The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The ABBH Strategy

David Sirota has been lambasting the DLC this week and the slew of potential 2008 nominees who made their way to Ohio to pay homage to the corporate denizens of the Democratic Party. I think a lot of the DLC's ideas and language are good but the internal staff complaint is spot on -- they only get attention and press when they attack fellow Democrats, and I have no truck with that. Although their policy shop is first rate, I have never been convinced that Al From was motivated by anything other than a strategic view. It's not as if their centrism is principal based. Rather it seems a strategic affectation. Does the DLC really believe that 10% reductions in nondefense spending are required as a matter of policy and principal? I doubt it.

Chris Bowers ( has it exactly right in his political analysis as he looks ahead to the next Presidential. Mark Warner, Evan Bayh and Tom Vilsack are taking the wrong tact if they think that addressing the DLC and pandering to that wing of the Party is likely to serve as a winning strategy in 2008. In fact, tactically, I am not quite sure what the best road to take is to oppose Hillary in 2008. Her emerging strategy seems clear. As a woman candidate with a strong base in the Democratic Party, she needs to move to the center in advance of a nomination. So her pilgrimage makes sense. The Dean wing already loves her and her bona fides are pretty sound. Hence her new language with regards to abortion and her role in armed services and foreign affairs issues in the Senate. But moving to her right is not likely to endear anyone in the Party to that candidate. It's not like DLC voters make up such a large contingent of the Democratic base. Rather, the people to keep an eye on, as likley strong opponents to her, would be those who stayed away from Ohio this week. Richardson, Schweitzer, Obama. The move to outflank Hillary will have to be to present oneself as the non-Hillary, as the real Democrat and the best way to do that is to attack the mistakes of the Clinton legacy and pin them on her -- the approach to trade, the health care debacle, losing Congress, the politics of personal destruction (and self-destruction).


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