W. Va.'s Rockefeller ponders run for president


CLEVELAND -- Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, who had previously ruled out the idea of running for the White House in 1992, says that he is now actively considering seeking his party's presidential nomination.

Rockefeller's statement, made yesterday while he was attending the Democratic Leadership Conference convention, came only three days after another Democratic senator, Tom Harkin of Iowa, indicated that he was weighing the possibility of entering the race.

The Democratic presidential field now consists of only one declared candidate, former Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas, and one likely contender, Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, who says that he will decide this summer whether to actually run.

Even as the list of potential Democratic contenders grows, the policy debate over what sort of message the party should offer the country in 1992 is heating up.

The centrist DLC approved resolutions curtailing congressional say on the proposed trade pact with Mexico and calling for a compromise on the civil rights bill now before Congress.

The tension between the Democrats' conservative and liberal wings was further reflected by the remarks here yesterday of National Chairman Ronald H. Brown. Brown told council members that they could make the party stronger by contributing to the policy debate.

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