|Co-Director Robert Borosage [Interview]||Co-Director Roger Hickey|
June 4-6, 2003--The 2004 primary campaign will not only determine the Democratic nominee, but it will also shape the direction of the Democratic Party. As the nine Democratic candidates jostle for position, an underlying question is whether a centrist "New Democrat" candidate or a more liberal candidate can best take on George W. Bush.
On May 15, 2003 Al From and Bruce Reed, respectively CEO and president of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, released a memo "The Real Soul of the Democratic Party," in which they argued that, "Not only is the activist wing out of line with Democratic tradition, but it is badly out of touch with the Democratic rank-and-file."
In this context, about three weeks later, over 1,500 progressives--union
members, environmentalists, housing advocates, organizers, and community
activists from around the country--gathered at the Omni Shoreham in Washington,
DC for a three-day conference organized by the Campaign for America's Future.
Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, stated,
"The activist base of the party is here, the energy is here, the people
who are going to decide, provide the activists, and the mobilizing energy
for both the candidates and the election in the fall are here, and if you
go around and talk to people they are intent on beating Bush." Six
of the Democratic presidential candidates addressed the conference.
Rep. Dick Gephardt appeared by video. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the candidate
most clearly identified with the centrist, New Democrat wing of the party,
did not appear, nor did Sen. Bob Graham.
Copyright © 2003 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.