Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Democratic Leadership Council Shuts Down

After more than a quarter century of operation, including a Colorado affiliate, the organization representing moderate Democratic politicians has closed down, out of money and out of purpose.

Born after the massive Walter Mondale defeat in 1984, the organization’s greatest victory was the Bill Clinton election in 1992. But, the organization became the target of the growing power of the left in the Democratic Party during the Bush term represented by liberal bloggers and former Democratic Chairman Howard Dean. The final blow was the candidacy of Barack Obama defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries. Clinton represented the moderate forces in the party and Obama the left.

The policy think tank associated with the organization continues to function, but the politicians are gone. Many won office and have since retired, some found government positions, including in the Obama administration, and others simply moved on.

The Colorado DLC functioned after high-profile politicians, such as Tim Worth and Roy Romer retired, as a small group of business-oriented Democratic activists. Approximately a third of registered Democrats in Colorado identify themselves as moderates as opposed to 50 percent who say they are liberals. Democratic politicians, like John Hickenlooper, claim to represent moderates, but independently of a specific organization, like the DLC.

Few will miss the low-key organization, but business-oriented Democrats will have to find their own access points to Democratic politics most likely through other organizations, such as the bi-partisan Colorado Concerned and Denver Chamber.

See additional articles:
New Republic: Requiem for the DLC
Colorado DLC: January 2011 update
Washington Post: The Fix: The myth of the dying moderate

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