Tim Fernholz at The American Prospect picked up an interesting scenario within Politico's "Karl Rove, Republican party plot to reclaim power" story.
Fernholz's story at TAPPED ("Is CAP's John Podesta Advising a Conservative Think Tank?") looks into the part of the Politico article where two Republican organizers went to "pick the brain" of John Podesta, the former Clinton chief of staff and founder of the Center for American Progress.
CAP spokesperson Anna Soellner told me the two Republicans who met Podesta were conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin and former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman. The two founded the American Action Forum and the American Action Network, a split-institution modeled on CAP's dual identity as policy-focused think tank and an aggressive, communications-focused "action fund." The new organization has a similar mission to CAP: Becoming a center of policy and politics for conservatives, a kind of administration-in-exile.
And Fernholz spoke with Holtz-Eakin during today's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission who had this to say about his discussions with Podesta:
"[We talked about] specifics about areas where we could work together," Holtz-Eakin says. "They are center-left, we are center-right. One of the things that is missing [in Washington] is principled agreement and principled disagreement. It would be nice to fix that."
Is the Center for American Progress center-left?
The evidence doesn't look good among progressives, but read Fernholz's full piece here for the entire account and possible backlash.