Center for American Progress

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The Center for American Progress is a think tank founded in 2003 by John Podesta, as an organization dedicated to progressive ideas and action.[1]

"Who we are"

According to the organization's website[1]:

The Center for American Progress is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action. We combine bold policy ideas with a modern communications platform to help shape the national debate, expose the hollowness of conservative governing philosophy, and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter.
CAP is designed to provide long-term leadership and support to the progressive movement. Our ability to develop thoughtful policy proposals and engage in the war of ideas with conservatives is unique and effective.
Our policy experts cover a wide range of issue areas, and often work across disciplines to tackle complex, interrelated issues such as national security, energy, and climate change. This year, we are pushing to keep four leading issues at the center of the national debate:
  • Restoring America's global leadership to make America more secure and build a better world.
  • Seizing the energy opportunity to create a clean, innovation-led economy that supports a sustainable environment.
  • Creating progressive growth that's robust and widely shared, and restoring economic opportunity for all.
  • Delivering universal health care so that quality, affordable health services are available to all Americans.


Since the advent of the Obama administration CAP is often regarded as the most influential think tank in the US[1];

Through dialogue with leaders, thinkers, and citizens, we explore the vital issues facing America and the world. We develop a point of view and take a stand. We then build on that and develop bold new ideas.
We shape the national debate. We share our point of view with everyone who can put our ideas into practice and effect positive change. That means online, on campus, in the media, on the shop floor, in faith communities, and in the boardroom. Our progressive partners—including the CAP Action Fund—take our ideas to Congress and statehouses.

Infiltrating the Obama administration

Mark Rudd was a leader of the '60s mass radical organisation Students for a Democratic Society and its terrorist splinter group-Weather Underground Organization.

Rudd claims that the Center for American Progress serves as a "government in waiting" for the Obama administration.

In 2007 Mark Rudd served on the board of the Movement for a Democratic Society, which is the parent body of Progressives for Obama, the leading leftist umbrella group behind Obama's presidential campaign.

Progressives for Obama was designed to unite radicals behind the Obama campaign, defend Obama from attack and "explain" Obama's positions to radicals who don't understand his subtle approach to socialism. Rudd was also a Progressives for Obama endorser.

Movement for a Democratic Society unites leaders of the four major Marxist organisations backing Obama-Democratic Socialists of America, Communist Party USA, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Movement for a Democratic Society also groups together many former leaders of both the Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground Organization-several of who-Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Carl Davidson and Mike Klonsky know Barack Obama personally.

Rudd posted an article on the Movement for a Democratic Society aligned The Rag Blog, November 27 2008, just after the election, when many "progressives" were alarmed at some of Obama's "moderate" appointments.

Rudd's purpose was to calm his wavering radical friends. To assure them that Obama was on their side, but must work tactically to achieve his radical goals.

He also specifically urged his comrades to watch the Center for American Progress.

If you're anything like me, your inbox fills up daily with the cries and complaints of lefties. Just the mere mention of the names Hillary Clinton and Lawrence Summers alone conjure up a litany of horrendous right-wingers appointed to top level positions.
Betrayal is the name of the game.
But wait a second. Let's talk about a few things:
  • Obama is a very strategic thinker. He knew precisely what it would take to get elected and didn't blow it...But he also knew that what he said had to basically play to the center to not be run over by the press, the Republicans, scare centrist and cross-over voters away. He made it.
So he has a narrow mandate for change, without any direction specified. What he's doing now is moving on the most popular issues -- the environment, health care, and the economy. He'll be progressive on the environment because that has broad popular support; health care will be extended to children, then made universal, but the medical, pharmaceutical, and insurance corporations will stay in place...the economic agenda will stress stimulation from the bottom sometimes and handouts to the top at other times. It will be pragmatic...On foreign policy and the wars and the use of the military there will be no change at all. That's what keeping Gates at the Pentagon and Clinton at State and not prosecuting the torturers is saying.
And never, never threaten the military budget. That will unite a huge majority of congress against him.
And I agree with this strategy. Anything else will court sure defeat. Move on the stuff you can to a small but significant extent, gain support and confidence. Leave the military alone because they're way too powerful. For now, until enough momentum is raised. By the second or third year of this recession, when stimulus is needed at the bottom, people may begin to discuss cutting the military budget if security is being increased through diplomacy and application of nascent international law.
  • Obama plays basketball. I'm not much of an athlete, barely know the game, but one thing I do know is that you have to be able to look like you're doing one thing but do another. That's why all these conservative appointments are important: the strategy is feint to the right, move left. Any other strategy invites sure defeat. It would be stupid to do otherwise in this environment.
  • Look to the second level appointments. There's a whole govt. in waiting that Podesta has at the Center for American Progress. They're mostly progressives, I'm told (except in military and foreign policy). Cheney was extremely effective at controlling policy by putting his people in at second-level positions.

Radical personnel

In 2008 Van Jones, later Obama "Green Jobs" Czar, was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress[2].

Obama administration appointments

Board of directors

CAP Action Fund

CAP Trustees

CAP Staff

Executive Committee

Senior Staff

Distinguished Senior Fellow


Artist in Residence

Affiliated Scholars

California Office

Campus Progress


Development & Strategic Planning

Domestic Policy

Economic Policy

Energy Policy

Enough Project


External Affairs



National Security

Online Communications

External links