U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI-D) published, in February 2017, "Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy."
Here it's reviewed by Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker.
And, here you can order it from Amazon, where it ranks 2,722. You bet, that's best-seller territory.
So, power watchers should be asking: What is Whitehouse going after?
My hunch: Being positioned as the savior of planet earth and the Democratic Party.
From the get-go, Whitehouse has been focused on the environment. It was he, while Rhode Island Attorney General, who initiated the amazing state-level lead paint public nuisance class action lawsuit. That spread to myriad other states including Ohio and California.
The concept of applying traditional product liability law to public policy matters was novel at the time. It got attention and so did he. Eventually the RI Supreme Court threw out the litigation. But Whitehouse was already on his way as junior U.S. Senator.
With conservatives gunning to gut environmental measures, including those focused on reducing the pace of climate change, Whitehouse is also again getting attention. Since RI is the ocean state and is already feeling the effects of rising sea levels, Whitehouse's environmental push is in the public interest. This could be Mr. Smith Goes to Washington stuff.
And with the leadership vacuum in the Democratic party, he has a good shot at gaining significant power. Like John F. Kennedy, Whitehouse has an elite pedigree. That means he can navigate toward the top of politics with the ease, confidence and class of JFK. We are ready for that after just a bit more of two months of Trumpism.
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