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Centrist Democrats gather, sans Barack Obama

June 30, 2008 |  6:49 pm

It attracted attention last summer when the then-crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders stiffed the annual convention, held in Nashville, of the Democratic Leadership Council (which, we noted in a post at the time, once was "the prime incubator for fresh party approaches to politicking and governing, with an emphasis on addressing middle-class concerns)."

Today, the DLC wrapped up its 2008 gathering in, of all places, Chicago. Yet despite the convenient location for the newly crowned presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the Windy City's own Barack Obama, the DLC still isn't feeling the love.

Obama was back in his hometown Sunday but, rather than swing by the convention, he was represented by a surrogate. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley pressed his case, explaining to the conventioneers that Obama needed some family time.

Despite the absence of the party's star attraction, DLC members were strongly urged in a closing speech by the group's head, former Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, to marshal their efforts on Obama's behalf.

The Chicago Tribune's Swamp blog wrote about the wrapup on the conclave in an item headlined "DLC leaders embrace Obama," which can be read here.

-- Don Frederick