CNN political analyst Van Jones may have cast aside his political beliefs for a moment on New Year’s Eve, but that didn’t stop the viral star from providing State of the Union host Jake Tapper with a healthy dose of reality on New Year’s Day. The former green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama appeared on the Sunday morning program to discuss, among other things, the future of the Democratic party and who would lead it during President-elect Donald Trump’s coming administration. As for former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Jones doesn’t see a part for her.
“You have to understand, I think that the Clinton days are over,” said Jones. “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, and for prison expansion, that’s going to throw workers under the bus for NAFTA, those days are over. You can’t run and hide. You’ve got to be an authentic person from the beginning. You’re going to be judged based on your authentic commitment to the actual base of this party, and if you don’t do that, you can’t win.”
Though harsh, Jones’ words find plenty of evidence in Clinton’s stunning loss to Trump in the so-called “Rust Belt.” Not to mention the presence of newcomers like the incoming senator from California, Kamala Harris, and old hands like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, whom Jones aligns with the party’s progressive wing. “You also,” he added, “have to remember that Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are going to be there on the Senate floor every day. That’s going to be an important part.”