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Group for centrist Democrats runs out of money. Does it matter?

The moderate Democratic Leadership Council suspends operations. Liberals rejoice, others say the DLC succeeded in moving the party to the middle.

Bruce Reed (l.) and Al From (r.) of the Democratic Leadership Council spoke with reporters at a 2007 Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, D.C. Mr. From announced Monday that DLC has suspended operations over funding woes.

Andy Nelson / The Christian Science Monitor / File

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Chances are, the closure of the Democratic Leadership Council doesn’t mean much to most people. Though it had state chapters, it was a distinctly inside-the-Beltway phenomenon – an organization founded by moderate Democrats in 1985 to steer the party away from its left-wing image and philosophies, and make it more viable on the national stage.

The DLC’s biggest achievement was the presidential election of member Bill Clinton in 1992 – no small feat.

Now, retired DLC founder Al From confirmed Monday night, the DLC has suspended operations over funding woes. In a statement, he said the DLC is convinced it will continue to have an impact in the future.

But does the DLC’s demise tell us anything about the larger future of centrist politics? In the actual business of governing the country, after all, President Obama is now all about a shift to the center, trying to compromise with the newly empowered Republicans where possible and dropping his populist rhetoric in favor of a more business-friendly approach.


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