Bob Graham on Principles & Values

FL Sr Senator (retiring 2004); Democratic Primary Candidate for President

Withdraws from Presidential race, and Senate race

Sen. Bob Graham, who tried to mold his opposition to President Bush's handling of terrorism and the Iraq war into a viable bid for the White House, abandoned the campaign after months of struggling to gain traction in a crowded Democratic primary field. His decision ends a campaign that, despite Graham's accomplished r‚sum‚ spanning 35 years in Tallahassee and Washington, was beset by lackluster fundraising, questionable decision-making, and the candidate's own quirky, low-key style that played well over three decades in politics but made him an oddity on the national stage. Graham cited his late start in the campaign due to heart surgery, the war in Iraq and his duties overseeing the investigation into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee."All of those things combined to make it difficult for us to have the time and to close the gap in organization and fundraising," he said. [Graham later announced he would not seek re-election to the Senate, either].
Source: Peter Wallsten, Miami Herald Oct 7, 2003

Bush divides Americans

Infrastructure is another example that one of the recurring themes of the Bush administration, is to divide Americans, not bring us together. We've just been talking about the issue, the future of Social Security; that's a division between generations in America. The issue of who's going to pay for the cost of rebuilding our electric system is a regional conflict within America. We need to be looking at ways to solve problems as Americans, not as subgroups of Americans.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Favorite song: "Changes In Attitude, Changes In Latitudes"

Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate Sep 9, 2003

Opportunity For All: economic plan for one America

Tonight in America, 9 million of our fellow citizens are out of work. Tonight in America, our young uniformed men and women are in the quagmire of Iraq losing one comrade a day. Tonight in America, our people are being asked to rebuild a foreign land.

I know that if we can rebuild the schools, the roads, the bridges, the electric grid of Iraq that we can do it here at home. That's why I have published an economic plan, "Opportunity For All." This is how we can rebuild America.

I believe in one America. Together we can create a prosperous America, we can create a respected America, we can create a safe America, we can create our America. With Bob Graham as president, we will have one America.

Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate Sep 9, 2003

Question Bush's secrecy and manipulativeness

Q: What do you think about the actions and policies of the Bush administration?

A: I've questioned Bush's secrecy and the apparent manipulation of intelligence data over waging war in Iraq to the administration's cover-up of the report on the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I've questioned in the wake of new tax giveaways to the upper-crust of society while he leaves average Americans without jobs, without hope and without the critical investments that will help make their lives better.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Centrist Southern governor is best candidate for presidency

Q: Democrats worry about your charisma, and what they think is that you're really running for vice president.

GRAHAM: I am running not to be running, but running to be the next president of the USA. I believe that the combination that Americans are looking for in their next president include, one, they want someone with executive experience: For 8 years I was governor of the 4th largest state in this nation, which I think is the best preparation to be president. And the American people think so too since 4 of the last 5 presidents elected had been governors of their state before they became president.

Second, I am a centrist. I believe that you don't set policy from the end zones; you set policy from the 50-yard line and build out until you have a majority.

Third, I happen to be a Southerner. Who have been the last 3 Democratic elected presidents? Lyndon Johnson from Texas, Jimmy Carter from Georgia, and Bill Clinton from Arkansas. That says something about what it takes to be elected.

Source: Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

I come from the electable wing of the Democratic Party.

America is at a critical turning point. More than two years into the term of President George Bush, America is experiencing an unprecedented economic slowdown. Surpluses are gone, deficits are rising, unemployment is growing, and the people are hurting. I am running for president because I believe America must take a new direction, that new direction must include experience and solid judgment.

As Governor of Florida, I helped create one million new jobs, built schools and balanced the budget as a member of, and for the last two years, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I know how vulnerable we are and I know what it's going to take to secure America. And as an American I have spent almost 400 days working side-by-side with Americans. My name is Bob Graham. I come from the electable wing of the Democratic Party.

Source: Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

Religious affiliation: United Church of Christ.

Graham : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH12 on Nov 7, 2000

Member of Democratic Leadership Council.

Graham is a member of the Democratic Leadership Council:


The DLC’s mission is to promote public debate within the Democratic Party and the public at large about national and international policy and political issues. Specifically, as the founding organization of the New Democrat movement, the DLC’s goal is to modernize the progressive tradition in American politics for the 21st Century by advancing a set of innovative ideas for governing through a national network of elected officials and community leaders.

