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Clark in ‘08?

The mainline Democrats, who are running under the illusion that the United States of America still exist, are starting to back various candidates for President. One of those candidates is (ex-)general Clark, who has, um, no political experience, but who has managed to help NATO actually win a war DESPITE the backseat driving from various elected members of the Evil Party (who, then as now, don't know jack about how to wage a shooting war.)

So what is the #1 qualification his backers give for him? «Happily, Clark oozes military. It's impossible to imagine the guy anywhere else.» Umm, er, hello? And this means exactly what when the Evil Party slime campaign kicks into action? John Kerry, who is a honest to G-d decorated war hero, was beaten down into only a 2-3% lead (the exact figures aren't known, of course, because the Evil Party stole the election had 10,000 happy coincidences which allowed them to "win" the election) and he's been a politician for quite a long time.

If, as in 2004, Clark's backers think that his stellar military experience will inoculate him against the Evil Party slime machine (remember that he's got to climb a much higher hill than his predicessors did; Gore was tied in the polls, and "lost", Kerry was up 2-3% in the exit polls, and "lost". I expect that in 2008 the Democratic candidate will be up 5% in the exit polls and they'll still "lose") and cause him to sweep to victory, well, they're likely to be really surprised when the (Evil Party controlled) battleground states announce slim victories for Dear Leader not-B*sh.

There are situations where having military experience is very useful. Politics (or, as is the case in the United States now, "Politics") is not one of them. The Evil Party has a deserter as their figurehead, for heaven's sake, and regularly pisses into the mouths of people who are actually fighting in real wars, but ~50% of the American electorate thinks that they're defending the country. Wesley Clark doesn't control the television stations, so he could have a heap of medals 10 feet high, including a special medal for rescuing Jesus of Nazareth from the Roman Army, and it wouldn't make any difference to the official poll results.

It may be a stretch to imagine the United States with fair elections, but it's more of a stretch to imagine the Evil Party, which has (enthusiastically and with a fair bit of success) maliciously slandered two veterans of the Vietnam war, turning tail and running just because another veteran has been offered up as competition for their deserteur de jour.


ORC: Clark was a good choice for '04 - he was Kerry without the baggage, and his support ran mighty deep amongst Independents and Rs around the US. His fatal mistakes were to announce late and then bag the Iowa caucuses. I have no doubt that he would have bested GWB in the general election, but he couldn't get out of the dysfunctional Democratic nominating system, because he was too much of an outsider. His chances for '08 seem minimal, not because his military background isn't useful but with Hillary in the fray, he will lose a key portion of his natural southern (and hawkish women) constituency. But I'd be surprised if he doesn't run again, and I wouldn't bet against him...particularly in a general election. The man has charisma, smarts and military intelligence that rose to the top of the Pentagon...a pretty good political boot camp! Underestimate him at your peril.

andrew kaza Tue Apr 19 15:18:44 2005

The great thing about the General is NOT his military experience. It's nice. It's great to see a Democrat with a big ol' chest full of medals and shoulders full of stars.

It DOES help against the horrendous smear that Democrats are soft and weak and undermine our national defense.

And, no, the General's impressive military career will not stop the GOP slime machine from smearing him for being soft and weak, and undermining our national defense, anyway.

But if it's going to happen no matter who Democrats run, better a general than anyone else.

But that's not why the General is a great candidate. He's a great candidate because he's super smart, he's quick on his feet, he's FEARLESS, and he FIGHTS--remember him taunting Karl Rove to bring it on? Remember him stating emphatically that he was a LIBERAL and proud of it, and, beyond that, that liberalism was GOOD for the country?

Jesus, when was the last time a Democrat had the onions to do THAT?

A few times, Kerry, when he was getting horrendously slimed, threatened to take off the gloves and go bareknuckle...but he never did. And it was a mistake. This is a president and this is a GOP where, I think, a Democrat can screw the high road and get down into the fray.

And I don't think the General would shy away from doing that. If he runs, he's got my vote.

ricky Tue Apr 19 16:44:23 2005

When I compare the potential Democratic crop against the Evil Party, I'm not particularly choosy -- ANY of them, including Joementum, would be better a better president than Maximum Leader Genius.

I'm a Deaniac, so I wasn't paying much attention to Wesley Clark during the primaries (after Iowa and New Hampshire, the game was over). In my dream candidacy (this dream starts with fair elections and ends with a pony) the Democrats would primary in every state on the same day (and that day would happen in 2006), run the convention 3 months later, then spend the next 21 months beating the shit out of the Evil Party. Then, yeah, the box of medals would be really nice to bring out nice and early, right after Clark told the professional conslutant class that he would not be needing their services this time around.

David Parsons Tue Apr 19 18:28:25 2005

Oh, Dave, you're a Democrat speaking my language.

The professional consultants have got to go. Number one, they appear to be about half retarded. And, number two, they also appear to be the other half of retarded.

These unbelievable clowns who have lost the House and the Senate, and the White House are still pretending that they know what they're doing because Bill Clinton won the presidency twice. They keep writing unbelievably stupid Op/Ed pieces every chance they get on how the key to Democratic success is to talk a lot about Jesus and maybe run some Republicans on the Democratic ticket...

Begala and Carville aside, the only reason Clinton won two elections was CLINTON. Not these idiotic, ineffective chuckleheads, who should shut up and get out of Washington.

But if Democrats really cared about consistently running viable candidates for the White House, they would change their primary system. Right now, it's senseless and gives a ridiculous amount of say to a couple of states which don't represent the Democratic party, don't represent the country at large, and which very rarely matter in the general election.

Course, I may be biased. I live in one of the biggest states in the country, a state that went for Kerry last year. And I haven't been able to vote in a single Democratic primary in my lifetime.

And I've been voting since Mondale ran against Reagan.

ricky Tue Apr 19 18:50:54 2005

Personally, I hope the party shows us what it did last time around and looks for a candidate that can win...Iowa and NH's victories for Kerry showed that Dems in these states are more interested in the outcome than ideology. I fear Clinton in this mess. She will bring out more vile and hatred than anyone and I know people (hardcore democrats) that don't want to vote for her. Besides, we have depth this time around: Warner, Bayh, Clark, etc...

Clark's speech at the Democratic National Convention was probably the best speech of the event. He showed he could lead! I agree he should stay the heck away from the Dems machine and just do what wants, the consultants don't have a clue!

Bayh is also a good choice, he makes the R's compete in Indiana and he is a shoe-in for Ohio, even if they try to borrow the election again!

William Cheever Sat Aug 13 15:58:41 2005

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