Democratic Leadership Council

The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) was a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation[1] founded in 1985 that, upon its formation, argued the United States Democratic Party should shift away from the leftward turn it took in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. One of its main purposes was to win back white middle class voters with ideas that addressed their concerns.[2] The DLC hailed President Bill Clinton as proof of the viability of Third Way politicians and as a DLC success story.

The DLC's affiliated think tank is the Progressive Policy Institute. Democrats who adhere to the DLC's philosophy often call themselves New Democrats. This term is also used by other groups who have similar views on where the party should go in the future, like NDN[3] and Third Way.[4]

On February 7, 2011, Politico reported that the DLC would dissolve, and would do so as early as the following week.[5] On July 5 of that year, DLC founder Al From announced in a statement on the organization's website that the historical records of the DLC have been purchased by the Clinton Foundation.[6] The DLC's last chairman was former Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee, and its vice chair was Senator Thomas R. Carper of Delaware. Its CEO was Bruce Reed.

Founding and early history

The DLC was founded by Al From in 1985 in the wake of Democratic candidate and former Vice President Walter Mondale's landslide defeat by incumbent President Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. Other founders include Democratic Governors Chuck Robb (Virginia), Bruce Babbitt (Arizona) and Lawton Chiles (Florida), Senator Sam Nunn (Georgia) and Representative Dick Gephardt (Missouri).[7]

The model on which the Democratic Leadership Council was built was the Coalition for a Democratic Majority. Founded by "Scoop" Jackson Democrats in response to George McGovern's massive loss to Richard Nixon in 1972, the CDM was dismayed by two presidential election losses and the organization's goal was to steer the party away from the New Left influence that had permeated the Democratic party since the late 1960s and back to the policies that made the FDR coalition electorally successful for close to 40 years. Although Senator Jackson declined to endorse the organization, believing the timing was inappropriate,[8] future DLC founders and early members were involved, such as Sen. Sam Nunn and Sen. Charles S. Robb.

In the early 1980s, some of the youngest members of Congress, including Representative William Gray of Pennsylvania, Tim Wirth of Colorado, Al Gore of Tennessee, Richard Gephardt of Missouri, and Gillis Long of Louisiana helped found the House Democratic Caucus' Committee on Party Effectiveness. Formed by Long and his allies after the 1980 presidential election, the CPE hoped to become the main vehicle for the rejuvenation of the Democratic Party.[9] The CPE has been called "the first organizational embodiment of the New Democrats."[10]

The DLC started as a group of forty-three elected officials and two staffers, Al From and Will Marshall, and shared their predecessor's goal of reclaiming the Democratic Party from the left's influence prevalent since the late 1960s. Their original focus was to secure the 1988 presidential nomination of a southern conservative Democrat such as Nunn or Robb. After the success of Jesse Jackson, a vocal critic of the DLC, in winning a number of southern states in 1988's "Super Tuesday" primary, the group began to shift its focus towards influencing public debate. In 1989, Marshall founded the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank which has since turned out policy blueprints for the DLC. Its most extensive series of papers is the series of New Economy Policy Reports.


It is the opinion of the DLC that economic populism is not politically viable, citing the defeated Presidential campaigns of Senator George McGovern in 1972 and Vice-President Walter Mondale in 1984. The DLC states that it "seeks to define and galvanize popular support for a new public philosophy built on progressive ideals, mainstream values, and innovative, non-bureaucratic, market-based solutions."[11]

The DLC has supported welfare reform, such as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996,[12] President Clinton's expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit,[13] and the creation of AmeriCorps.[14] The DLC supports expanded health insurance via tax credits for the uninsured and opposes plans for single-payer universal health care. The DLC supports universal access to preschool, charter schools, and measures to allow a greater degree of choice in schooling (though not school vouchers), and supports the No Child Left Behind Act. The DLC supports both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

The DLC has both supported and criticized the policies of President George W. Bush. The DLC opposed the partial birth abortion ban, the expiration of the 1994 assault weapon ban, the Clear Skies Initiative, and what they perceived as a lack of funding of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. In 2001 the DLC endorsed the idea of tax cuts for the middle class, but opposed the Bush tax cut since it favored the wealthy and was perceived by the DLC as fiscally irresponsible. The organization supports some forms of Social Security privatization but opposes financing private retirement accounts with large amounts of borrowed money.

