Warner vs Allen

George Allen gave the closing of the ceremony speech at the conservative gathering over this past weekend with the Republicans chanting "Allen in '08" as he ended, but it doesn't seem that Allen wants to run while giving up his Senate seat, so all indications are that Allen is first running for re-election in '06.

Governor Mark Warner sees his term ends this year, and there are some expectations that he will run against Allen in '06, and this poll in RollCall has Warner ahead solidly:

An Emerson College poll released late last week showed Gov. Mark Warner (D) beating Sen. George Allen (R) in a hypothetical 2006 Senate matchup.

Warner garnered 48 percent to Allen's 41 percent in the poll, which was taken Feb. 13-17. The survey of 420 likely voters had a 5 percent margin of error.

"Warner's appeal is unprecedented and could result in a Democratic victory on Capitol Hill in 2006," said David Paleologos, president of DAPA Research Inc., who oversaw the poll.

Warner is the Democrats' dream candidate, and their only real prospect, to take on Allen, a former governor who was first elected to the Senate in 2000.

But there are expectations that Warner also wants to run in '08 for President... can Warner do both too?

Tags: Senate 2006 (all tags)



My preference.
I'd rather he run for Senate and just write-off the presidency. I'm not prepared at this point to vote for a centrist just because he's got a Southern accent. Let's see some damn accomplishments out of this guy first.
by craverguy 2005-02-22 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: My preference.
I'm not trying to push Warner for prez, but he has boatloads of accomplishments as governor from what I hear. That's why he is so popular. The state was in a fiscal mess, he pulled them out of it, and improved education. "Grade the states 2005" gave Virignia an 'A' in each category, the only state to get the honor. He has accomplishments(no southern accent though). Senate might give him more experience, but not much in terms of individual accomplishment.
by jj32 2005-02-22 05:57PM | 0 recs
He gains nothing in the Senate
If career pols can't learn anything else, it should be hat the Senate is a terrible career path, because the Senate is a place of reason where leaders set ideals aside for the good of the nation.

It makes leaders look weak.

Warner should do the smart thing: declare for the Presidency and run a two year campaign.

That said, it would greatly benefit the party is he ran for Senate instead.

And, no, he can't run for Senate in 2006 ten Prez in 2008.  One, it would look awful, political climbing.  Two, he wouldn't have tie to actually do anything.

This would be nothing short of just running for spite.

by jcjcjc 2005-02-23 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: He gains nothing in the Senate
I agree. If he is running for prez, he might as well start in Feb '06. Maybe not officially but start getting speaking engagements in IA and NH. Travel the country and then declare.
by jj32 2005-02-23 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: He gains nothing in the Senate
I agree with your post.  If you would like to see Mark Warner run for president, please join the Draft Mark Warner Yahoo Group.  You'll find the link at http://www.draftmarkwarner.com

If Warner were to run for the senate and lose, it would spell disaster for any higher ambitions he might have.  Two senate losses would be difficult to ever recover from.  

Senators do not have a good track record in getting elected president. Why should Warner risk a second senate loss just because Democrats are desperate for a senate candidate?

by erat 2005-02-23 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: He gains nothing in the Senate
I'm all for having him in the field.  I'm not yet sold on Warner, but the door is open.

At this moment, I'm on the Feingold bandwagon.  Feingold's a lot closer to my values.  However, I am very impressed with Warner's work fixing VA's financial mess.

However, I'd like a good field of five or so legit candidates.

by jcjcjc 2005-02-24 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: My preference.
Mark Warner has as many accomplishments under his belt in just four years as governor than most governors have serving mutlitple terms (not allowed in Virginia).

Here are some of the reasons why Mark Warner could and should be the Democratic nominee for President in 2008:


by erat 2005-02-23 07:10AM | 0 recs
I'm not from VA
but I think Warner would be a great candidate for president. Although the worry is, is he rising to quickly? Of course, Jimmy Carter was one term governor.  My take is he will be on the ticket one day, dont know about VP or Prez, or when, but I think he has national ambitions. I question  the poll, Warner is pretty popular, but I want to see more polls. Another issue: John Warner will be 81, I believe, in 08. If he retires, the CW is that it is Mark's for the taking in 08.  
by jj32 2005-02-22 05:54PM | 0 recs
I'm not from VA either
Gov. Warner sounds like a shoe-in, at least at this point.  Plus, taking the Senate position in '06 would be a door opener for the senate in '08.  This may be sacriledge, but i am not that concerned about the presidency right now.  We really need to provide some checks and balances.
by bruindave 2005-02-22 06:01PM | 0 recs
We have a great opportunity........
to lay a great foundation in a southern RED of RED states.  The DNC has already pledged $5 million to the state party for Virginia's governor's race.  With this we can set up a fool-proof organization and keep the Governor's mansion.  Then the year after, pick up the Senate seat with current Governor Warner.  That will at least lay the foundation to swing Virginia into the blue column in the 2008 presidential election for Evan Bayh.
by southern IN DEM 2005-02-22 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: We have a great opportunity........
Or not to that last bit. Evan Bayh may be the winner you people claim he is, but I can tell you right now that he'll be winning without my vote.
by craverguy 2005-02-22 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: We have a great opportunity........
I am for any Dem to get in the white house.  Seriously, any Democrat.  However, I do not think Bayh has the personality to make it.
by bruindave 2005-02-22 06:32PM | 0 recs
Which Republican will you vote for instead
You won't vote for Bayh in the General Election?

I assume you won't vote for a Republican since any Republican will be to the right of Bayh.

Are you going for a repeat of 2000 where Ralph Nader helped Bush win the White House?

Or are you just going to stay home?

Forget that. Vote for the Democrat whoever it might be.

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-23 05:10AM | 0 recs
I agree.
That's why I don't vote for Republicrats like Evan Bayh.
by Covin 2005-02-23 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Republican will you vote for instead
what did Nader do, help cart Gore ballots to the Gulf of Mexico and toss them in?
by johnny longtorso 2005-02-23 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Republican will you vote for instead
No. He got votes from a bunch of lefties who decided not to vote against Republicrats. Those votes, if given to Gore probably would have resulted in Gore beating Bush.

Principles great. Knowing which principle should hold sway in a given situation ... even better.

Nader in 2000

In the 2000 presidential election in Florida, Nader won 97,488 votes, while Al Gore lost the state (and, therefore, the presidency) by 537 votes to Mr. Bush. In five other states this was also true. And it still haunts Democrats - from bar rants to national discourse.
by Curt Matlock 2005-02-23 07:17AM | 0 recs
Even if you believe
that the election wasn't rigged to be that close, one letter to the editor at the time said it best (paraphrased):

"Either party could have won a clear victory if they'd run a stronger candidate."

Personally, I don't believe that Nader voters had nearly as much impact on the election as the massive fraud perpetrated by the Reeps.

by catastrophile 2005-02-23 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Republican will you vote for instead
If we nominate I centrist DLC sleazeball like Bayh, I damn well will vote for Nader, and I'll mail a goddamn photocopy of the ballot with my name on it to the DNC and Bayh's campaign. I'll vote for whoever I please, Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Why should I vote for a guy I disagree with?

Screw Bayh and all his "Third Way" garbage.

by craverguy 2005-02-23 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Republican will you vote for instead
Well of course you get to vote for whomever you please. Personally, I'd have preferred Gore to Bush and wish Naderites in Florida and other swing states in the 2000 election had been more practical in how they voted. Any disagreements I had with Gore (and there were plenty) paled in comparison to those I had with Bush and the Republican Party.

Bayh is not my first or even my second choice, but assuming Bayh gets the nomination he might very well be running against someone like Frist. That choice is pretty clear. In fact, I'd be shocked if the Republicans nominate anyone even close to Bayh in having a Progressive agenda. Bayh may be centrist, but that beats a rightist any day.

I'd love it if the U.S. had more viable parties. But we don't. So until we do I only see one practical choice. For people in states that don't have close Presidential elections, protest votes are fine. But frankly, for anyone left of center that lives someplace like Florida or Ohio I just can't see how it makes sense to vote for a 3rd party.

