The Village Times






Joe Lieberman


Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)


Few groups did more to lead the Democratic Party out of the liberal wilderness than the DLC. Hatched after Ronald Reagan's drubbing of Walter Mondale in the 1984 election, the DLC charted a course toward centrist, market-based solutions to economic problems and, in doing so, managed to get big business back into the party. The "New Democrats" spawned by the DLC looked toward the greatest president of the 20th century for inspiration: no, not FDR—Reagan, of course. While the DLC ultimately became a victim of its own success in 2011, they remain the template for think tanks looking to steer the Democrats away from their worst tendencies.


Founded: 1985

Key Figures: Harold Ford; Al Gore; Will Marshall; Kent Conrad; Tom Daschle; Evan Bayh; Marshall Wittman.

Achievements: Paved the way for Bill Clinton's eight years in the Oval Office. Supported welfare reform, NAFTA and the invasion of Iraq. Opposed filibuster of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Beat back primary challenge from Howard Dean. Backed wrong horse (Hillary Clinton) in 2008 Democratic primaries, but still managed to infiltrate Obama administration. Ripped liberals for purging Joe Lieberman (left) from the party.