In 2006, the DLC also urged Senate Democrats to vote against Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court "on principle", but firmly opposed any filibuster of the nominee.[15]

2003 invasion of Iraq

The DLC gave strong support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prior to the war, Marshall Wittmann, Sen. Joe Lieberman's press secretary and a senior fellow with Will Marshall's DLC-affiliated Progressive Policy Institute think tank, co-signed a letter to President Bush from the Project for the New American Century endorsing military action against Saddam Hussein. During the 2004 Primary campaign, Wittmann attacked Presidential candidate Howard Dean as an out-of-touch liberal because of Dean's anti-war stance. Wittmann dismissed other critics of the Iraq invasion such as filmmaker Michael Moore as members of the "loony left".[16]

Even as domestic support for the Iraq War plummeted in 2004 and 2005, DLC co-founder Will Marshall called upon Democrats to balance their criticism of Bush's handling of the Iraq War with praise for the president's achievements and cautioned "Democrats need to be choosier about the political company they keep, distancing themselves from the pacifist and anti-American fringe."[17]


The DLC has become unpopular within many progressive and liberal political circles such as the organizations Democracy for America, and the blog MyDD.

Some critics claim the strategy of triangulation between the political left and right to gain broad appeal is fundamentally flawed. In the long run, so opponents say, this strategy has resulted in concession after concession to the opposition and promotion of a free-market economic agenda favorable to corporations and entrepreneurs, including those seeking to privatize public services, while alienating traditionally-allied voters and working-class people.

Other critics cite that the low turnout of organized labor in the 1994 election after Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law resulted in the Republican Party gaining a majority in the 1994 House of Representatives elections and 1994 Senate elections that would last for twelve years until 2006.

Author and columnist David Sirota has strongly criticized the DLC, who he claims have sold out to corporate interests. In 1980, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) founded the Democratic Business Council to compete with the Republican National Committee for donations from businesses and corporations. Sirota has also argued that the term "centrist" is a misnomer in that these politicians are out of touch with public opinion. Sirota's article "The Democrats' Da Vinci Code" argues that truly progressive politicians are more successful in so-called "red states" than the mainstream media have previously reported.[18]

Others contend that the DLC's distaste for what they refer to as "economic class warfare" has allowed the language of populism to be monopolized by the right-wing. Many argue that the Democrats' abandonment of populism to the right-wing, shifting the form of that populism from the economic realm to the "culture wars", has been critical for Republican dominance of Middle America. (See, for instance, Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas?.)

Still other critics believe the DLC has essentially become an influential corporate and right-wing implant in the Democratic party. Marshall Wittmann, a former senior fellow at the DLC, former legislative director for the Christian Coalition, and former communications director for Republican senator John McCain, and Will Marshall, a vocal supporter of the war in Iraq, are among those associated with the DLC who have right-wing credentials.

Finally, detractors of the DLC note that the DLC has received funding from the right-wing Bradley Foundation as well as from oil companies, military contractors, and various Fortune 500 companies. However, the DNC proper has also benefited from funding by corporations like these via the Democratic Business Council.

Electoral and political success

A Gallup poll of Democratic National Committee members (in February 2005) showed that, by more than two-to-one (52%-23%) the DNC members wanted the party to become more moderate, rather than more liberal. That view was shared by Democrats nationally; in a January 2005 survey, Gallup found that 59% of Democrats wanted the party to take a more moderate course.[19]

Although progressive critics argue the DLC's centrism has led the Democratic party to multiple electoral defeats, DLC candidates, office holders, and their moderate policies have been generally favored by the American electorate. When the Democratic party won majority status in the Senate in 1986, it was done with centrist and DLC affiliated candidates Barbara Mikulski (a participant in the DLC's National Service Tour), Harry Reid (who recently said Democrats have to "swallow their pride" and move toward the middle), Conservative Democrat Richard Shelby, DLCer Bob Graham, DLCer Kent Conrad, and DLCer Tom Daschle. When Bill Clinton, former Chairman of the DLC, made up his mind to run for the presidency in 1992, the DLC spotted the right candidate to promote its mission.[20] Bill Clinton ran his 1992 and 1996 campaigns as a New Democrat[21][22] and (prior to Obama's 2012 presidential re-election) became the only twice elected Democratic president since President Franklin D. Roosevelt. New Democrats made significant gains in both the 2006 midterms and the 2008 elections.[23] While explicitly denying any direct connection to the DLC in 2003,[24] in May 2009 President Obama reportedly declared to the House New Democrat Coalition, "I am a New Democrat."[25]

