DLC: Dubya is no centrist

BALTIMORE: There must be times when Al From feels that George W. Bush is attempting to steal his thunder. That’s why From, the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), used his organization’s National Conversation last week to clarify the differences between Gore’s New Democrat message and Bush’s so-called compassionate conservatism.

BALTIMORE: There must be times when Al From feels that George W. Bush is attempting to steal his thunder. That’s why From, the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), used his organization’s National Conversation last week to clarify the differences between Gore’s New Democrat message and Bush’s so-called compassionate conservatism.

BALTIMORE: There must be times when Al From feels that George W.

Bush is attempting to steal his thunder. That’s why From, the chairman

of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), used his organization’s

National Conversation last week to clarify the differences between

Gore’s New Democrat message and Bush’s so-called compassionate

conservatism.



’The main difference between new Democrats and compassionate

conservatives is credibility and fighting the fights to bring your party

to the vital center,’ said DLC press secretary Matt Frankel. ’We took on

fights for many years within our party. It’s not just a slogan - it’s

backed up by specifics.’



From understands that policy papers mean little without being marketed

to the news media and party leaders. Both he and the DLC have spent much

of the last 15 years promoting ’center-left’ ideas (welfare reform and

trade agreements) to modernize the image of the Democratic Party beyond

that of a haven for entrenched, select special interests.



However, Porter Novelli SVP Steve Daley, formerly a political reporter

for The Chicago Tribune, noted that Bill Clinton made great strides

towards repositioning the Democratic Party as well. ’The DLC needed a

horse to ride and someone who shared their view,’ Daley explained.



Democrats now see George W. Bush trying to be a political thoroughbred,

and charge that his emphasis on compassionate conservatism is

superficial given the GOP’s continuing acceptance of its powerful

conservative wing.



But the Bush campaign has received good PR in recent months by

emphasizing education and government efficiency.



The DLC is not an official arm of the Democratic Party. (See Client

Profile, p16.)



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