week this morning, continuing a six-week campaign to highlight the priority issues of its members. Over the course of this week, IAVA is highlighting its advocacy efforts to expand and protect veteran... Read More

New Democrat Coalition Endorses H.R. 1, For the People Act
New Democrat Coalition Endorses H.R. 1, For the People Act
February 19, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON – As they did last year, the New Democrat Coalition on Thursday endorsed the reintroduced H.R. 1, the For the People Act. H.R. 1 is a sweeping campaign finance and election reform bill that will make it easier for Americans to vote, end the dominance of money... Read More

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Miners from COVID-19 Exposure
Bipartisan Bill to Protect Miners from COVID-19 Exposure
February 12, 2021
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – This week, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Mark Warner, D-Va., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., introduced the bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 Mine Worker Protection Act.  The legislation requires the U.S.... Read More

Black-Owned Businesses Lack Resources Amid Pandemic
Black-Owned Businesses Lack Resources Amid Pandemic
February 12, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The pandemic has made clear that broadband access goes hand-in-hand with economic opportunity, exposing the inequities and lack of resources for black-owned businesses across the country, according to Commissioner Geoffrey Starks of the Federal Communications Commission. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, black business... Read More

Census Bureau Says States Won’t See Data Needed for Redistricting Until Late September
Census Bureau Says States Won’t See Data Needed for Redistricting Until Late September
February 12, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - There's no question that the once-every-10-year process of redistricting is off to a slow start.  Though the U.S. Census Bureau ended its collection of data for the 2020 census on Oct. 15, 2020, it missed the December statutory deadline for the delivery of apportionment... Read More

Blockchain Could Move Cryptocurrency to Pivotal Place in Economies
Blockchain Could Move Cryptocurrency to Pivotal Place in Economies
February 12, 2021
by Reece Nations

Cryptocurrencies have the potential to decentralize systems of commerce across the world, leading to vast peer-to-peer markets absent of manipulation.   In order for this to come to fruition, Sheila Warren, head of data, blockchain and digital assets and member of the executive committee at the World... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top