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-23 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Republican will you vote for instead
If you only choose to cast your protest vote in places where it doesn't matter, it's not much of a protest, is it? I live in Iowa, a swing-state, and I have no problem voting against Bayh, even if it does mean he loses the state.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Which Republican will you vote for instead
It's your vote.
by Curt Matlock 2005-02-23 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: We have a great opportunity........
What do I make of Evan Bayh being more conservative that Liebermann--and he is. Bayh agreed with this war and the Patriots Act; he still does.

What do I make of selling my soul one more time? I went door to door for his Daddy, but for Evan, I don't know if I could limp that far.

So let's see: I need to chose for a republican or someone who agrees with them on all the issues.

Tell me again, what do I get?

by Donna Z 2005-02-23 08:43AM | 0 recs
Campaign Finance Laws
..are the only catch.

Virginia governor's cannot succeed themselves so Warner needs a new job next year anyway. The Senate campaign would wrap up by December of '06...and if he's not successful he has six months to recharge his batteries before heading into the scrum. If John Warner is retiring, Mark can just switch gears in early '08 should he not get the nod for President and run for Senate. And if he still fails?

Run for Governor of Virginia again in '09. After all, Nextel got acquired by Sprint. Unless he wants to work at another Dulles Toll Road corporation, what else is Mark "Dopey" Warner going to do?

by risenmessiah 2005-02-22 07:19PM | 0 recs
He can't (shouldn't) do both
If I had my druthers, Virginia wouldn't have it's ridiculous one-term limit on Governors and Gov. Warner would be re-elected this November.  Alas, we're going to lose him and it's going to be a monumental, colossal fight to retain that office for Democrats this year.

There's no way Mark Warner can both run for Senate in '06 and run for President in '08, and there's no doubt that he's our strongest challenger to George Allen.  Warner has experience with a Senate campaign (he ran against John Warner before running for Governor) and while he lost, he impressed everyone wtih how well he did against a hugely popular John Warner.  George Allen doesn't have anything close to that kind of popularity in VA.

I say there's "no way" he can do both because if he runs for Senate and is successful, he has no business running for President after just two years.  And if he is not successful, being a one-term Governor and two-time unsuccessful Senate candidate is not the best springboard from which to launch a bid for the Presidency.

If Warner wants to be on the '08 ticket, I think he'd be an enormously strong VP choice, but I confess I still have difficulty with him running for President after one term as Governor and no other elected experience.

by Maura in CT 2005-02-22 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: He can't (shouldn't) do both
Could the stars align for a Spitzer-Warner ticket in  2012?
by risenmessiah 2005-02-22 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: He can't (shouldn't) do both
Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I've been pressing similar points over at Kos: Warner isn't a strong presidential contender as a one-term governor.  The presidency is not in everyone's future and you have to look to other places where you can do some good.

Mark Warner is the best shot we have at getting Allen out of the Senate.  Unfortunately, our bench isn't that deep and while there's a crowd running for Gov/Lt. Gov, there's no clear contender to challenge Allen if Warner doesn't.

Having said that, I hear Warner is leaning toward a run in 08 but I have no idea how reliable that information is.  I agree that he'd be a good VP candidate.

Thank you too, Jerome, for posting this.

by KimPossible 2005-02-23 04:30AM | 0 recs
Warner cannot pass up 06.
He's got to do something to elevate his national profile and this would certainly do it.  If not he'll be the 2008 version of John Edwards and will run use his run in 08 to lock up the no.2 spot as he won't be able to convince 51% of Americans that he has national security cred which is why we lost in 2004.

Warner should make his career path about saving this country and winning that Senate seat helps.  If he's added to our 08 ticket he'll pull VA into the blue column if he doesn't run in 08.  

I consider Clark-Warner as close to an unbeatable ticket as our party has ever had as both would carry their 19 red state electoral votes which no Bayh or Gore supporter can honestly say.  There is also no other combination that provides more red state ev's than that ticket.

by alexm 2005-02-22 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Warner cannot pass up 06.
Well, I totally agree with the first part of your post. We unfortunately have very few genuine pickup opportunities in 2006, and we can't afford to pass this one up.

I have serious doubts about the ability of a Clark-Warner ticket to bring in 19 red state EVs, but that's another discussion.

by desmoinesdem 2005-02-22 08:44PM | 0 recs
Unfortunately both will carry thier homestates.
Both are WILDLY popular in their homestates.  Clark could run for Gov. of AR and win by ten points.

There is no stronger ticket considering the world will be an even more dangerous place in 2008 than in 2004.

by alexm 2005-02-22 11:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Unfortunately both will carry thier homestates
It doesn't matter when you are talking about the presidency. Edwards was popular in North Carolina and the state was lost anyway.

Winning the South has nothing to do with being Southern or being popular. It has nothing to do with candidate selection. That mentality comes off as complete arrogance to your average person--that you can win their vote just because you picked someone who comes from their state.

Victory in the red states is entirely dependent on message and perception management. You can't just pick a candidate and then expect to win states--you have to have a message to go along with them. It's all about perception. Rudy Giuliani is exceptionally popular in red states, despite the fact that he is a Northeastern social liberal. Why? Because he is perceived as being a virtuous--while in New York he is considered to be a complete asshole. Which he is.

Not that I don't like Warner or Clark--much to the contrary, in fact. However, what we need to understand is that the selection of a candidate does not guarantee the victory of any given state, no matter who the candidates are.

They may be popular in their home states, but if they don't defend and use that energy, it can easily be destroyed.

by Covin 2005-02-23 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Unfortunately both will carry thier homestates
Confused about Edwards. I am not from NC, but have heard the opposite from a number of people including indication in the polling, that Edwards was not all that popular in NC. Polls showed that he would have lost a reelection bid.

Maybe so...maybe not. You might know more. Nevertheless, each race in each state is different.

by Donna Z 2005-02-23 08:28AM | 0 recs
Edwards WAS NOT popular in his homestate.
Its why he did not run for re-election.  He went back on every major campaign promise he made and was loathed by North Carolinians.  

It is not arrogance to suggest that someone who has favorables as high as Warner can win his home state, it's simply understanding politics.  Edwards had high unfavorables and that's why he couldn't win in NC.

As far as perception Clark identifies with people in his homestate and that's why they love him.  Same with Warner.

by alexm 2005-02-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards WAS NOT popular in his homestate.
Thanks Alexm. I thought that I'd heard/read that Edwards would have lost a bid to return to the senate. Like I said, I'm not from NC, but I do remember a problem when he did not return after a hurricane. They were other points that were made, but it's water meet bridge at this point.

Yes, General Clark loves Arkansas. His is a large clan with he and Gert playing a large role. My friend from LR told me that the most fundy of fundy churches had a Draft Clark sign on the lawn.

by Donna Z 2005-02-23 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards WAS NOT popular in his homestate.
His re-elect was in the 30's.  That's why he ran for President and not for re-election.

He was a horrible Senator.

by alexm 2005-02-23 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards WAS NOT popular in his homestate.
Wrong. Edwards may or may not have won NC had he run for reelection, but he certainly wasn't "loathed" by North Carolinians as you emptily claim. In fact, he had better numbers than Bush did--which says something. How many people in NC do you think really paid attention to his job as their senator, anyway? Most people don't care about that stuff.

And no. Reading a poll that says Warner has high numbers followed by claiming that this signifies he can easily win the state is not understanding politics. That's what's wrong with this party. Mark Warner's popularity is as malleable as any governor's, and is entirely dependent on the Republican campaign as well as his own should he run for president.

You can wave polls and numbers around all you want, but that doesn't mean you "understand politics." At best, that's a laughable gesture, and at worst it's a sense of false security. The saying that polls mean nothing is entirely true.

A campaign can turn a person's image around in a heart beat, and the list goes on and on with people where this has proven true, including presidential candidates like George McGovern. This is especially true for states that are heavily ideological, such as Virginia.

Warner is popular now, but give him the liberal label--which the Republicans can do to anyone with ease--and he will lose Virginia by default. Like it or not, [eople don't know much about his record except the word "good," and unless he keeps it that way, the Republicans will change it to "liberal." Especially since he rose taxes.

Virginians don't know that Republicans supported him on that tax rise, and they don't know how necessary it was. If Warner doesn't successfully frame that argument, among any others the Republicans make, he will receive the liberal label very quickly. And it will be even more difficult for him to lose it on the national scene where no one knows who he even is.

