Democrats aren't new to these issues. Clinton and Connecticut Senator Lieberman, who lambasted Mortal Kombat, highlighted violent games more than a decade ago. But members feel the party has ignored these issues in recent years, allowing Republicans to seize the high ground on moral values. "I think they forget about it," says Barbara Whitehead, who heads the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University and has advised Democrats on some of these issues. Expect to hear more of these ideas from Democrats, particularly those affiliated with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, of which Clinton, Emanuel and Lincoln are all members. Michele Stockwell, a DLC staffer, has suggested Democrats come out with more family-friendly policy proposals, such as limiting marketing aimed at kids in public schools, requiring broadcasters to air more programs for children and limiting ads for alcohol and R-rated movies on TV shows that are watched by lots of children.
Many of these proposals aren't likely to go anywhere, with Congress focused on the budget, Social Security and other issues. But that may not be the point. While running for reelection in 1996, President Clinton advocated teen curfews, school uniforms and v-chips. Little of those ideas became law, but they helped him appeal to parents and win the race.