From David Sirota comes this link to a Newsweek interview with DLC Chair, Harold Ford (most recently one of the few Democratic losers in 2006). If I weren’t so concerned about 2008 becoming the second straight election cycle where the Democratic nominee for president has been pre-selected by some bizarre confluence of K-Street and the media, parts of this interview were total SNL material.
The interview, conducted by Jeffrey Bartholet began with the premise that the DLC might be slipping into irrelevance within the party.
"Bartholet: When the DLC held its annual convention in August, none of the candidates showed up. Yet most of the Democratic candidates attended the Daily Kos convention of netroots activists a few days later. Why?
Ford: You'd have to ask the candidates. I can only surmise that if you look at how Democratic and Republican primaries happen, they are really efforts to appeal to the far-right and the far-left wings of the party. But I take vindication as much as comfort in the fact that if you look at recent polling, the majority are rejecting the extremes of both parties. I'll make you one promise: next year the Democratic nominee will be at our convention."
I’m not quite sure which polling Ford is referring to but the most recent stuff I’ve seen would tend to suggest that the American people seem to be pretty much fed up with the race to the right that is going on in this country. On one of the major differences between the DLC and the rest of the Democratic Party, Iraq, Ford continues to beat the LIEberman/Clinton drum.
"Bartholet: The war is an important issue, and the DLC was pro-war.
Ford:I wouldn't call it pro-war.
Bartholet:It was [pro-war] in 2003.
Ford:Well, pro-war doesn't mean that we support the way this president has gone about fighting. We were supportive of removing Saddam Hussein, instilling stability in the country, reducing the threat that America faced from Al Qaeda and, equally important, the threat we thought was posed by Saddam Hussein. If we knew then what we know now … I was in the Congress; I would not have voted for the resolution. But at the same time, we're in a different place now. I caution anybody who continues to talk about the past on this issue."
Ok, sounds pretty pro-war to me. Same argument we have been hearing from this group since the advocated FOR the vote to authorize the use of force. ‘We aren’t against the invasion – only the way Bush is doing it.” As far as the “caution” about remembering the past; Harold and the DLC are still not willing to end the occupation, they just want a chance to “do it better.” Which brings us to Hillary Clinton and the DLC:
"Bartholet:Does Hillary Clinton still have a formal role at the DLC?
Bartholet:She's still listed on your Web site as part of the DLC leadership team.
Ford:Right. But you can't have a formal role and still run for president with the DLC. You can be on various committees, but you can't have a formal role, no.
Bartholet:What does it mean that she's part of the DLC leadership team?
Ford:Meaning she's a former DLC chair. Meaning two years ago she chaired another effort in the DLC … on how to expand home ownership, how to expand college opportunity, how to expand job creation. John Edwards is on the leadership team as well. So is Joe Biden.
Bartholet:But her picture is right there with yours and others as a prominent leader … She's the one who is listed there. It's not John Edwards.
Ford:You ought to go back and look. I think you may see others listed as well. As you know, it is illegal for the organization to endorse anybody.
Bartholet:Right. That's why I was wondering, because it looks like an endorsement in a way … I'm just going to read to you here [from the DLC Web site]. It says, "DLC Leadership Team." Leaders: Harold Ford Jr., Tom Carper, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jennifer Mann, Michael Coleman. That's the list.
Ford:Because they are vice chairs of the organization.
Bartholet:So Hillary Clinton is a vice chair of the organization?
Ford:No. Tom Carper is."
This is so twisted and spun around it makes my head hurt. She doesn’t have a “formal role” at the DLC because you can’t have a “formal role” and still run for president. You can be on the “Leadership Team” and featured on the website with other “leaders” but, because you can’t have a “formal role” and still run for president, you don’t have a “formal role.” And the people in the photo?
”Ford:Because they are vice chairs of the organization.” “They?” ‘Yeah, they be Tom Carper.’
So there you have it. The DLC is not pro-war unless it means overthrowing Saddam Hussein and they can be in charge. Hillary is in every way a leader in the DLC except where it may cost her votes with the rest of the party during the primary.
"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
Chad (The Left) Shue