Some political analysts like Kenneth Baer contend the DLC embodies the spirit of Truman-Kennedy era Democrats and were vital to the Democratic party's resurgence after the election losses of liberals George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis.[26][27] Simon Rosenberg, a long time Democratic campaign operative and strategist, said recently, "there is a strong argument to be made that the DLC has been the most influential think tank in American politics over the past generation... the DLC helped set in motion a period of party modernization that has helped the Democratic Party overcome the potent and ultimately ruinous rise of the New Right."[28]

2004 Presidential primary

In May 2003, as the Democratic primary of the 2004 presidential campaign was starting to pick up, the organization voiced concern that the Democratic contenders might be taking positions too far left of the mainstream general electorate. Early front-runner Howard Dean, who attracted popular support due in large part to his anti-war views despite his reputation as a centrist governor of Vermont, was specifically criticized by DLC founder and CEO Al From. From's criticism of Dean was also likely due to the former governor's opposition to the Iraq War, which most party centrists, including From, endorsed. Dean's claim to hail "from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" (a phrase originally used by Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota) has been interpreted by some as subtle(?) criticism of the DLC and the New Democrats in general. Indeed, Dean once described the DLC as the "Republican wing of the Democratic Party." [29] The DLC countered that Dean represented the "McGovern-Mondale wing" of the Democratic Party, "defined principally by weakness abroad and elitist, interest-group liberalism at home."

Senator John Kerry won the Democratic primary and chose primary contender Senator John Edwards as his running mate. Both Senators were members of the Senate New Democrat Coalition, and the DLC anticipated that they would win the general election. In a March 3, 2004 dispatch, they suggested voters would appreciate Kerry's centrist viewpoints, imagining voters to say "If this is a waffle, bring on the syrup." [30]

2008 Presidential primary

The 2008 Democratic Primary pitted New York Senator Hillary Clinton, a prominent DLC member, against Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who had previously stated that his positions on NAFTA, the Iraq War and universal health care made him "an unlikely candidate for membership in the DLC."[31] However, President Obama has since surrounded himself with DLC members, appointing Clinton herself as Secretary of State. In May 2009, President Obama reportedly declared to the House New Democrat Coalition, the congressional arm of the DLC, "I am a New Democrat."[25] President Obama has also called himself a progressive, in addition to being endorsed by Howard Dean's progressive political action committee Democracy for America.[32]

Joe Lieberman, another notable member of the DLC, endorsed Republican Senator John McCain for the presidency in 2008, citing his agreement with McCain's stance on the War on Terrorism as the primary reason for his support.[33] Later in the campaign, Lieberman was mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential nominee for John McCain's ticket.[34] However, Lieberman denied any interest in this role[35] and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was ultimately selected to be McCain's running mate.


  • Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri (1985–1986) (House Minority Leader 1995–2003)
  • Fmr. Gov. Chuck Robb of Virginia (1986–1988) (Senator 1989-2001)
  • Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia (1988–1990)
  • Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas (1990–1991) (President 1993–2001)
  • Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana (1991–1993)
  • Rep. Dave McCurdy of Oklahoma (1993–1995)
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (1995–2001) (2000 Democratic Vice-presidential nominee)
  • Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana (2001–2005)
  • Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa (2005–2007)
  • Fmr. Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee (2007–2011)

(Titles listed are those held at time of assuming chair.)

Republican equivalent

On the Republican side of the aisle another centrist organization was founded by moderate and some left of center Republicans with the same purpose for the Republican Party. The Republican Leadership Council was founded by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and former Missouri Senator and Episcopal priest John Danforth.