Let's get realistic here. Stop reading polls and start analyzing things yourself.

by Covin 2005-02-24 04:33PM | 0 recs
Winning the South
Two things:

Giuliani has high stripes in conservative circles because of how he handled 9-11. He was on TV more than the President, yet he was about to leave office. (Recall that 9-11 originally was to be the mayoral election in NYC). If you were from Mars, you would have thought Giuliani was President and Bush was some dickwapped New York State governor or something. I think Rudy G deserves credit for tirelessly working for his constituency after th attack. And I find his authoritarian tactics to be a mixed bag. I get the feeling he's helped clean up the City a lot, but every person I have known who has lived in NY hates or disliked Guiliani.

Don't look for Giuliani to reveal much about the "Southern strategy". Italians are usually Catholic, and there aren't many popular Catholic politicans in the South outside of L'siana. It's true no one is going to call Rudy a dirty papist during the South Carolina primary but remember why Lee Atwater pushed up the SC primary so early. He was trying to create a "firewall" to prevent outsiders from breaking in.

Until Gore, the Democrats were used to a highly disjointed primary season which was all over the place and in your face. This generally meant that the Party could experiment with strategies and message. Thanks to the McAuliffe "let's frontload everything" approach we got a "safe candidate" but we lost the sounding board of our primary system which was more important to us than it ever was to the Republicans.

by risenmessiah 2005-02-23 12:38PM | 0 recs
You can't run for a new job and then run...
...for prez two years later.  It just isn't done-because the moment you take office, you will have to start campaigning for president (well, maybe six months later)-you will never actually, oh, I dunno, vote or anything in your new line of work.  It's almost bad if you run for a job you already have in 06 and then run for prez in 08-but you certainly can't start a new job.

This is why, for example, Wes Clark won't run for governor of Arkansas in 06-cuz he's running for president again.

by Geotpf 2005-02-23 12:15AM | 0 recs
Re: You can't run for a new job and then run...
Then he's a fool. He could have the job of governor locked up, but he will never be president unless someone picks him for a running-mate. Around here in the Democratic Party, we prefer nominees who DIDN'T vote for Nixon and Reagan, or work as a speechwriter for Al Haig, and we like our nominee to have some, I dunno, previous experience in government. You see any SOuthern ex-generals around here who match that description?
by craverguy 2005-02-23 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: You can't run for a new job and then run...
You don't think 34 years working for the government counts as "previous experience in government"?  Tell me ONE aspect of government, foreign or domestic, that Clark hasn't had a hand in.  Hint:  there aren't any.  Defense, diplomacy, education, civil rights, health care, economics, infrastructure.  He's done it all in some capacity.  More than ANY other potential candidate you can name.

And I don't know where "here" is for you, but most rank and file Democrats don't give a rats ass who someone voted for twenty years ago.  Hell, most of 'em voted for Nixon and Reagan themselves, or they wouldn't have won by such large margins.

The speech-writing for Haig was totally apolitical.  A military assignment.  Get a clue.

by hf jai 2005-02-23 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: You can't run for a new job and then run...
Please explain to me in what way Clark was involved in "education, civil rights, health care, economics, infrastructure." I would truly love to hear this. And military experience is just that: military. In the military, you give an order and someone follows it. In government, you have to negotiate.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 11:17AM | 0 recs
Clark wasn't just "in the military".
He was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO which means that your statement that "you give an order and someone follows it. In government, you have to negotiate." could not be farther from reality.  In order to do ANYTHING in NATO you've got to get each country to sign on.  An example of this man's ability to negotiate is the the fact that he had to get EVERY MEMBER OF NATO to sign of a daily target list during the bombing campaign in Kosovo.  Even Javier Solana said he believed Clark would fail at this because NATO nations always have an issue with some irrelevant detail.  It did not fail and due to Clark's leadership and personal involvment in the process the campaignwas uninterrupted and ceased only when the Serbs signed a cease fire, thus ending the conflict.

As SHAPE he also not only ran but led the effort to drstaically improve the level of educayion in (I believe) the world's 8th largest school system.

As far as civil rights i think ending a genocide and then keeping the peace qualifies as well as the rebuilding of the balkans using the army corps of engineers qualifes as "infrastructre".

As far as budget, that's for policy people to  determine but his track record shows he's able to make the right and tough decisions.

by alexm 2005-02-23 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Clark wasn't just "in the military".
Hey, wasn't Clark the one who was supposed ORDERED a British general to take an airbase, which the man proceeded to not do? Sounds like he needs to work on his negotiating skills. Oh, and I really doubt that the Supreme Commander of NATO is that heavily involved in the diplomatic aspects of the operation. That's why we have a State Department.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Clark wasn't just "in the military".
Oh, and let's see what happens when he tries to order the army into Alabama to help enforce civil rights laws. He'd be impeached. And I'm still not seeing where education and health care come into play.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 11:41AM | 0 recs
Why would he do that?
Your argument makes no point.

His health care plan covered more people and cost less than any other candidates in 2004 and his education plan put more kids in college than any other.  Maybe before attacking Democrats with non-sensical points like "He'd order the military into Alabama (Seriously, are you kididng me?)" stuff you should spend a day doing what people "around here" call RESEARCH so you don't look like such a hater oblivious of facts but full of uninformed opinions.

by alexm 2005-02-23 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why would he do that?
I would dearly love to see a healthcare or education plan that covered more people than those of Kucinich and Sharpton, given that they called for EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN AMERICA to receive free healthcare and education.

The point I was making with the Alabama comment is that his military experience has nothing to do whatsoever with civil rights enforcement, given that he was attempting to establish HUMAN rights and he did by bombing the living hell out of people, including civilians.

All of which ignores my original point: the man has absolutely no experience whatsoever negotiating to get what he wants, a necessary skill if you want to deal with Congress, since even members of your own party have their own agendas. And as to that point, the scuttlebutt I hear is that the people who personally interacted with Clark have described him as an imperial bugger who always has to have his own way. Unless, of course, he happens to be kissing a superior's ass. The aforementioned airfield incident, which is well-documented, is a prime example of his inability to deal with people who aren't under any obligation to do what he says, much like Congress.

by craverguy 2005-02-23 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Why would he do that?
You're right.  His plan didn't cover as many as Kucinich, not sure about Sharpton.  I was refering more to tier one candidates rather than political statement candidates.  

I think I've successfully made the case here that you simply have no clue as to what you are talking about when it comes to Clark and rather than have an informed opinion you would rather just state an opinion as fact and play the game of trying to disprove a negative.  Which further amplfies my point.  You're just a hater.

"All of which ignores my original point: the man has absolutely no experience whatsoever negotiating to get what he wants, a necessary skill if you want to deal with Congress, since even members of your own party have their own agendas."


Being President is about leadership and the  cabinet you choose, not who you voted for in 1980.

"And as to that point, the scuttlebutt I hear is that the people who personally interacted with Clark have described him as an imperial bugger who always has to have his own way. Unless, of course, he happens to be kissing a superior's ass."

Really?  I've heard scuttlebutt that you kills kittens for fun.  Disprove it.  I'll bet those people are all Republicans but you should listen to them and not Bill Clinton.  LOL.

"The aforementioned airfield incident, which is well-documented, is a prime example of his inability to deal with people who aren't under any obligation to do what he says, much like Congress."

Unfortunately in the after action report of Kosovo, POTUS Clinton, SECDEF Cohen, JCOSC Shelton and SECGEN Javier Solana all agree that Clark's call was the right call, Jackson was reprimanded (And then forced out of the military) because his failure to follow that order allowed the Russian destabilize Pristina and allow war criminals to escape.  Everyone in his chain of command is on record that it was the right call but I'm sure that some Kucinich-blogger knows better, right?

Here's a word for you :  R E S E A R C H.

Do that before you attack Democrats.  Clinton did it and that's why he said that Clark was only one of two stars in the Dem party.  Michael Moore did and that's why he endorsed him.  McGovern did and that's why he endorsed him even though he voted for his OPPONENT.  The difference between us and you is that we've got the integrity to do reasearch before attacking people.  

by alexm 2005-02-23 01:47PM | 0 recs
You mean Jackson??!?
That's the same General that was later releived of his command and is now a drunk right?  LOL.

You may "doubt that the Supreme Commander of NATO is that heavily involved in the diplomatic aspects of the operation" but that's just because you don't use anytihng called the "internet" or care about being factual in your argument.

