Moderate Dems Fear Obama is Overreaching?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Mar 19, 2009 11:45 AM
http://hillbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/bayh.jpgWe may have the first evidence that the hard-left policies of President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are becoming harder for centrist Democrats to stomach.

As we learned yesterday, 15 Democratic senators launched a "Moderate Dems Working Group" under the leadership of Senators Evan Bayh (IN), Tom Carper (DE), and Blanche Lincoln (AR). If these people hold together, they could create a power group that could force the administration to pursue more pragmatic legislation.

Most of the 15 names are pretty much who you would expect to make the list. It's worth noting that six of the 15 are brand-new senators elected in 2008 -- marking a potential shift in the dynamics of the Democratic Caucus.

The biggest surprise is Mark Udall, who was widely considered to be the most liberal Colorado senator in recent memory, and even took heat during the campaign for working with Dennis Kucinich on a bill to create a "Department of Peace". So, this could be more of a political move for him -- and it's worth noting that his cousin, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, is not part of the group.

Also not on the list is New York's Kirsten Gillibrand, who was a very moderate Blue Dog in the House, but may need to re-position herself now that she needs to win votes in New York CIty.

The obvious question is "why did this happen?" The cynic in me thinks this may be a sign that Bayh and company realize America is still a center-right nation -- and that Obama will predictably overreach -- and this is their way to insulate themselves a bit from the fallout. And, of course, it is reasonable to consider that Bayh -- having been passed over for VP -- may have future presidential ambitions, himself.

That said, Evan Bayh told Joe Scarborough there are "three or four" members who are in the "witness protection program" and don't want to be publicly identified as moderates (my money is on Gillbrand being one of those).

Something tells me that DailyKos and company are not going to pleased if it actually turns out that the moderates are putting the brakes on the far-left agenda being pushed by the administration.