See also


  1. ^ "About the Democratic Leadership Council". Democratic Leadership Council. 1 January 1995. Archived from the original on 20 November 2004. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  2. ^ Paul West (18 November 1991). "The numbers from Louisiana add up chillingly Duke's claim on white vote shows depth of discontent". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  3. ^ "NDN - A Progressive Think Tank and Advocacy Organization". NDN. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Third Way". Third Way. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  5. ^ Smith, Ben (7 February 2011). "Democratic Leadership Council will fold". Politico. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  6. ^ From, Al (5 July 2011). "Statement from DLC Founder Al From". Democratic Leadership Council. Archived from the original on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  7. ^ Rae, Nicol C. (1994). Southern Democrats. Oxford University Press. p. 113. ISBN 0-19-508709-7.
  8. ^ Decter, Midge (2002). "History and Culture: Breaking Away" (excerpt from memoir An Old Wife’s Tale: My Seven Decades in Love and War). Archived from the original on 4 June 2009 – via Hoover Digest. Hoover Institute.
  9. ^ Baer, Kenneth S. (2000). Reinventing democrats: the politics of liberalism from Reagan to Clinton. University Press of Kansas. p. 47. ISBN 9780700610099. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  10. ^ Jon F., Hale (1995). "The Making of the New Democrats". Political Science Quarterly. Academy of Political Science. 110 (2): 207–232. JSTOR 2152360.
  11. ^ "About the DLC: Where Ideas Happen". Democratic Leadership Council. 1 May 2009. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  12. ^ Marshall, Will (22 January 2002). "After Dependence". Blueprint Magazine. Democratic Leadership Council. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  13. ^ Hamond, M. Jeff; Hogan, Lyn A. (1 June 1995). "GOP Cuts in the EITC - Raising Taxes on the Working Poor". Democratic Leadership Council. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  14. ^ Marshall, Will; Magee, Marc Porter (23 May 2005). "Presentation to online edition of The AmeriCorps Experiment and The Future of National Service, May 23, 2005, PPI website". Progressive Policy Institute. Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  15. ^ "A Principled Stand On Alito". Democratic Leadership Council. 24 January 2006. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  16. ^ Wittmann, Marshall (7 October 2004). "Moose on the Loose". Blueprint Magazine. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  17. ^ Marshall, Will (23 July 2005). "Valuing Patriotism". Blueprint Magazine. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  18. ^ Sirota, David (8 December 2004). "The Democrats' Da Vinci Code". The American Prospect. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  19. ^ Balz, Dan (7 April 2005). "Survey Paints Portrait of Dean Supporters". Washington Post. p. A08. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  20. ^ Arin, Kubilay Yado (25 July 2013). Think Tanks: the Brain Trusts of US Foreign Policy. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9783658029357. Retrieved 4 December 2016 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ Clinton, Bill (25 July 2004). "Bill Clinton, New Democrat, book excerpt of MY LIFE, ,". Blueprint Magazine. ISBN 9781400030033. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  22. ^ Farrell, John Aloysius (3 December 1994). "Clinton seen returning to 'New Democrat' stance". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  23. ^ Tauscher, Ellen. "New Dems Continue Big Gains on Election Day". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  24. ^ "Not Corrupted by DLC, Says Obama". The Black Commentator. 19 June 2003. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  25. ^ a b Lee, Carol E.; Martin, Jonathan (10 March 2009). "Obama: 'I am a New Democrat'". Politico. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  26. ^ Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. 48. Congressional Quarterly Inc. 1990. Retrieved 4 December 2016 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ Keller, Morton (27 September 2007). America's Three Regimes: A New Political History. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 227. ISBN 9780198043577. Retrieved 4 December 2016 – via Google Books.
  28. ^ Rosenberg, Simon (11 March 2009). "Al From, the Old Warrior, Steps Down". NDN. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  29. ^ Klein, Joe (11 January 2004). "Will the Real Howard Dean Please Stand Up?". Time (magazine). Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  30. ^ "The Democrats Decide". New Dem Daily. 3 March 2004. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  31. ^ "Obama to Have Name Removed from DLC List,". The Black Commentator. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  32. ^ Clift, Eleanor (13 March 2009). "CLIFT: OBAMA'S PROGRESSIVE MOMENT". Newsweek. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  33. ^ Cillizza, Chris (16 December 2007). "Lieberman to Cross Aisle to Endorse McCain". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  34. ^ Kristol, William (19 November 2007). "Say It's So, Joe - Vice President Lieberman?". Weekly Standard. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  35. ^ Lucus, Fred (4 January 2008). "Lieberman: McCain Has 'Better Judgment' Than to Name Him VP". Cybercast News Service. Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2016.

