Tripartisan Group to Meet, May Back Independent WH Bid
David Broder has a report in today's Washington Post that quickened my pulse and warmed my heart this morning. He reveals that a bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats, along with Independent New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, will meet in Oklahoma next week (7 January) to challenge the major party contenders to create a "government of national unity." Participants, Broder says, are ready to state that "if the likely nominees of the two parties do not pledge to 'go beyond tokenism' in building an administration that seeks national consensus, they will be prepared to back Bloomberg or someone else in a third-party campaign for president."
Those Democrats involved with the meeting, according to Broder, are former OK Senator David Boren (the host), former Virginia Senator Chuck Robb, former Georgia senator Sam Nunn, and former Colorado senator Gary Hart. Major Republicans include former Missouri senator John Danforth, former New Jersey governor Christie Todd Whitman, former party chairman Bill Brock, and Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel. "Others who have indicated that they plan to attend the one-day session include William S. Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine and defense secretary in the Clinton administration; Alan Dixon, a former Democratic senator from Illinois; Bob Graham, a former Democratic senator from Florida; Jim Leach, a former Republican congressman from Iowa; Susan Eisenhower, a political consultant and granddaughter of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower; David Abshire, president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency; and Edward Perkins, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations."
This is no joke, and that list reads like a centrist's dream team.
Boren and Nunn said they decided to "issue invitations to other moderates with whom they had served, and found that almost everyone was willing to come." Boren told Broder "Electing a president based solely on the platform or promises of one party is not adequate for this time. Until you end the polarization and have bipartisanship, nothing else matters, because one party simply will block the other from acting."
Danforth: "My party is appealing to a real meanness, and an irresponsible sense of machismo in foreign policy. I hope it will be less extreme, but I'm an American before I'm a Republican."
Cohen: "The important goal all of us share, is to get government back to the center."
Big, exciting news for centrists, and something to watch for sure. Folks, this may be the moment we've all been waiting for. If anyone can make this happen, it's this group of good, committed folks.