Steyer Skeptics

Tom Steyer / AP

Tom Steyer / AP

It seems that even some Democrats aren’t buying their own spin that left-wing eco-billionaire Tom Steyer is fundamentally differently than (and morally superior to) the evil Koch brothers. And they’re not so sure that a super rich environmentalist would make a good spokesman for the party, either. The National Journal reports:

Steyer’s persona, the skeptics feel, opens Democrats up to charges of hypocrisy, and leaves too much of the party’s profile in the hands of a man who has been popularly elected to exactly nothing.

“Who nominated him to speak for anything?” said Douglas Schoen, a Democratic strategist and former adviser to President Clinton. “He’s entitled to make contributions, but the idea that he would step into the spotlight is just ridiculous.” …

[S]ome party strategists are skeptical that that line will play with independent voters. “I don’t think it will work for Democrats to claim that their billionaires are pure at heart while conservative billionaires only have selfish motivates,” said Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute and founder of the Democratic Leadership Council. “That might work with partisans and true believers, but I don’t think that’s going to play well with the American public.”

Steyer has pledged to spend as much as $100 million supporting Democratic candidates who oppose construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, something that is supported by more than 60 percent of Americans, including almost half of Democrats.