External links

Al From

Al From (born May 31, 1943) is the founder and former CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council. His ideas and political strategies during the past quarter century played a central role in the resurgence of the modern Democratic Party. From is the author of The New Democrats and the Return to Power, released in December 2013.

Bob Graham

Daniel Robert Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician and author who served as the 38th governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States senator from Florida from 1987 to 2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in Coral Gables, Florida, Graham won election to the Florida Legislature after graduating from Harvard Law School. After serving in both houses of the Florida Legislature, Graham won the 1978 Florida gubernatorial election, and was reelected in 1982. In the 1986 Senate elections, Graham defeated incumbent Republican Senator Paula Hawkins. He helped found the Democratic Leadership Council and eventually became Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham ran for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out before the first primaries. He declined to seek reelection in 2004 and retired from the Senate.

Graham served as co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and as a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the CIA External Advisory Board. He works at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Florida. He also served as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism. Through the WMD policy center he advocates for the recommendations in the Commission's report, "World at Risk." In 2011, Graham published his first novel, the thriller The Keys to the Kingdom. He has also written three nonfiction books: Workdays: Finding Florida on the Job, Intelligence Matters, and America: The Owner's Manual.

Boll weevil (politics)

Boll weevils (beetles which feed on cotton buds) was an American political term used in the mid- and late-20th century to describe conservative Southern Democrats.

During and after the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, conservative Southern Democrats were part of the coalition generally in support of Roosevelt's New Deal and Harry Truman's Fair Deal economic policies, but were opposed to desegregation and the American civil rights movement. On several occasions between 1948 and 1968, prominent conservative Southern Democrats broke from the Democrats to run a third party campaign for President on a platform of states' rights: Strom Thurmond in 1948, Harry F. Byrd in 1960, and George Wallace in 1968. In the 1964 presidential election, five states in the Deep South (then a Democratic stronghold) voted for Republican Barry Goldwater over Southern Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, partly due to Johnson's support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Goldwater's opposition to it. After 1968, with desegregation a settled issue, the Republican Party began a strategy of trying to win conservative Southerners away from the Democrats and into the Republican Party (see Southern strategy and silent majority).

Representative Howard W. Smith of Virginia took up the boll weevil as a symbol in the 1950s, during the Eisenhower administration, but the term did not gain currency until the 1980s, when it was revived by Representative Charles W. Stenholm of Texas. The group adopted the name of the boll weevil, a pest destructive to cotton crops, because of the difficultly of eradicating the weevil and the pest's Southern habitat.Nonetheless, a bloc of conservative Democrats, mostly Southerners, remained in the United States Congress throughout the 1970s and 1980s (the Conservative Coalition). These included Democratic House members as conservative as Larry McDonald, who was also a leader in the John Birch Society. During the administration of Ronald Reagan, the term "boll weevils" was applied to this bloc of conservative Democrats, who consistently voted for Reagan administration policies, such as tax cuts, increases in military spending, and deregulation. The boll weevils were contrasted with the "gypsy moth Republicans"—moderate Republicans from the Northeast and Midwest who opposed many Reagan economic policies.Most of the boll weevils eventually retired from politics, or in the case of some, such as Senators Phil Gramm and Richard Shelby, switched parties and joined the Republicans. Since 1988, the term "boll weevils" has fallen out of favor. A bloc of conservative Democrats in the House, including some younger or newer members as well as the remaining boll weevils who refused to bow to pressure to switch parties, organized themselves as the "Blue Dogs" in the early 1990s. A different bloc of Democrats also emerged in the 1990s, under the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), espousing conservative pro-business views on economic issues and moderate views on social issues.

Bruce Babbitt

Bruce Edward Babbitt (born June 27, 1938) is an American attorney and politician from the state of Arizona. A member of the Democratic Party, Babbitt served as the 16th governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987, and as the United States Secretary of the Interior from 1993 through 2001.

He won election as Arizona Attorney General after graduating from Harvard Law School. He became Governor of Arizona after the death of his predecessor, Wesley Bolin. Babbitt won election to a full term in 1978 and won re-election in 1982. He helped found the Democratic Leadership Council and sought the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out of the race after the first set of primaries.

After his presidential campaign, Babbit served as head of the League of Conservation Voters. He served as the Secretary of the Interior for the duration of Bill Clinton's presidency. Clinton also strongly considered nominating Babbitt to the Supreme Court after vacancies arose in 1993 and 1994. After leaving public office in 2001, Babbitt became an attorney with Latham & Watkins.

