Democrats dis DLC convention

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    The Dems keeop moving further to the left and now they give a one finger salute to the center

    Democrats dis DLC convention

    By: David Paul Kuhn
    Jul 28, 2007 09:00 AM EST

    It's a Democratic prom without a king, a queen or really any of the popular kids, only the star quarterback of yesteryear. Three hundred and fifty politicians will be present, key governors to ambitious state legislators, from almost every state.

    But none of the eight Democratic contenders for the White House are making time for the Democratic Leadership Council convention Sunday and Monday in Nashville, although DLC staffers sought for weeks to woo the candidates.

    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will be homebound and resting on Sunday, instead of seeking allies at the coalition that is behind the only two-term Democratic president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    John Edwards, struggling in third place, is campaigning over the weekend in New Hampshire.

    The candidates' brush-off is especially noticeable because five Democratic presidential hopefuls found time this week to speak at the national convention of College Democrats in Columbia, S.C.

    While no campaign will say it for the record, the strategic calculus is simple: Student partisans are activists. Activists will volunteer in primary races. The candidates, therefore, dare not snub the students.

    On the other hand, the adult politicians of the DLC can be blown off. Ergo: the democratization of primaries.

    The founder of the DLC says the Democratic no-shows are a matter of location (Tennessee is not a swing state) and the nature of primary contests (campaign for the flank, not the center, of the party).

    "During the primaries, you try to hit the early states, over and over again; you focus on interest groups," DLC founder Al From said in an interview Friday afternoon.

    But he warned that the winning candidate would eventually have to adopt DLC-style thinking.

    To capture the White House, From said, "you have to talk to the whole country. You win presidential elections by being bigger than your party."

    Obama will speak at a middle school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Monday, arguably missing an opportunity to out-centrist the centrist in the race, Hillary Clinton.

    In perhaps the best excuse of the lot, Edwards will miss the convention on Monday because he will be celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife at their home in North Carolina.

    Edwards has also made the least effort of the front-runners to court centrists, campaigning as the liberal's liberal in the race.

    But From said many of Edwards' ideas are less liberal than they might seem.

    "Edwards has all this populist rhetoric. But his ideas could have been taken from a centrist think tank; in fact, many of them were from us," From told reporters over a breakfast of eggs and roasted tomatoes earlier this week.

    He said DLC ideas had triumphed.

    "You've got to look at the substance. I don't see people going back on fiscal discipline. I haven't heard one candidate want to repeal welfare reform," he said.

    "People want to expand our ideas. ... I see Barack Obama running on themes that weren't even talked about in the Democratic Party until the DLC was around -- opportunity and responsibility."

    The lack of a single presidential candidate at the convention is nonetheless striking.


    for the complete article

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0707/5147.html
     

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