Do you know who negotiated the Dayton Accords?  Clark and Holbrooke with Holbrooke giving ALL of the credit to Clark in his book.  His book also details how Clark had to negotiate DAILY with HEADS OF STATE to get the target lists apporved.

Facts vs. Crap.  Stop being a hater and look this stuff up yourself which is what I would do before attacking a fellow Democrat but that's just me -- I've got this stupid thing called "integrity".

by alexm 2005-02-23 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
First of all, I'm still not sure he's a Democrat. Second of all, attacking members of your own party is part of presidential politics, or was your head buried in the sand during the primary season? Even General Perfect (Ret.) engaged in negative campaigning.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
You're not sure he's a Democrat?  Kerry is.  ex-Gov. Tony Knowles is.  Rep. Brad Carson is.  Nancy Farmer is.  Sen. Patty Murray is. Pres. Bill Clinton is.  VP Al Gore is. Sen. Max Cleeland is. Rep. Charlie Melancon is.  Betty Castor is.  ex-Gov Gray Davis is.  Why?  THEY ALL ASKED HIM TO CAMPAIGN FOR THEM.

Are all the above not Democrats because of they asked Clark to campaign for them?  LOL!!

And this isn't negative politics its you lying on a blog in order to attack a Democrat and you are what is wrong with party because you place no value on honesty in your opinions.

You're simply a liar with an internet connection.

by alexm 2005-02-23 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
Fuck you, my friend. Everything I've said is the truth.

As for the opinions of all of those people you mentioned, they're entitled to them. Just as I'm entitled to the opinion that Clark is a pompous ass, a false progressive, and a man with neither campaign skills nor the experience necessary in foreign or domestic policy to lead the world's only superpower.

by craverguy 2005-02-23 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
And by the way, jackass, you're talking to a Dean supporter, not a Kucinich supporter. Try to keep your GENUINE progressives straight.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
Oooh, nice language my friend....But thanks for making the statements you did because it gave people like Alex and Jai an opportunity to rebut them with a whole pile of factual information that others may not have known about Clark...and now, if they read this, they will. So thanks.
by CKNY 2005-02-23 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
I apologize for my use of language, but I get upset when people accuse me of being a liar, especially when I happen to be telling the truth. As a matter of fact, here's some more truth:




by craverguy 2005-02-23 02:48PM | 0 recs
I didn't call you a liar.
I exposed you as one.  The sites you provide list Robert Novak as a source.  Brilliant.

By the way, ALL (Not most) of those smears were debunked.

Again : R E S E A R C H.

by alexm 2005-02-23 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't call you a liar.
You care to back up that claim with a source of your own, or are you just going to slander me? I'm waiting for you to disprove what those sites say.

By the way, did you know that Clark was a lobbyist, and for the defense industry, no less? Yeah, that Clark is real progressive reformer, ain't he?

by craverguy 2005-02-23 03:13PM | 0 recs
Once more, with feeling :
R E S E A R C H.

Buy Holbrooke's book and READ it.  As far as him being a lobbyist you're right although you have no clue as to why he registered as a lobbyist do you?  LOL

It was for a database system developed by Axcoim that would have prevented the 9-11 hijackers from boarding those planes that day if someone would've been lobbying for Axciom before 9-11.  When Clark found out about it he registered as a lobyist and tried to get the DOT to buy this.

Are you kididng me with this stuff?

by alexm 2005-02-23 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't call you a liar.
Hey, you know, I really don't have time to read through those pages you linked but from skimming them, I think I've addressed at least some of the stuff in a long thread I spent a lot of time writing for another board.  If you're really interested in hearing some "rebuttals" rather than just attacking the General, I believe this link should take you to that thread.  It started out as a defense of Clark as Democrat but grew from there.


Again, thanks for reading.


by CKNY 2005-02-23 04:32PM | 0 recs
Here you go.
Nearly Started World War III? And Fired from the Military?

I've seen these above comments circulate throughout the internet and mentioned in the news media referencing General Wesley Clark. The sources vary, but the gist is the same. So rather than single out a source, I've chosen to just prepare a response addressing the comments.
General Clark's Background:

General Wesley Clark is one of the nation's most distinguished retired military officers. He is said to be the most decorated veteran since Dwight D. Eisenhower, among his awards, a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, a Distinguished Service medal, a Defense Distinguished Service medal, two Meritorious Service medals, four Legion of Merit Medals, two Army Commendation medals, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a Purple Heart. He was first in his class at West Point and earned a Master's Degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. During his thirty four years of service in the United States Army, he held numerous staff and command positions, rising to the rank of 4-star general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

From 1997 through May of 2000, General Clark was NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command. In this position, General Clark commanded operation Allied Force, NATO's first major combat action, which saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
Pristina Background:

The accusations that General Clark nearly started World War III and that he was fired from the military stem from an incident that took place at the Pristina Airport in Kosovo in June 1999. My research revealed in the days preceding the Pristina Airport incident, according to the testimony of Zbigniew Brzezinski to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, October 6, 1999,

on June 10, 1999, a Russian military contingent left its position in Bosnia, and -- benefiting from full Serbian cooperation -- moved swiftly through Serbia toward Kosovo. As this was happening, the Russian government reassured U.S. Vice President Al Gore that the Russian contingent would not enter Kosovo. The White House then disallowed the NATO commander's plan to execute a pre-emptive seizure of Pristina, Kosovo's capital. On June 12 at 1:30 AM the Russian forces entered Pristina and, with Serbian military assistance, took up defensive positions at the airport, barring the later arriving NATO forces. (According to some intelligence reports, the Russians secured some military equipment there that they had previously provided to the Serbs.)

A detailed account in the Moskovskiy Komsomolets of June 14 tells the rest of the story -- both what happened and what did not happen. Crowing over the Russian military coup and over Serbian crowds in Pristina burning U.S. and British flags, the paper said that as of June 12 a contingent of 2,500 Russian paratroopers was ready to be flown into Pristina, and that "it has already been decided that Russia will have its own sector" in Kosovo. The report noted that although Hungary had denied Russia its air space, "this is not a problem -- Bulgaria, for example, gave the go-ahead. Our planes could make a detour -- from the Russian coast over the Black Sea and Bulgaria straight to Kosovo." In other words, Kosovo would be partitioned by a unilateral fiat, whether NATO liked it or not.

Indeed, on June 12, the Bulgarian government was confronted with a request from Moscow for overflight rights for six Russian planes, allegedly to deliver supplies to the Russian force in Pristina. The Bulgarians were even informed that the first plane was to take off at dawn, hours before the delivery of the request.

Alas for the Kremlin, things did not turn out so. Not only Hungary, a NATO member, but Bulgaria and Romania refused access to their air space, and the Kremlin prudently decided that it could not run the risk of having its air transports forced down. As a result, the Russian contingent in Pristina was left stranded. In the meantime the Serbian forces, by then in full retreat on exposed roads, could not reverse course without facing enormous vulnerability to resumed air attacks. For a week the Kremlin continued to insist on a separate sector, but on June 18 Russia reluctantly agreed to have its troops dispersed within the U.S., French and German zones.It thus appears that Milosevic's sudden acquiescence was part of a desperate double-cross attempt engineered jointly by Belgrade and Moscow. Once Moscow realized that it could not sway the West, it used its role as the West's co-mediator to secretly fashion, with Milosevic, a pre-emptive maneuver masked as an accommodation. The collusion was contrived to outwit NATO by salvaging for Serbia -- under Russia's protection -- the northeastern part of partitioned Kosovo, and to gain for frustrated Russia a significant boost in international prestige. The attempt faltered because three small European countries had the gumption to defy Moscow, and NATO remained firm in not agreeing to a separate Russian sector. Under these circumstances, the double-cross did not work.

MICHAEL R. GORDON of the New York Times covered the Kosovo conflict at NATO headquarters in Brussels, at allied air bases in Italy and on an Air Force command plane. This is what he recently had to say regarding the World War III comment:

Another notion about General Clark's record is that he was reckless when he proposed occupying the Pristina airfield in Kosovo after the war to preclude the Russians from rushing in troops.

