Joe Biden won't be sworn in for another 64 days, but the President-elect is already under pressure from activist groups to bring progressive leaders into his administration -- and close its doors to establishment figures with cozy relationships to Wall Street, defense contractors and the fossil fuel industry.
The pressure campaign has played out in public, with the release of open letters and lists of acceptable candidates for top Cabinet positions, via private calls with potential nominees, and on social media, where progressive groups have warned the incoming administration against reneging on Biden's promise to forge an aggressive new path in the fight against climate change.
Top progressives are, for now, sounding a cautiously optimistic tone following the release of Biden's "agency review teams" and his quick decision to name longtime adviser Ron Klain, who has built bonds across ideological lines, as his White House chief of staff. But there are potential fights on the horizon and the uncertainty surrounding control of the Senate could further complicate a detente that has largely carried over from the campaign. If Democrats fail to win both run-off elections in Georgia early next year, the body will remain under the control of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- and everything from Biden's legislative agenda to his Cabinet nominations would likely face partisan blockades.
There are also concerns among some progressives over whether the coalition has the capacity to speak with one voice on a broad range of issues, including arenas where it is less organized and engaged, like national security.
"That's one of the growing pains for the progressive movement, which is how do we organize to maximize our power? You have to do that by building collaboration," said Nina Turner, a former top aide on Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. "I just don't think we do that enough, not yet anyway. I'm sure that all of the different progressive groups probably have their list, and have been thinking about it, but we would be stronger if we came together and decided on a list and then went forward that way."