November 12, 2004


New Group to Tout Democrats' Centrist Values: Third Way Plans to Focus On 'Moderate Majority' (John F. Harris, November 11, 2004, Washington Post)

As Democrats continue to stagger from last week's election losses, a group of veteran political and policy operatives has started an advocacy group aimed at using moderate Senate Democrats as the front line in a campaign to give the party a more centrist profile.

Third Way is the latest in a series of organizations aimed at rescuing Democrats from the perception that they have lost touch with middle-class voters, particularly in the heartland states that voted overwhelmingly for President Bush over Sen. John F. Kerry.

The group, which has enlisted the support of several senators from Bush-backing "red states," hopes to rebut the notion that Democrats represent an outdated brand of liberalism by producing new policy proposals designed to create a "moderate majority," said Matt Bennett, Third Way's communications director. [...]

Among Third Way's programs will be a "New South" project, aimed at crafting policies and political strategies for cultural and values issues that have played against Democrats in that region in recent decades. The project will be led by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), a vice chairman.

Third Way will also conduct a national security retreat and craft policy initiatives on health care, taxes, tort reform and Social Security reform -- all identified by Bush as key items on his second-term agenda.

Democrats had their opportunity to claim the Third Way when Bill Clinton ran on it and won in 1992, but now they just sound like they're me-tooing George Bush. They ought to just accept that they're Republicans now.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2004 7:22 AM

> Third Way will also conduct a national security retreat

They might want to rename that.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at November 12, 2004 8:57 AM

So, how is campaigning on a platform of "We're just like Republicans, but we're not evil Christians" going to sell in the south?

"We love NASCAR, except for all that pollution and noise and fuel consumption because we're moderates."

"We love country music, because same-sex relationships break up, too, you know. And we care about that. We really do."

These third way folks in the Senate will absolutely guarantee that Bush will get every single one of his reforms passed. And then they'll lose in their primaries because they voted for Bush's initiatives. Wow.

Posted by: Randall Voth at November 12, 2004 8:58 AM


remember how this campaign opened with Democrats thinking they could appeal to NASCAR dads? What a delusion.

Posted by: oj at November 12, 2004 9:08 AM

The instant any 'Third Way' Democrat sticks his head out of the bunker, the 'Democrat Wing of the Democratic Party' consisting of gays, trial lawyers and Hollywood weirdos will blow their heads off. If they are intellectually honest and not merely trying to pawn off the same shoddy merchandise with different packaging, their only hope is realignment.

Posted by: Bart at November 12, 2004 9:41 AM