After Mr. Milosevic agreed to withdraw his forces from Kosovo, NATO and the Russians were still at odds over the sort of peacekeeping force that should be deployed. Anxious to avoid the partition of Kosovo, NATO insisted that the Russian forces come under its command. While that debate was still going on, the Russian military abruptly withdrew several hundred of its troops from Bosnia and dispatched them to the airfield at Pristina.

I was in Moscow at the time and it was clear that this had occurred without the blessing of the Russian Foreign Ministry and initially, it seems, the Kremlin. After reports of the troop movements first surfaced, I asked the Kremlin spokesman to check with his superiors. He later assured me no orders had been issued to send troops to Kosovo, something that did not say a lot for civilian command and control in Russia.

General Clark was anxious to prevent the Russian military from sending in more reinforcements and creating a Russian-protected Serb enclave. Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine were persuaded to close their airspace to Russian transport planes. But what if they relented under Russian pressure or the Russians defied the ban? Would NATO intercept Russian planes carrying troops?

General Clark's plan was to put NATO troops on the airfield to make it impossible for reinforcements to land. But a British General, Mike Jackson, who was in charge of the peacekeeping force that was to stabilize Kosovo after the Serb troops withdrew and who now serves as the head of the British Army, complained that it was too risky, famously asserting, with some hyperbole, that it would be risking World War III.

Britain was the United States' staunchest ally, and so the Clinton administration decided to defer to the British position. Still, General Clark's recommendation was not rash; it was a judgment call that had been discussed in detail in Washington and that was initially supported at senior levels of the American government.

During an interview that General Clark had with Margaret Warner regarding his new book "Waging Modern War", she asked the General to explain more about the scene at the Pristina Airport and about British General Mike Jackson's refusal to block the Russians on the runway. General Clark's response is as follows:

GENERAL CLARK: It was a surprising moment to me. It was Sunday the 13th of June, about 8:30 in the morning. And he said, "I'm not going to take your order to block these, this runway." And so we talked about it. He was extremely agitated and emotional and making all kinds of statements. So I said, "let's get your chief of defense," his boss in the British chain of command, "on the line." I talked to General Sir Charles Guthrie, the British chief of defense, and he said, "let me talk to Mike." And so I pass the phone over and then Mike handed the phone back to me. And the British chief of defense said, "well, I agree with Mike." And he says, "so does Hugh Shelton," the American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was very surprised because I had gotten word from Washington that Washington supported, in fact, suggested that I block these runways and strongly supported how I did it, how I wanted to do it. So I called Hugh. It was about 3:00 in the morning in Washington, and I said, "well, you know, here is the problem and Guthrie says you support Jackson, not me. What... Do you support me or not?" Because you can't take actions in war without support of governments. He said, "well," he said, "I did have a conversation with Guthrie. I knew you were getting this order. Guthrie and I agreed we don't want a confrontation but I do support you." So I said, "well, then you've got a policy problem." And it really was a policy problem caused by the British government's differing perception than the American government's, and by Mike Jackson's perception of the situation.
Joseph Fitchett of the International Herald Tribune said:

What really happened was that the White House and top NATO military commanders in Europe framed two plans for swift military action once the Russian column was detected leaving its position and heading toward Kosovo.

Both involved using elite units from NATO's peacekeeping force, which was poised on Kosovo's border in Macedonia for the alliance's scheduled move into the province the following day.

Initially, as the Russian column moved through Serbia, the U.S.-backed plan called for a mobile spearhead of NATO troops to make the 40-kilometer (25-mile) dash to Pristina first and cut the access roads to the airport before the Russians could get there.

Later on June 11, the Clinton administration's security team, along with the two top U.S. commanders in NATO, backed a bolder but still small-scale operation, essentially a helicopter-led landing by a NATO task force at Pristina airport before the Russians there could settle in.

Both operations failed to materialize when General Jackson declined to accelerate the timetable for a peaceful entry into Kosovo or to commit the mainly British forces under his command to an airport operation.

He ''was getting his orders from No. 10,'' the Downing Street office of Britain's prime minister, according to the U.S. officials, whose accounts were based on access to high-level consultations during the mini-crisis that started early June 11 when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright landed in Macedonia for what she had expected to be ''a victory lap'' among cheering ethnic Albanian refugees.

Told about the sudden, still murky move by Russian troops who had defected from the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Bosnia, she met immediately with General Jackson and Admiral James Ellis, the U.S. officer who commands U.S. and allied forces in Southern Europe and who has overall responsibility for the theater incorporating Kosovo.

Their meeting expanded into conference calls with General Wesley Clark, NATO's supreme commander, and U.S. decision-makers roused from their beds in predawn Washington, including Samuel Berger, the national security adviser, and civilian and uniformed chiefs at the Pentagon.

Agreement was quick among the Americans that a NATO task force should be sent to seal off the airport. But General Jackson objected that the move might poison the chances for good Serbian cooperation with the peacekeeping force.

Invoking the peacekeeping accord negotiated with the Serbian military by NATO, he said that advancing the arrival of peacekeepers could violate the provision for ''synchronization'' between the Serbian forces' withdrawal and the NATO forces' entry. U.S. officials explained that the accord also named General Jackson as the arbiter on interpreting how to carry it out.

As the meeting broke up, the U.S. officials and two top NATO commanders had the impression that General Jackson had been persuaded to act. But action did not materalize in the ensuing hours and in the afternoon a second set of consultations focused on the new situation: It was too late to prevent the Russians from reaching Pristina, but NATO still had a military option- slightly riskier but still overwhelming.

A much stronger force, ferried to Pristina airport by helicopters and backed up by assault helicopters, could evict the Russians or at least establish a NATO presence on the airfield that would prevent it from being left under Russian control.

Backing this plan, NATO and Pentagon commanders said that the military risks, while tangible, could be minimized since the Russian contingent would be outnumbered.

The political implications were manageable, the Clinton security team agreed, since NATO was challenging what appeared to be a rogue Russian military action.

NATO had intercepted communications from Moscow ordering the Russian convoy not to enter Kosovo.

Preparations seemed to get under way for the NATO operation on the afternoon of June 11 when reporters in Macedonia saw British paratroops separate from the main peacekeeping force, apparently for an immediate helicopter assault on Pristina.

But the preparations were then abruptly suspended by General Jackson without any public explanation.

In the U.S. officials' view, General Jackson had been told again by the British government not to proceed with an action that risked being seen by Moscow as a provocation.

No public account of the episode has come from General Clark, who theoretically could have given General Jackson a direct order - but did not.


So, what conclusions can you draw from this? After Milosevic gave up, Russia demanded that they control a section of Kosovo. Russia has been a close ally of the Serbians, whose attacks on Albanians in Kosovo trigger the war. The last thing the Albanians wanted was a life under the control of the Russians (Pro-Serb). General Clark refused any Russian control and though the Russians promised not to send in any troops, they did in fact send in 200 from Bosnia to the Pristina airport, a power play of sorts.

General Clark was determined not to allow the ploy to work (Albright opposed the Russians having their own sector in Kosovo) and with the approval of Javier Solana, the NATO leader, he ordered British troops to occupy the other end of the airport -- where there were few if any Russian troops -- and prevent Russia from flying in more troops to build up their presence. British General Michael Jackson refused in a way Clark called "emotional."

When the troop movements of the Russians were noted on Jun 10th, plans were made (see the above regarding U.S. decision-makers) to keep the Russians from taking the airport, but unfortunately, General Clark did not receive the support of his commander (Shelton for one) and was left with his hands tied by a "policy problem caused by the British government's differing perception than the American government's, and by Mike Jackson's perception of the situation." What's clear to me, if you read the Frontline series transcripts, the war's strategy and tactics were hamstrung by political considerations in Washington and among the other 18 NATO nations.

Joseph Fitchett said:

The Clinton administration and NATO's strategic commanders wanted allied troops to mount a swift lunge into Pristina last week in time to thwart the Russian troops that gained possession of the airport there, according to U.S. officials in Washington.

The officials, who declined to be identified, said that U.S.-backed plans, including one that envisaged force, if needed, to prevent the Russians from taking control of Kosovo's major airfield, were blocked by the NATO peacekeeping force commander, Lieutenant General Michael Jackson of Britain.

Apparently, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain did not want to risk a military showdown with the 200-strong Russian contingent and the unpredictable political aftershocks in Moscow.

