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The Democratic Agenda

The New York Times notes how congressional Democrats are trying to seek the center, especially on social issues. "But the Democrats' moves toward consensus-building on issues that often resist consensus reflect their effort to adjust to a new political reality. Their majority is slimmer than it was the last time they were in power, especially in the Senate. The country, some pollsters say, has grown more conservative on abortion and other social issues."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger both made appearances at a high-profile San Francisco MLK breakfast yesterday. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "the Democratic leader's tough comments warning President Bush against what she called an abuse of power in a troop escalation were greeted with cheers -- while Schwarzenegger, who on Sunday said he supports the president's decision to increase the troop levels by 21,500 in Iraq, studiously avoided the topic." 

The Boston Herald says that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) "was followed throughout Martin Luther King Day by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, stirring speculation that the governor is already being eyed by power-brokers on the national political stage." More: "Patrick's name has been thrown into discussions about successors to Sens. Edwards Kennedy or John Kerry, and he has also drawn consideration as a possible vice presidential candidate or pick for U.S. attorney general if Democrats secure the White House in 2008."