Who We Are

The Democratic Leadership Council is an idea center, catalyst, and national voice for a reform movement that is reshaping American politics by moving it beyond the old left-right debate. The DLC seeks to define and galvanize popular support for a new public philosophy built on progressive ideals, mainstream values, and innovative, non bureaucratic, market-based solutions. At its heart are three principles: promoting opportunity for all; demanding responsibility from everyone; and fostering a new sense of community.

Since its inception, the DLC has championed policies from spurring private sector economic growth, fiscal discipline and community policing to work based welfare reform, expanded international trade, and national service. Throughout the 90’s, innovative, New Democrat policies implemented by former DLC Chairman President Bill Clinton have helped produce the longest period of sustained economic growth in our history, the lowest unemployment in a generation, 22 million new jobs, cut the welfare rolls in half, reduced the crime rate for seven straight years, balanced the budget and streamlined the federal bureaucracy to its smallest size since the Kennedy administration.

Now, the DLC is promoting new ideas -- such as a second generation of environmental protection and new economy and technology development strategies -- that is distinctly different from traditional liberalism and conservatism to build the next generation of America’s leaders.

Source: Democratic Leadership Council web site 01-DLC0 on Nov 7, 2000

New Democrat: "Third Way" instead of left-right debate.

Graham adopted Third Way principles of the Democratic Leadership Council:

America and the world have changed dramatically in the closing decades of the 20th century. The industrial order of the 20th century is rapidly yielding to the networked “New Economy” of the 21st century. Our political and governing systems, however, have lagged behind the rest of society in adapting to these seismic shifts. They remain stuck in the left-right debates and the top-down bureaucracies of the industrial past.

The Democratic Leadership Council, and its affiliated think tank the Progressive Policy Institute, have been catalysts for modernizing politics and government. The core principles and ideas of this “Third Way” movement [began with] Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign in 1992, Tony Blair’s Labour Party in Britain in 1997, and Gerhard Shroeder’s Social Democrats in Germany in 1998.

    The Third Way philosophy seeks to adapt enduring progressive values to the new challenges of he information age. It rests on three cornerstones:
  1. the idea that government should promote equal opportunity for all while granting special privilege for none;
  2. an ethic of mutual responsibility that equally rejects the politics of entitlement and the politics of social abandonment;
  3. and, a new approach to governing that empowers citizens to act for themselves.
The Third Way approach to economic opportunity and security stresses technological innovation, competitive enterprise, and education rather than top- down redistribution or laissez faire. On questions of values, it embraces “tolerant traditionalism,” honoring traditional moral and family values while resisting attempts to impose them on others. It favors an enabling rather than a bureaucratic government, expanding choices for citizens, using market means to achieve public ends and encouraging civic and community institutions to play a larger role in public life. The Third Way works to build inclusive, multiethnic societies based on common allegiance to democratic values.
Source: Democratic Leadership Council web site 01-DLC1 on Nov 7, 2000

Member of the Senate New Democrat Coalition.

Graham is a member of the Senate New Democrat Coalition:

The Senate New Democrat Coalition (SNDC) [is analogous to] the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) in the House. Members of both groups are moderate Democrats who advocate a new centrist, progressive approach to governing and who often reach across party lines to get things done.

Established in 1997, the House New Democrat Coalition (NDC) grew to 64 members between 1998 and 2000, making it the largest caucus in the House. With the success of NDN’s top House candidates on Election Day, the NDC has grown to 72 members in the 107th Congress. The Senate New Democrat Coalition (SNDC), established in 2000, is already 20 members.

In announcing the establishment of the SNDC in February 2000, Sen. Landrieu stated, “The American people are tired of the same old proposals and are demanding that we work together in a more creative way on the many problems facing our nation. Too often here in Washington, the loudest voices are the ones on the far left and far right. That is why this group was formed, to give voice to those in the sensible center.” The SNDC has already made its voice heard on critical issues ranging from education to trade to health care and, with the Senate evenly divided, the Senate New Dems are increasingly determining the balance of power.

Source: Senate New Democrat Coalition web site 01-SNDC0 on Jan 1, 2001

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Bob Graham on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts