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Adam Schiff, chief antagonist of Trump, questions life after Trump

That could change if Mr Newsom names a short-term placeholder instead or if Senior State Senator Dianne Feinstein, 87, retires. Mr Schiff has positioned himself to embark on a statewide race in the country’s most populous state, with his big campaign war chest and highly recognizable name.

As extremes in his party struggle to determine what went wrong with voter turnout programs, digital data mining and the party’s ideological orientation, Mr. Schiff’s take on the outcome of the elections is pretty straightforward. The 2020 competition, he argued, was a referendum on Mr. Trump, hosted by a historically polarized country. Mr Biden won the referendum, but Democrats lost House seats they won in 2018, where Mr Trump remained popular.

In the wake of the election, he argued that Democrats should follow Mr Biden’s lead and redouble their focus on the economy, prioritizing job creation, reducing healthcare costs for health and by offering coherent responses to the forces of globalization and automation that have contributed to the explosion of income inequalities and left millions of unemployed or underemployed.

“We are the party of working families, but not all working families recognize it,” he said. “This is the first challenge.”

The second, he said, concerned the dangerous divergence in U.S. information flows, which Schiff said reinforced divisions that prevent the kind of consensus needed to resolve the country’s most pressing problems.

Mr. Schiff, a member of the moderate New Democrats despite his fiery leadership in Trump’s resistance, praised both extremes of the Democratic caucus. He called Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed progressive whose democratic socialist views have been militarized by the right, “enormously talented”, suggesting that Democrats have benefited from her work in motivating young voters. He said more moderate members like Reps Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia had “unlocked the key to victory in really tough parts of the country.”

“We are a big enough party not only to welcome them all, but also to take advantage of their talents and experience,” he said.