Bruce Reed (political operative)

Bruce Reed (born March 16, 1960) is the former president of the Broad Foundation. Prior to assuming that role in December 2013, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and is a former CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

Campaign for America's Future

Campaign for America's Future (CAF) is an American nonprofit progressive political advocacy organization. Founded in 1996, the organization bills itself as "the strategy center for the progressive movement."Within the Democratic Party, it often serves as a counterweight to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). CAF argues that the Democratic Party should draw sharp contrasts with the Republicans and advance a progressive agenda, while the DLC argues that the party should pursue a centrist policy. CAF is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. It has a sister organization called the Institute for America's Future, which is a 501(c)(3) think tank "devoted to shaping a compelling progressive agenda and message."The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, former AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa serve on its board of directors.


Clintonism is the political and economic policies of Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as the era of his presidency in the United States.

The Democratic Leadership Council, a pro-Democratic Party establishment, argues that Clintonism "stands for economic growth and opportunity; for fiscal responsibility; for work, not welfare; for preventing crime and punishing criminals; and for non-bureaucratic, empowering government" and further says that these policies are key to the successes in the beginning of the 21st century.On the other hand, some critics of Clinton associate Clintonism with "coddling big money (except guns and tobacco), financial scandals, winning at any cost, flip-flopping and prevaricating".

Coalition for a Democratic Majority

The Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM) was a centrist faction, active in the 1970s within the Democratic Party of the United States.

The CDM was formed in December 1972, after the landslide victory of Republican Richard Nixon over Democrat George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election, by inspiration from Henry M. Jackson, junior United States Senator from Washington. Jackson was a Cold War liberal, an anti-Communist, a supporter of high military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union, especially on human rights' issues, but also a strong supporter of the welfare state, social programs and labor unions. Despite the CDM's substantial membership and support, Jackson, who had run also in 1972, came fifth in 1976 Democratic presidential primaries (during which he came first in Massachusetts and his home state, and second in Florida and Pennsylvania) and failed to win the Democratic nomination, which went to Jimmy Carter.

The CDM received great support from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) and, as later groups (as the Democratic Leadership Council and the New Democrat Network), argued that, in order to win, the Democrats should return to a more centrist, big tent stance. The CDM's manifesto was indeed titled "Come Home, Democrats" and declared that "The "New Politics" has failed". The CDM also attracted members from the Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA), the moderate wing of the Socialist Party of America (SPA), and, chiefly, the SPA's youth wing, the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL).Leading CDM members included Les Aspin, Daniel Bell, Lloyd Bentsen, Peter Berger, David Boren, Midge Decter, Tom Foley, Nathan Glazer, Ernest Hollings, Hubert Humphrey, Samuel Huntington, Daniel Inouye, Max Kampelman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Charles Krauthammer, Irving Kristol, Seymour Martin Lipset, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Joshua Muravchik, Michael Novak, Sam Nunn, Richard Perle, Richard Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, Bill Richardson, Chuck Robb, Eugene Rostow, Ben Wattenberg, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey and Jim Wright. Many of these were later associated with neoconservatism. Some, including Aspin, Bentsen, Nunn, Richardson, Robb and Woolsey, participated in the Democratic Leadership Council and/or Bill Clinton's administration, while several others, including Kirkpatrick, Krauthammer, Kristol, Muravchik, Novak, Perle, Pipes, Podhoretz and Wolfowitz, eventually became Republicans and/or served under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

David Tell

David Tell is an American conservative political journalist. Tell served as a speechwriter in the Reagan presidency, and as an aide to William J. Bennett when he was Secretary of Education. In the presidential election of 1992, Tell was director of The Opposition Research Group for the Republican National Committee, in charge of a massive data base devoted to voter research and opposition research, contributing to the unsuccessful candidacy of incumbent George H.W. Bush against Gov. Bill Clinton. Tell was a co-founder of the Project for the Republican Future, a high-level advocacy group modeled on the Democratic Leadership Council. He later was opinion editor of The Weekly Standard magazine, owned by Rupert Murdoch and the News Corporation, from 1995 to 2006.

Tell earned a B. A. in journalism from Columbia University in 1982. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and two sons.