In providing their account, these U.S. sources said that they were reacting to what they claimed was a disinformation campaign, apparently by Mr. Blair's aides, shifting the onus from London to Washington for Western hesitations over Pristina.

There has been no evidence of any personal strain between Mr. Blair and President Bill Clinton. But with both leaders' teams apparently putting their spin on it, the Pristina episode underscored the risk that their united front on Kosovo could be weakened over how to handle the Russians.

General Sir Mike Jackson, commander of the international K-For peacekeeping force, is quoted in Newsweek to have told General Clark "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you." That's a great sound-bite, but it seems a bit overblown considering this was a post-Soviet-collapse force of 200 soldiers.

NATO forces in Kosovo were under Clark's command, but the countries involved could veto the use of their troops in a given engagement, and most of the ground troops were actually British. So when Jackson refused to move his troops to the airport, there wasn't much Clark could do, militarily.

I'm certain that General Clark's use of the NATO chain of command during the Kosovo war to try to get around restrictions put on him by Clinton, Cohen and Shelton has a lot to do with the supposed "integrity and character issues" that have recently come to view. It's an excellent way to get fired, but I would not call it a character or integrity issue. In fact it could be argued the other way around: Clark had the guts to use all the means at his disposal to try to save lives and accomplish his mission. Retired Army Col. Bill Taylor was Clark's debate coach at West Point, became a close friend, and has since informally advised him at key moments. Taylor said, "Shelton and Cohen didn't like Wes being direct with them, arguing his case," Taylor said. "They wanted someone they could tell what to do."

Regarding the General being fired, I think Michael R. Gordon of the New York Times covers this issue well:

One lingering question about General Clark's résumé is why his NATO tour came to an abrupt end in 2000. He was not fired by the White House, as some accounts have suggested. Rather, former officials of the Clinton administration say, his tour was cut short by Defense Secretary William S. Cohen and Gen. H. Hugh Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were still smarting over their differences with the NATO commander.

The White House was told that General Clark's tour was being shortened a bit to smooth the transition to a capable successor. When President Clinton saw it for the slight it was intended to be, he was furious, according to senior Clinton administration officials. But the president was not anxious for an open confrontation with the Pentagon and decided to leave bad enough alone.

"Our belief at the White House was that General Clark had effectively led NATO forces to victory in Kosovo," Samuel R. Berger, Mr. Clinton's national security adviser, told me this week. "What we understood we were approving, after the war, was a succession, not a termination."

by alexm 2005-02-24 12:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Here you go.
Oh, nicely done, alex.

Here's a link to a great article by Elizabeth Drew in the New York Review of Books that addresses some of this also, if you really are interested in reading, craverguy.

by CKNY 2005-02-24 02:30AM | 0 recs
You would think this guy doesn't own a computer!
by alexm 2005-02-24 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
Apology accepted...Maybe it's common practice to use that kind of language here but it took me by surprise.

However, I agree with Alex that you need to do some research on Clark, and a little bit more balanced than those smear sites you linked to.  Did you believe the Swift Boat Vets too?  I hope not.

There used to be a great Deaniacs for Clark site that debunked a number of myths but, alas, with the campaign over, it was apparently taken down. :(

The best advice I can give you is to meet the Gneral, if you get the chance, confront him with your concerns, and then make a judgement.

Thanks for reading.


by CKNY 2005-02-23 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
"Skeleton Closet" may be a smear site, but it's an equal opportunity smear site. You should see the stuff they've got on Bush, Buchanan, and Keyes.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
Dean became a progressive the day he declared for the Presidency.  A true progressive isn't forced by the VT supreme court to authorize civil unions/gay marriage.

If Clark isn't a real Democrat but Dean is a "true progressive" to you I think the irony of that is pretty evident.

by alexm 2005-02-23 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
Dean provided universal health voverage for 96% of the people in Vermont and 100% of the kids and signed that gay-marriage legislation despite threats on his life and his family. Clark lobbied Congress to by more Cold War-era crap we don't need. One was a progressive, the other only decided to be when he realized that he wanted to be president.
by craverguy 2005-02-23 03:21PM | 0 recs
More cold war era crap?
Like a datamining program that would've prevented ALL 19 hijackers from boarding planes on 9-11?


Dean BECAME a progressive when he ran for President (He's a DLC guy for Christ's sake!) and Clark has been a proud DLC Democrat along with Clinton since before 1992.

Look.  You obviously HAVE a computer.  Have you ever thought of USING it??  LOL

by alexm 2005-02-23 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Jackson??!?
How do you know you're in a debate with someone who has no point??

"Fuck you my friend".

I think I'll relish in the fact that I share an opinion held by those above and rather than admit your wrong your defense is "they are entitled to their opinions."

This is like drinking with my brother's kids.

by alexm 2005-02-23 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Clark wasn't just "in the military".
Oh, and I really doubt that the Supreme Commander of NATO is that heavily involved in the diplomatic aspects of the operation. That's why we have a State Department

You would be wrong about that. As SACEUR, Clark reported directly to the Secretary General of NATO (a Spanish civilian during most of his tenure), and had direct access to the heads of state of every member nation. It's a totally different position than any other military command in that respect. Set up that way after WWII when the State Dept wasn't up to the task of administering the Marshall Plan, communications weren't as good, everyone was worried about the Soviets, and so forth.
by hf jai 2005-02-23 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Clark wasn't just "in the military".
For the kinds of things he was charged with negotiating, General Clark was a lot more important than the State Dept. The State Dept. doesn't run NATO.
by ScottC 2005-02-23 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: You can't run for a new job and then run...
You don't appear to understand much about the military.  People don't give their all because someone orders them to.  Even when there's a threat of going to jail.  And any military leader who has to send many people to jail doesn't last long.

Besides, that's mostly just lower-level military leadership.  At the highest levels, it's ALL negotiation.  You don't own your logistics (and an Army runs on its belly, remember?), you compete for your resources, you argue for your priorities, and when you're talking coalition warfare, as Clark ran for NATO, you're literally at the mercy of how much you can cajole out of your allies.

Clark was the commander of the US European Command, where he was responsible for managing an American community spread over three continents, comprised of something like 160,000 families.  That means their educational support, for both the active duty and their dependents--he oversaw K-12 for some 44,000 kids, and college programs for soldiers/airmen/sailor and their wives--as well as their healthcare, their housing, the roads and physical plants of hundreds of separate bases.  He had a police, a criminal investigative service, a customs dept, a court system, administrative justice offices (like for Equal Opportunity) and was responsible for coordinating all that with the host-nation counterparts.  He had to prepare budgets and go before Congress to defend them, and then hammer out new ones when the funding wasn't approved in full.  A large part of the community, no idea how many but not insignificant, was made up of civilian employees, both Americans and foreign nationals.  He had to negotiate contracts, provide benefits, deal with unions.  Now, obviously, he didn't do all of it personally, altho I daresay as he was coming up thru the ranks he probably participated in the process at each level.  But no governor does it all by himself (or herself) either.

Oh, and while he was doing that, he fought a war too.

For that matter, before Clark commanded EUCOM, he was at US Southern Command, doing the same things for the American military and families all thru Latin America.  A much smaller community, but then, some states are smaller than others.  And well before that he was in charge of doing the same things at Ft Irwin CA, comparable to being the mayor of a medium-size city.

I think someone else has mentioned that Clark worked in the Office of Management and Budget for a time.  In that job, he wasn't working military issues either.  And while he was there, he was heavily involved in creating the Vietnam War Memorial, so he worked with the National Parks Service too.

You can't pigeon-hole Clark based on some stereotype out of a John Wayne movie.  He's a "full-service" leader, with a broad range of experience.  The only thing he ever lacked was having run for election.  Now he's done that too, and didn't do a bad job of it for a late start and a first time out.  I suspect he learned a lot about politics from watching the Kerry campaign up close too.  He's a quick study.

by hf jai 2005-02-23 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: You can't run for a new job and then run...
11 of 43 presidents have been generals.

How many Dems currently named have foreign policy credentials? Richardson?

We need to be a "full service" party.

How many Rhodes Scholar in Economics, Four Star, Purple Heart Democrats do we have? How many candidates have written a presidential federal budget...from scratch? How many have negotiated treaties?

