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Progressives See Influence Of Elizabeth Warren's Populist Economics In State Of The Union

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Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said Wednesday that President Barack Obama's announcement during Tuesday night's State of the Union address that he intends to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors demonstrates that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was "right all along," that a populist message is a winning one for Democrats.

In a call with reporters and progressive candidates for Congress, Green linked Obama's planned executive action to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour to Warren, a favorite of the progressive movement.

"President Obama is taking steps to sound more like Elizabeth Warren," Green said. "It's a good thing for America, and a great thing for Democrats on the ballot this year."

Warren told The Huffington Post Tuesday that raising the minimum wage is "the least we can do."

State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Pa.), who is vying for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania's 13th District, said on the call that he was "very excited" when the president discussed the minimum wage.

"No one should have to live in poverty in the richest nation in the world," Leach said.

Green said that progressive candidates from states such as Wisconsin, Kentucky, Maine, Pennsylvania and Iowa, among others, are planning grassroots events to demand that Republicans support a bill currently before Congress, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), to raise the federal minimum wage.

Democratic Senate candidate Shenna Bellows, who is running to unseat Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), said she was pleased with Obama's action on the minimum wage.

"He was finally being bold and standing up on the minimum wage, climate change and health care," Bellows said.

Citing her background as executive director of Maine's American Civil Liberties Union, Bellows added that she wished Obama had "committed to real privacy reform."

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