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 WarrenProgressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel Biden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona 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 PelosiUS praises British ban on China's Huawei after pressure campaign Voter fraud charges filed against GOP Rep. Steve Watkins Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel 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 PressleyOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue MORE (Mass.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Analysis: 23 million families could face eviction by October due to pandemic Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Democrats see victory in Trump culture war The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue 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.”

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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-CortezIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez fires back after Trump says she's 'not talented in many ways' Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey 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 GillibrandBiden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona Democrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos Democratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights MORE (D-N.Y.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law Biden campaign adopts carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan  121 University of Washington students test positive for coronavirus 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 SandersBiden aspires to become America's auto-pen president Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law 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 BidenBiden campaign slams Trump's Rose Garden event as 'sad affair' New shutdowns add to Trump woes CNN cuts away from Trump's 'campaign-type' Rose Garden speech 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.