And how many Four Star liberals are there? One. And one is what you get...most of them are very conservative because the Dem. left have driven a wedge between us v them.

by Donna Z 2005-02-23 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: You can't run for a new job and then run...
Most of those presidents who were previously generals later held public office. The few who didn't were screw-ups (think Grant and Taylor). Feingold was a Rhodes Scholar. Kerry had three, that's THREE, purple hearts. It didn't do him a damn bit of good, did it?
by craverguy 2005-02-23 11:20AM | 0 recs
Yuo can't compare civil war era Generals...
...to modern day Generals (But you know that right?).  And it wasn't that Kerry had those purple hearts it was his military CAREER and what he did AFTER that sunk him (But you knew that already too. right?).

He was an anti-war activist who was nominated during a war.  And his entire 5 month tour in Vietnam was called into question because of it.  Clark was took four bullets and still led his platoon to take a machine gun emplcement while being observed by a one star General in a circling Helicopter.  He then stayed in the military for 34 years to help rebuild an Army that was decimated by that war.

You're comparing ping pong balls (Kerry's servie) to bowling balls (Clark's).

by alexm 2005-02-23 11:57AM | 0 recs
Clark is no fool.
Why would someone who could be the most quialified man in the country to be President run for Arkansas only to then run for President?

I think he cares enough about his homestate to allow a person to run who will not be leaving office in two years for higher office.

I believe only a fool would do that or support that.

by alexm 2005-02-23 11:26AM | 0 recs
"Around here?"
You mean in your imaginary world where Clark didn't vote for Clinton twice, Gore once and campaign for Gore, Max Cleeland and others in 2000 and Kerry more than any other candidate did in 2004?

The funniest moment for me in 2004 Presidential primary was when ex-Gov. Shaheen was attacking Clark on Hardball using this same moronic point and Matthews said "Gov. didn't you yourself vote for Nixon?"  She said yes but I'm not running for President.  Matthews then asked "So it's only bad if you're running for President?"  This was followed by everyone on the show laughing at her.

It's about as irrelevant a point as you could possibly make "around here" because "around here" Kerry wanted someone sho voted for Reagan to campaign for him relentlessly.  Why?  Because he's not an idiot who cares what someone did 20 years ago.

by alexm 2005-02-23 11:40AM | 0 recs
The poll is no good
Party ID numbers are way off from what it really is and Warner is winning Independents 74-14. I'm not saying I don't believe he's winning, I'm just saying the poll is no good.
by upstatenydem 2005-02-23 02:57AM | 0 recs
Damned Presidential Ambitions
Warner could have Allen's seat if he wants it, and Clark could have the Arkansas Governorship if he wants it, but we'll probably not get either...
by Ramo 2005-02-23 04:00AM | 0 recs
From what I've heard . . .
Warner is rather stiff on the stump.  He can't quire rouse a crowd.  And, as others have mentioned, he doesn't have a whole lot of experience behind him.  He needs to run for Senate in '06 and hold out on the Presidency this time around.

I don't think Clark would be good as President, either-- he has no experience with domestic policy, plus, he can come off as something of a nut in speeches and interviews.  I think he would be a fantastic Defense Secretary in the next Democratic administration.  He could help to undo much of the damage Rumsfeld has done.  That's his forte-- not domestic policy.

I would say that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is our best bet for '08.  He's got expertise in foreign and domestic policy, and he knows how to connect with the public (which is, unfortunately, a rarity in our party.)  He could help our party carry the southwest, and, with a southern running mate, possibly make some inroads in the south, too (although the VP candidate would have to be more than just southern-- he or she would also have to be POPULAR in his or her home state, with a long-standing, respected track record.  I know, such Democrats are hard to find these days . . . the point I'm making is, Kerry's choice of John Edwards did nothing for us.  We need more than just a pretty face with a slick tongue but no significant experience.  If Louisiana Sen. John Breaux hadn't retired, I would say he would be a good VP choice for '08, since he remains very popular in his home state.  I know, my imagination is running amok when I say this, but, if Breaux were on the ticket in '08, that could be good for the future of the party, since he is too old to have presidential ambitions of his own, which would enable Barack Obama to run in 2016 . . . )  Forgive me, I'm a junkie for strategy.

by arlaur 2005-02-23 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Generals should not be Secretary of Defense, and Clark has too many enemies at the DOD. He'd be a disaster there. Though I still like him as a potential president. As to sounding "something like a nut" - that hasn't stopped some of our more recent presidents from being elected.
by ScottC 2005-02-23 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Concerning Mark Warner's perceived inexperience:

Here is a quote from another of Virginia's eight U.S. Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, found in the biography of Dean Acheson which quotes Wilson:

"So, when the presidential candidate came to be chosen, it was recognized as imperatively necessary that he should have as short a political record as possible, and that he should wear a clean and irreproachable insignificance...A decisive career which gives a man a well understood place in public estimation constitutes a positive disability for the presidency ;because CANDIDACY must precede election, and the shoals of candidacy can be passed only by a light boat which carries little freight and can be turned readily about to suit the intricacies of the passage."

To sum up what Wilson said:  A long track record can be a detriment or disability to a candidate for president.

On another note: Every Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson has been from the South.

Virginia is known as the mother of presidents. Eight U.S. presidents were born in Virginia.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, & Woodrow Wilson.

There is no other southern governor with the record of accomplishment that Mark Warner would bring to the race for president in 2008.

Virginia voters will not likely turn out an incumbent Senator (Allen) without a good reason.  Mark Warner may lead the Senate race in this new poll but, it is just one poll.  I would have to see more polls to be convinced he could beat Allen.

Allen has been out of the governor's office for eight years and thus, is simply not in the news as often.  Mark Warner has been in the news constantly in Virginia for four years. Polls usually reflect (at the given moment) the one who has the most name recognition.

I have to believe that this poll reflects the name recognition Warner has gained in the past four years. Translating that into a win in the Senate when voters are generally satisfied with the performance of a sitting Senator seems unlikely.  It would no doubt be different if we were in a Democratic state but we're not.

I know Democrats are desperate for a Senator and Mark Warner is their best hope against Allen.  If I were Mark Warner and had higher ambitions, I would forget the Senate because a second Senate loss could doom any future prospects if he has any inclinations of running for president.

Senators do not have a great track record in getting elected president.


by erat 2005-02-23 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
The only thing that makes Clark "come off as something of a nut in speeches and interviews" is the sound of truth-telling.  You're just not used to hearing it from politicians.  But of course, if you'd actually listened to him, you'd know that nothing he says isn't backed up by the "F-word" -- facts.

And Clark has plenty of experience on handling domestic problems.  See my note above.  As much as any governor and a long shot more than any senator (who only talk about domestic problems and never have to implement any solutions).

I'll grant you that foreign policy and security are his forte.  Last time I looked, the nation is at war, there's zero chance of the Bushies making peace in the next four years, and the electorate cares deeply about who can keep them safe.

There won't be any Democratic administration unless we run someone who can convince the voters they're as strong on defense as the Republs are perceived to be.

by hf jai 2005-02-23 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Another thing that I think maybe "jolts" people when they hear Wes speak is his utter fearlessness.  When he knows a truth, he speaks it.  So many of the things that he was criticized for saying early on, such as suggesting that the Bush Administration should be held accountable for 9/11 happening on its watch, were taken up by others somewhere down the line, after if became "safe" to voice them.  Gen Clark doesn't worry about what's "safe" for him to say.  He sees a truth that needs to be spoken, he speaks it.  We don't see it often in folks in the political world so it can be jarring.  Rather than making him seem nutty to me, though, I find it highly refreshing.  It was the General's astounding fearlessness that brought my Mom over to his side early on, too. A truly "fearless leader"...I like the thought of that.
by CKNY 2005-02-23 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Dean has the same fearlessness (his leadership in speaking against the war prompted the other Democrats to start doing so).  Which is why I supported both him and Clark in the primaries in 2003/4.

Because of this, Dean is also perceived to be a nut by many people.  They both remind me of this quote:

"The reasonable man adapts to the world around him. The unreasonable man expects the world adapt to him. Therefore, all progress is made by unreasonable men."

