The once-prominent Democratic Leadership Council is suspending its operations after a quarter century of prodding Democrats to the political center, its founder said in a statement Monday night.This is the group that helped give rise to the "Blue Dog" Democrats in the past decade. With said Blue Dogs jumping ship all over the place, one would think that the DLC might still have found a niche in the post-Clinton Democratic Party as the voice of the loyal opposition. But apparently it wasn't meant to be.
Al From, who founded the group in the mid-1980s after then-President Ronald Reagan’s landside re-election, said the decision was driven in part by the recent departure of Chief Executive Bruce Reed, who joined the White House as chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.
But the group’s influence inside the party had been on the decline for years after peaking in the 1990s, when its former director Bill Clinton became president.
The DLC proved a powerful platform for Mr. Clinton as he gained national prominence on the way to the White House. During its heyday, the group served as a counter-weight to the dominant liberal voices inside the Democratic Party, often angering those interests by siding with Mr. Clinton in his deal-making with Republican leaders.
The DLC has had a much lower profile ever since Mr. Clinton left office. President Barack Obama pushed liberal priorities during his first two years in the office, like providing health coverage to nearly every American and reworking the rules for Wall Street, marginalizing groups like the DLC and the centrists Democrats they spoke for. After the party lost dozens of those mostly Southern seats in the midterm elections, Mr. Obama has moved back to the center.
“The issues the DLC has championed continue to be vital to our country and the DLC will continue to impact them in its next phase,” Mr. From said in his statement after Politico first reported the news that the group planned to shut its doors. “The Democratic Leadership Council has had an historic impact on American politics over the past 25 years. We’re convinced that it will continue to have that impact in the future.”
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
The DLC Goes Down
It's the end of an era: