Political Pariahs

How did the most powerful moderate group in the country get shunted aside? The activists took over

Illustration for TIME by Stephen Kroninger

Political Pariahs. How did the most powerful moderate group in the country get shunted aside? The activists took over.

"Some people say we've lost our standing," former Representative Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee, chairman of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), lamented at his organization's annual meeting in Nashville on July 30. "But if there ever was a time when the country needed the DLC... it's now." The statement was defensive but accurate. The DLC, which helped provide the intellectual ballast and political strategy for Bill Clinton's presidency, seems to have fallen on hard times, at least in the élite precincts of the national political cacophony. A New York Times Op-Ed piece declared the group "radioactive" within the Democratic Party....

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