Clinton talking to progressive economists

Joseph Stiglitz

I don’t know why any of you would be surprised by this. Clearly, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain by running a populist campaign (which is what she did the second half in 2008) and she’s smart enough to know that people are hurting:

In the run up to her presidential campaign launch, expected Sunday, Hillary Clinton has been working to put together an economic agenda that incorporates progressive ideas on economic inequality.

Clinton’s team has been making a concerted effort to reach out to progressives economists and activists, and last week joined a meeting on inequality organized by economist Joseph Stiglitz and the Roosevelt Institute, a progressive think tank, msnbc has learned.

The Washington, D.C., meeting included officials from the labor unions SEIU and AFL-CIO, congressional staffers, representatives from advocacy groups like Color of Change, American Women, and the Black Civic Engagement Fund, and others, including former Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg.

The aim was “creating an agenda to combat inequality that goes further than anything we’ve seen so far and rewrites the rules of how our economy and markets are structured,” Roosevelt Institute spokesperson Marcus Mrowka told msnbc.

After the meeting, Stiglitz held a private dinner with three Clinton aides at the restaurant Poste. Clinton was represented by speechwriter Dan Schwerin and Anne O’Leary, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who also works on a Clinton Foundation-related initiative. Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong was also in attendance.

Dan Geldon, an adviser to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom some liberals are pushing to run against Clinton, attended the larger meeting, but did not attend the dinner.

Stiglitz is influential among progressives, who view him as one of the Democratic Party’s counterweights to the influence of former Bill Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Clinton herself has earned criticism from some on the left for ties to Wall Street and fears she would follow in Rubin’s footsteps.