**Written by Doug Powers
Have you ever noticed that not as many people are concerned with “getting back to the middle” and away from political partisanship when the country lurches left, but when the country shows signs of lurching to the right, suddenly calls for “centrism” abound?:
An alliance of centrist Republicans and Democrats is seeking to organize a grass-roots movement targeting the middle of American politics, a political sphere depopulated by the midterm elections and a vital tool for any potential third-party presidential candidate.
The group, called “No Labels,” has drawn support from supporters and advisers of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the country’s most powerful independent politician, raising questions about his national political ambitions. Mr. Bloomberg has been invited to attend the group’s Dec. 13 launch.
No Labels is led by Democratic fund-raiser Nancy Jacobson and Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who were introduced to each other by Kevin Sheekey, Mr. Bloomberg’s political adviser.
The group has raised more than $1 million to seed its effort against what it calls “hyper-partisanship.” Backers include co-chairman of Loews Corp. Andrew Tisch, Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich and ex-Facebook executive Dave Morin. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as U.S. senators Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow, will attend the New York launch.
You can’t have a “middle of the road” movement without including super-lib Debbie Stabenow. Three years ago, on the “most liberal Senators” chart, Stabenow was tied with Hillary Clinton, who is of course famous for her centrism. As for Michael Bloomberg, nothing says rational middle-of-the-roader like somebody who thinks abortion is a fundamental right and salt is murder.
“No Labels” backer and Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich just oozes “middle of the road.” He’s donated thousands of dollars to the Mass. Democratic State Committee, John Kerry for President and Barack Obama for President. That’s a centrist track record if there ever was one.
Loews’ Andrew Tisch has contributed to both parties — technically — but other than Republican Mark Kirk, for the most part Tisch has thrown support to moderates who avoid partisanship — Independent thinkers who aren’t blinded by party loyalty such as Charles Rangel, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Jerrold Nadler and Hillary Clinton.
In 2004, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was asked to be the National Chairman of the Kerry for President campaign — a job that was of course only offered to political centrists. Kerry also endorsed Villaraigosa for LA Mayor, because he was so, you know, moderate and all.
It’s no wonder they’re calling it “No Labels,” because the label most of them fall under was to a great degree resoundingly rejected earlier this month.
Sure, there will be a few token center-righties involved, but they’ll be carefully screened based on their ability to prove correct PT Barnum.
**Written by Doug Powers
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