A term coined to reflect the modern Democratic party. New Democrats are self-proclaimed Progressive. They stand for a woman's right to have an abortion. Also, they are for civil rights for gays and support gay marriage and civil unions. New Democrats want to expand the government by taxation to create massive new social programs such as Universal Healthcare. They wish to empower workers' wnions, which comprise a large majority of campaign donations. New Democrats consider themselves moderates even though they are far left of centrist positions. Organizations that represent New Democrats are the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and congressional New Democrat Coalitions.
Former Democrat Presidential candidate Gary Hart of a liberal reformist group first used the words New Democrat.  Many people believe that New Democrats came about during the Clinton Administration. Others would argue New Democrats came as a result of George W. Bush becoming President and Republicans controlling all branches of government.
Modern era Democrats hold 20th century Democrats with high esteem, often giving praise to leaders such as John F. Kennedy. However, the ideals the old Democrats contrast differently with today's new Democrats. Kennedy's inaugural address "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Contrast that with the New Democrats position that we should not pay any price or bear any burden in Iraq. That liberty and democracy should not be spread to other countries that are America's foes. Also, that the rights of Americans held by our constitution does not apply to those children in the womb.
- http://media.hoover.org/documents/0817945822_87.pdf , Hoover.org The Fate of the New Democrats