What Could Have Been.
The articles are interesting, especially if it is true that Plouffe and Axelrod were driving forces in bringing in Emmanuel. As always, I think reality is somewhat muzzy and complex. As early as 2007, progressives like Krugman were arguing that Obama was not an economic progressive like Edwards and that he was fairly close in philosophy to Clinton. While true, as I argued at the time, Obama had the advantage of being unknown so that those of us who knew what we didn't like could hope for the better.
There are other complications as well, starting with the fact that there is no "progressive" movement in any coherent or organized sense -- merely a broad set of people who believe we need limits on corporate power and a greater role for government in protecting individual interests. This makes it hard to "empower" the movement.
I will hopefully have time to follow up on this later.