Kennedy was considered reasonable.  LBJ was considered not (and a bit of a nut).  LBJ got the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Great Society programs passed, which Kennedy did not in his 3 years of office.

by zedmanauk 2005-02-23 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Agreed....I think Dean and Clark and their supporters have a lot more in common than people give them credit for.  I thought Dean was terrific on the shows I saw him on in support of Kerry in the runup to the general election..Love the quote, BTW.
by CKNY 2005-02-23 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Well, it is true that both Dean and Clark have a tendency to shoot from the lip and tell it like it is.  And I admire that quality, don't get me wrong . . . but, sadly, that quality doesn't get you elected president.  It is an unfortunate reality, but PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING.  John Kerry's record is actually to the left of Howard Dean's, but because Kerry presented himself as a stable, safe candidate, he ended up winning in Iowa.  

I'm not saying that we should nominate someone who is all presentation with no good policies to back it up (translation:  we must not nominate John Edwards.)  I mean, look what we're dealing with right now-- Bush came into office with barely any political experience, but he knows how to rouse a crowd and get people enthused (or angry, as is the case with us.)  What we need is a candidate who can connect with people.  That was Bill Clinton's great strength.  Al Gore was too professorial on the stump, and Kerry was a total milquetoast.  So, yes, region matters, and issues matter, but the bulk of the American public has to actually LIKE a candidate.  We who are Democratic Party diehards, who follow these things closely (and talk about elections four years before they're going to happen) are able to relate to bold truth-telling Bulworthy candidates such as Dean and Clark; however, neither one of those guys could win over the hearts of the average Johnny Q. Public.  Perception, perception, perception.  Remember that.

by arlaur 2005-02-23 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Not sure that Kerry won Iowa because he was presented as a stable, safe candidate.  There were a lot of factors at play there, including the fact that General Clark didn't contest Iowa and, I believe, that Kerry was the pick of the party establishment.

And you say "We who are Democratic Party diehards, who follow these things closely (and talk about elections four years before they're going to happen) are able to relate to bold truth-telling Bulworthy candidates such as Dean and Clark; however, neither one of those guys could win over the hearts of the average Johnny Q. Public."  This I don't agree with.  

Most of the Clark and Dean supporters, or at least an awful lot of them, are folks who aren't that attuned to the political process but people who got involved for the first time this election.  I certainly wasn't a Democratic Party diehard. I'd never done anything remotely political before, never donated to anything political before I found General Clark and then I worked my butt off for him. And I'd go back into my non-political shell in a heartbeat if the General wasn't exhorting us to make sure we do whatever we can to hold these people accountable, to save this country from total ruin.  

A lot of Clark adn Dean supporters were average Johnny Q. Public types that became involved because they feared Bush so much and they found someone who they could actually believe in, who wasn't just another politician but someone who spoke for them. I know that every non-politically bent person that I introduced Clark to fell in love with him, so to speak.  It's the more politically minded ones who have the problem with Clark and Dean I think.  

Yes, the right wing would like to paint these guys as nuts.  It was one of the things they tried to hang on Clark...But I think the more people get the chance to see and hear Clark, the more that what he dares to speak turns out to be true, the more people flock to him.

by CKNY 2005-02-24 02:14AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
I agree with you on perception though.  I think Dean is not near a liberal as he was perceived.

But the whole perception thing is something that I think works in the General's favor in a general election.  He's like the stealth liberal.  He's got really liberal positions on the issues and he openly embraces the label of liberal, yet because he's a career military man, he will always be perceived by some as a moderate which makes it easy for some who wouldn't think of voting for a liberal to vote Democratic in the general election when they wouldn't otherwise think of it.  

I think the much harder part for Clark would be to get past the primaries where the Democrats don't seem to be very liberal in terms of who they will accept as a Democrat. :(

by CKNY 2005-02-24 02:43AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Well, for what it's worth, I definitely believe Clark is a Democrat.  I greatly admire his accomplishments, and if he gets the nomination in 2008, I will fully support him.  I just happen to think that Bill Richardson is a stronger candidate, since he has extensive experience with domestic as well as foreign policy, and can be an energizing speaker on the stump.  But, really, it's too soon to determine anything regarding 2008.  We've got to get past the '06 midterm election first . . . which brings us to the topic of this whole thread . . . and on that issue, I think Mark Warner should run against George Allen for the senate.  We need more Democrats in the senate.  Period.  We've got enough people lined up wanting to run for president; we can certainly find a potential winner on that bench (be it Clark, Richardson, or whomever else-- just not Edwards or Kerry.  Neither of them could ever win.)  We need more potential winners on our senate bench.  This country is in too much trouble right now to have every up-and-coming Democrat vie for the highest office.  That will only create party infighting, which will drag us down.  One thing that keeps the Republican power machine going is, their party has a greater degree of consensus (obviously not 100%-- Michael Bloomberg, Arlen Specter, etc., but you get the idea.)  With us, when we have over ten candidates duking it out in the lead-up to the primary season, it eats away at funding, drags attention away from the issues, and leads to mud-slinging that the Republicans later dig up and use against us after the nomination has been made.  Rather than encouraging every promising Democrat to run in '08, we should concentrate on the House and Senate.  We probably won't be able to win back either in '06, but we can gain momentum and pick up some seats, which will bode well for '08 and beyond.  For that reason, we need Mark Warner to oust George Allen.
by arlaur 2005-02-24 04:28AM | 0 recs
Re: From what I've heard . . .
Agreed....I like Richardson too.  Definitely should concentrate on '06 right now.
by CKNY 2005-02-24 02:31PM | 0 recs
Warner needs more proof
I'm from VA, and I like Warner, but he will be attacked for raising taxes. He needs his Lt. Governor, Tim Kaine, to win the Governorship (very possible) and he needs to be reelected to have real national ambitions. The GOP will try to kill him for braking a promise and raising taxes. He has to run for the Senate to prove his popularity. Prove he might be able to take or at least compete in VA in a national election. He must prove he can beat back any GOP attempt to label him a liar and a tax-raiser, and a tax and spend liberal type.

As far running for president in your first 2 yrs as a senator, it might not be a good idea, but at the same time, he could wait till 2012. There are already many serious candidates from all around the party philosophical spectrum. Hillary, Edwards, Kerry, and Bayh at least.

by optimist 2005-02-23 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Warner needs more proof
The GOP will have a difficult time painting Mark Warner as another tax and spend liberal with people like George Will saying of Warner "Indeed his success is evidence that Virginia, although is has not voted Democratic since 1964, might be the place for Democrats to start if they are really determined--as they had better be--to compete in the South."

Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Hugabee says of Mark Warner "I'm glad they didn't turn to him this time--Frankly, it might mean all my friend in Washington would be looking for jobs."

The GOP would have a difficult time tagging Mark Warner as a tax & spend liberal when he is one of the most moderate-fiscally conservative Democratic governor's in the country.

Let's not forget that while Warner raised some taxes, he could not have done so without the support of 17 Repubicans in the statehouse.  And...he did it in a way that did the least harm while at the same time, raising the personal exemption to $5000 and cutting the food tax from 4% to 2.5% (this July).

While the opinions of George Will and Mike Hugabee may not reflect the GOP as a whole, comments like theirs make it more difficult for other Republicans to label Warner as a tax & spend liberal.

by erat 2005-02-23 07:57AM | 0 recs
Congrats to Jerome & Chris!
On your Koufax win. Very well deserved, too.
by Kevin Hayden 2005-02-23 12:01PM | 0 recs
I wish he'd run against Allen and forget about the presidency. We need Senate seats more than we need the White House right now. He probably won't even be the 2008 nominee anyway. So I wish he would forget about New Hampshire and think about Virginia instead.
by raginillinoian 2005-02-23 12:21PM | 0 recs
Gephardt should run against Talent, Richardson should run agaisnt Domenici, Bredsden should run for Frist's seat (Ford is a sure loss) and Rendell should run against Santorum.  That is four seats right there.

Every elected Dem in the country should have 51/235 as a priority and not ego.

by alexm 2005-02-23 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: AMEN!!!
I seriously doubt Gephardt could beat Talent - he's not that popular statewide.
by ScottC 2005-02-23 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: AMEN!!!
I seem to remember a poll that had Gephardt beating Bond last year and Talent isn't Bond.

He at least would be a heavyweight opponent.

by alexm 2005-02-23 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: AMEN!!!
I'll tell you what should've happened-- when Mel Carnahan won his Senate seat as a dead man, the new governor should have picked Gephardt rather than Jean Carnahan to fill the seat.
by arlaur 2005-02-24 04:30AM | 0 recs


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