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Report Warns of Party's Leftward Turn

In a report issued yesterday, two strategists closely aligned with the Democratic Leadership Council and the Clinton administration argue that Democrats cannot win future national elections by simply turning out their base vote.  Instead, the authors write, the Democrats need to adopt policies that reach so-called swing voters who are not strongly aligned with either party.

Thomas B. Edsall writes about the memo, authored by William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck, in today's Washington Post and notes that the report serves as a sharp rebuke to those on the party's left who believe the way back to the presidency and congressional majorities is by "sharp ideological contrasts and energizing the partisan base."

The battle between the DLC and the liberal left has been raging for more than a decade, but the 2004 losses intensified it. Earlier this year, the influential and widely read liberal blog Daily Kos declared its intention to make the DLC "radioactive."  Markos Moulitsas, the site's founder and author of the post, went on to describe the DLC as "an aider and abettor of Right-wing smear attacks against Democrats."

Several Democratic politicians with an eye on the 2008 presidential race have ties to the DLC, including Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, DLC chairman, and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is heading up the group's "American Dream Initiative." 

Liberals have groused about Sen. Clinton's role with the group. But is her "apostasy" enough to turn the left against her should she run for the White House in three years time?

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 7, 2005; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party  
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