‘No Labels’ and the Search for a Political Center

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:

A new attempt at organizing a movement around the political center launched today, with the announcement of " No Labels," a group of Democrats, Republicans, and independents who are seeking to find solutions that get beyond party affiliations.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, we chatted with one of the founding members, former Rep. Tom Davis, about the uncertain prospects for moderates and centrists in the current environment.

“I don’t know if it is right [timing] or not, frankly, with campaign finance moving all the money out to the wings and keeping it away from the parties, with the media now moving right and left, and the Internet, you know, the parties are ideologically sorted,” Davis, R-Va., told us.

“I’m not sure it’s right. But what’s happened is a lot of people feel very cross-pressured. They like the Republicans on some things, Democrats on others. And the fastest growing registration piece in America is independents, or ‘decline to state.’ And there are just a lot of people in the center at this point that have not been organized in any way.”

While recent elections have wiped out moderates of both parties, Davis said, independent-minded voters don’t feel well-served by their lawmakers:

“There’s a huge group there of swing voters in the middle that don’t identify with either party. And I think whoever controls them are going to control the next election,” Davis said. “It has gotten so that each party has now gotten in the nomination process, moved right and left. And that, of course, you have a huge group in the middle that has swung back and forth between the elections, basically looking for a place to go.”

Davis said House Speaker-designate John Boehner, R-Ohio, is an “excellent choice” to lead House Republicans. But he acknowledged that it will be difficult for him to work across party lines.

“John Boehner is an adult,” Davis said. “At the end of the day, of course, he has to report back to a caucus, which is very, very conservative. So he’s always balancing, you know, trying to move ahead for the public at large, having to move ahead with permission from his caucus.”

And Davis – who retired from Congress at the end of 2008 – said he is unlikely to seek elected office again, either as a candidate for Senate in 2012 or in another position.

“I doubt it,” Davis said. “I mean, I think my political days are probably over. It’s nice to have left Congress undefeated and unindicted. You like to keep it that way.”

Watch the full segment with former Rep. Tom Davis HERE .

Also on today’s “Top Line,” we checked in with Jay Newton-Small of Time magazine, who interviewed former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, for the cover story in the latest issue.

Watch that portion of the program HERE .

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...