Harold Ford Jr.

Harold Eugene Ford Jr. (born May 11, 1970) is an American financial managing director, pundit, author, and former U.S. congressman who served from 1997–2007 in the United States House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic Party from Tennessee's 9th congressional district, centered in Memphis. He is the son of former Congressman Harold Ford Sr., who held the same seat for 22 years. In 2006, Ford made an unsuccessful bid for the US Senate seat vacated by retiring Bill Frist. He is a member of the Ford political family from Memphis. Ford was the last chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).Between 2011 and 2017, Ford worked for Morgan Stanley as a managing director. He also regularly appeared on television on political-related programs, such as NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC. He and his wife live in New York City and have a daughter, Georgia Walker, and a son, Harold Eugene III.Ford also wrote a book, More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education, published in 2010.

Ken Cheuvront

Kenneth David Cheuvront (born 11 May 1961 in Phoenix, Arizona) is a Democratic politician. Since 2002 he has served as Arizona State Senator for District 15, which centers on Phoenix.

Earlier he was elected to represent the 15th district in the State House of Representatives in 1994, becoming the first openly gay man elected to the Arizona House of Representatives, and held the seat until he was termed out in 2002. He was the Democratic Leader in that chamber in the 2001–02 session.

In 2002, he was elected to represent the district in the State Senate, winning the general election by a margin of 63% to 37%. He had previously run for the Senate in 1990, winning 44% of the primary election vote but losing to Chuck Blanchard. He won re-election in 2004 with 65% of the vote and in 2006 with 69%. He ran unopposed in 2008, and term limits will prevent him from seeking a fifth two-year term in 2010.

A supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, Cheuvront was a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.An openly gay man, his campaigns have been supported by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. He is one of five openly LGBT members of the Arizona State Legislature, serving alongside Sen. Paula Aboud (D–Tucson), as well as Reps. Robert Meza (D–Phoenix), Kyrsten Sinema (D–Phoenix) and Matt Heinz (D–Tucson). He is also a member of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Linda Moore (businesswoman)

Linda Moore is an American businesswoman and political strategist, currently serving as the CEO of tech policy advocacy organization TechNet. Previously, she was deputy political director in the Clinton White House, and served as field director of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Marshall Wittmann

Marshall Wittmann is an American pundit, author, and sometime political activist. On November 22, 2006, he was hired to be the communications director and spokesman for Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT). Wittmann is a former senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank affiliated with the Democratic Leadership Council. In 2012, he became the chief spokesman for AIPAC.[1]

Nancy Jacobson

Nancy Jacobson is the Founder and CEO of No Labels, a bipartisan action center founded in 2010 to combat partisan dysfunction in politics and give voice to all Americans, irrespective of party, who seek solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. She leads the organization in a volunteer capacity. Prior to No Labels, Jacobson spent 30 years as a political strategist and advisor working for former Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), Senator Gary Hart (D-CO), Senator Al Gore (D-TN), Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), President Bill Clinton as well as for both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Jacobson was named one of the 50 Most Powerful People in D.C. by GQ Magazine in 2007.

New Democrat Coalition

The New Democrat Coalition is a Congressional Member Organization within the United States Congress made up of centrist, capitalist Democrats who support an agenda that the organization describes as "moderate" and "pro-growth" and support a balanced budget.

A November 2012 press release described the organization as "Congress's largest coalition of "moderates" heading into the 113th Congress.

On December 3, 2016, Connecticut congressman Jim Himes was appointed Chair.Entering the 116th United States Congress, the New Democrats have 99 members, making them the second largest caucus in the Democratic Party (after the Congressional Progressive Caucus), and the third largest in Congress altogether (after the CPC and Republican Study Committee).

New Democrats

New Democrats, also called centrist Democrats, Clinton Democrats or moderate Democrats, are a centrist ideological faction within the Democratic Party. They are the "Third Way" and economically liberal faction of the party, in addition to being socially liberal on social issues. New Democrats dominated the party from the late-1980s through the mid-2010s.They are represented by organizations such as the New Democrat Network and the New Democrat Coalition.

Progressive Policy Institute

The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that serves as a public policy think tank in the United States, founded in 1989.

