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Days of Moderate Democratic Party 'Are Over,' Analyst Declares

Van Jones says Sunday that Calif. Senator-elect Kamala Harris 'is going to become a big deal'

Kamala Harris, pictured here in 2010, whom political commentator Van Jones said "is going to become a big deal." (Photo: Steve Rhodes/flickr/cc)

What can Democrats expect from their party going forward?

According to political commentator Van Jones, it's a moment when the progressive wing of the party is going to rise.

Speaking on Sunday to CNN, Jones told host Jake Tapper that the future stars of the party may be surprising, and pointed to Senator-elect for California Kamala Harris as an example.

Harris, Jones, said, "is unreal."

"She's going to be out there defending those DREAMer kids because they're a big part of her constituency, but she's got African-American roots. She's got Asian roots. She's female. She's tough. She's smart. She's going to become a big deal," he said.

Indeed, The Hill described Harris, currently the state's attorney general, as among the "10 incoming lawmakers to watch."

"She's also already the focus of speculation as a potential 2020 White House candidate, and is setting herself up to be a chief critic of [President-elect Donald] Trump," the political site wrote.

Another Democratic lawmakers Jones sees coming to the forefront is Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who in Nov. announced his bid to head the DNC.

Ellison, he said, "is somebody who represents the progressive wing of the party."

Hillary Clinton, Jones he said, didn't pick a progressive running mate, instead choosing Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, "which made it much harder to heal those wounds with the [Sen. Bernie] Sanders and [Sen.] Elizabeth Warren wing."

Ellison, in contrast, represents that wing very well, Jones said.

"The Clinton days are over," he added. "This idea that we're going to be this moderate party that's going to move in this direction, that's going to throw blacks under the bus for criminal justice reform, or for prison expansion, that's going to throw workers under the bus for NAFTA—those days are over."

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