Three things to watch for at Netroots Nation

Three things to watch for at Netroots Nation
© Aaron Schwartz

Progressives will gather in Philadelphia this weekend for the annual Netroots Nation convention.

Attendees will hear from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter knocks Zuckerberg for invoking her father while defending Facebook Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors MORE (D-Mass.) and several other Democratic presidential candidates, along with a host of progressive stars from Congress.

Here are three things to watch.

Will Pelosi take any heat?

Days after a series of tense exchanges between Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Mattis responds to Trump criticism: 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals' MORE (D-Calif.) and high-profile freshman lawmakers in her caucus, three members of the “squad” are set to speak at Netroots.

Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid MORE (Mass.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Mich.) will each hold court at Netroots in various events. Pressley will speak Friday at a panel on “A Progressive Vision for 2020 and Beyond,” while Omar and Tlaib will speak Saturday on the topic of “Making Herstory: The Women who are Shifting the Balance of Power in Washington.”


The lawmakers are almost certain to be asked about one of the No. 1 topics this week in Washington: the war of words between Pelosi and freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Booker endorses Lipinski challenger Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings MORE (D-N.Y.), the fourth member of the squad.

Pelosi admonished lawmakers during a closed-door caucus meeting this week, pressing them to keep their disputes to themselves. On Thursday, she made it clear that a tweet, since deleted, by Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff had motivated her speech. The tweet had ripped centrist Democrats, comparing them to segregationist Southern lawmakers.

Ocasio-Cortez and her allies feel they’ve been picked on by Pelosi, who has gone after the Green New Deal climate plan and suggested the freshmen do not speak for the full caucus. On Wednesday evening, after Pelosi’s scolding, Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post there has been an “explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”

Pelosi has signaled a desire to move on, saying she had nothing more to say on Thursday.

On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez’s closest allies will be speaking to their core audience. Will they look to get beyond the ruptures, or will there be more criticisms of Pelosi and centrist Democrats?

Could this be the closest thing to a climate debate?

The Democratic National Committee has yet to agree to calls for a stand-alone climate debate, and has forbidden candidates from engaging in any unsanctioned debate on the topic. While the Democratic Party may decide in August to reverse that position, as of now Democrats have not been given a significant platform to compare their climate action policies.

That could change this weekend. Four 2020 hopefuls, Warren, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate CNN catches heat for asking candidates about Ellen, Bush friendship at debate MORE, will take the stage to talk about key issues for progressive Democrats.

Polls show climate change is a top voting issue for Democrats, rising in the ranks near health care and the economy.

Warren and Inslee have both drafted comprehensive climate policy plans.

Inslee is running his campaign primarily on climate action and will definitely aim to make the topic the forefront of his talking points. Warren has released a number of policy proposals that touch on climate and environmental issues, including her $2 trillion green manufacturing plan and public lands proposal.

The event could also give Gillibrand and Castro the opportunity to better discuss their visions on stopping global warming.

Who emerges as the liberal favorite?

Warren will be on familiar ground Saturday, speaking at the final keynote speech of the event. Her appearance before the crowd will be especially to her advantage with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE (I-Vt.) skipping this year.

Warren is the only top-five polling candidate committed to attending, and as such is likely to get the lion’s share of attention at the event.

She’s been rising in polls, just reported strong second-quarter fundraising totals and is hoping for a breakthrough at the next debate. In Philadelphia, she won’t have to share attention with her chief competitors, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump accuses Biden of 'quid pro quo' hours after Mulvaney remarks Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense MORE, who is leading in polls. He’s not expected to attend and is viewed with skepticism by some of the Netroots Nation crowd.

Castro and Gillibrand, fresh off strong performances at the presidential primary debates in June, will look to highlight their policies and get a boost from their appearances. Castro in particular has some momentum after the last debate.

Inslee, who is also speaking Saturday, is expected to focus on his climate agenda, an issue likely to be well received by the audience.