Its founder and current president is Will Marshall, who writes on foreign policy, defense, national service, globalization, trade policy, and cultural issues. Its chief economic strategist is Michael Mandel, who writes on innovation, growth, and regulatory policy. Several former leading government officials have held senior positions or affiliations with the organization, including William Galston, Austan Goolsbee, Elaine Kamarck, Bruce Reed, Andrew Rotherham, Robert J. Shapiro, Paul Weinstein, and Ed Gresser.

Teacher Corps

Teacher Corps, whose correct title was the National Teacher Corps, was a program established by the United States Congress in the Higher Education Act of 1965 to improve elementary and secondary teaching in predominantly low-income areas. Individual Teacher Corps projects were developed by "institutions of higher education" (colleges or universities with a teacher-training program) in partnership with local school districts. The local director was a college professor, and courses specific to teaching inner city students and disadvantaged students were developed by the college and used in the master's level education program. Teams of interns under the supervision of master teachers worked in the district's schools to help carry out project goals. The purpose of the Teacher Corps was to train and retain teachers for disadvantaged school districts, who would work with the communities they served. Some of the interns became teachers in the communities they had worked in after the program ended. Others took jobs elsewhere teaching disadvantaged students, usually in their home states. Interns worked on community projects in addition to teaching. One of the Trenton, NJ community programs that continued for years after the program ended, was an annual carnival fundraiser to raise money for the Mott Elementary School library.

The director of the Trenton Teacher Corps was Dr. Bernard Schwartz of Trenton State University. The Coordinator, who represented the Trenton Public Schools, was Bernice J. Munce. The interns were trained by the following team leaders: Daisy Morgan, Elise Collins, James Lodge, Anna Eure and Catherine Johnson. This program ended in 1970 with 21 interns completing the program.

Some of the participants were volunteers coming from Vista and Peace Corps programs, who had taught people and done community outreach, but who lacked formal training in teaching. When the revolution that brought Gaddafi to power in Libya broke out in September, 1969, he accused the Peace Corps volunteers of being CIA agents, and they had to leave the country. Some of these volunteers entered the Teacher Corps.

Originally one of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs, Teacher Corps, along with more than 40 other programs related to education, was replaced by block grants under the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981.A 1974 study examining 20 Teacher Corps projects that began in 1971 found that half involved elementary school children, half secondary school children. While many projects involved inner-city schools, others involved children in rural areas like the Flint Hills of Kansas or Indian reservations.Before its demise, the Corps enlisted local colleges, public schools and poverty organizations to provide training to future teachers to train them in the cultural and social traits of low income, socially disadvantaged persons to enable them to more effectively teach in the inner city elementary schools.

The interns and their team leaders participated in and developed community involvement activities in the various neighborhoods where their schools were located. They taught full-time, worked on a master's degree full-time, and did community service work to provide enrichment for the children they taught and to enhance the communities they lived in. They modified their curriculum to eliminate deficits and adjustment problems to school caused by social and educational deprivation. The interns and their team leaders created community outreach programs to get the community involved and to bring more community resources into the schools.

The idea of a teachers corps was reestablished as the non-profit organization Teach for America, which receives federal support as an AmeriCorps program. Reestablishing a National Teachers Corps has been suggested by the Democratic Leadership Council. In his 2006 State of the Union address George W. Bush proposed an effort to train more K-12 math and science teachers as part of the American Competitiveness Initiative.

Will Marshall

Will Marshall is one of the founders of the New Democrat movement, which aims to steer the US Democratic Party toward a more pro-economic growth orientation. Since its founding in 1989, he has been president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank affiliated with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

He served on the board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an organization chaired by Joe Lieberman (I) and John McCain (R) designed to build support for the invasion of Iraq. Marshall also signed, at the outset of the war, a letter issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) expressing support for the invasion. Marshall signed a similar letter sent to President Bush put out by the Social Democrats USA on Feb. 25, 2003, just before the invasion. The SDUSA letter urged Bush to commit to "maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning."

He writes frequently on political and public policy matters, especially the "Politics of Ideas" column in Blueprint, the DLC's magazine. Notably, he is one of the co-authors of Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy.

Prior to the founding of PPI, Marshall was variously a speechwriter for Lieutenant Governor Dick Davis of Virginia, Governor Jim Hunt of North Carolina and Representative Gillis Long of Louisiana.

Marshall holds a B.A. in English and History from the University of Virginia.

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