Carol Platt Liebau: "Consensus" on the Right

Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Consensus" on the Right

As this piece points out, most Americans' views on the "divisive" social issues are closer to the standard position of Republicans than of Democrats.

Of course, last year Democrats had some success running moderate candidates, who were permitted to ignore party orthodoxy on a number of important issues. The question is whether that approach will work in 2008 -- when there's a presidential election.

That's because there will be a Democratic nominee who will be the official "face" of the Democratic Party. And with Evan Bayh and Mark Warner out of the race, in a field consisting of John Edwards, Barack Obama, maybe Al Gore and also Hillary Clinton, the latter becomes the most centrist by default -- a concept that may not be an easy sell for Americans who remember 1992-2000.

In a world where the netroots aren't afraid to challenge the status quo (albeit unsuccessfully, so far, with Ned Lamont), it's much more difficult for a Democratic candidate to win as a social conservative (or even a moderate, as Bill Clinton was in 1992). So whoever wins the Democratic nomination will have his (or her) work cut out for him/her.


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