Clark Looks To '08

Dailykos diarist cvcobb01 reports on General Clark's speech from the California Democratic convention:The big question "Am I going to run again?"

The crowd goes WILD. Shouting, screaming, women's panties on stage...uh, no, I'm making that up. But trust me, if this crowd could've they would've.

Drum roll please: "Well...I'll certainly have to take your advice about that."

The crowd erupts. He gets to take a water break. Hell, he could've walked around the block and come back before it quieted down.

He asks for our help. He says that last time, he had no political experience, no political strategy, no money when he started and no staff. This time, he promises that if we help, he'll have the money, he has the strategy, he'll have the staff, and he has the experience.

Folks, I'm sitting next to General Clark's media consultant who doesn't want me to say this so blatantly, but what I heard is that General Clark is running in '08. He explained to us that he intends to spend the next few years building the strategy, working the language and connecting the grassroots together for, as he calls it, "a giant march on Washington."

Great first hand reporting on a big story. It certainly sounds like Clark is going to run. At the very least, he is looking into a run.

Tags: Democrats (all tags)

Comments

86 Comments

He apparently was at a small reception.
Someone just posted on DU.  He was not at the convention, so that really should be clarified.  It was a group called the 4 Star Democrats.
by concerned democrat 2005-04-16 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: He apparently was at a small reception.
I was kind of surprised by this myself. I was at the Convention all day and never heard a word about Clark. There was nothing in the Convention schedule and nothing was posted in the media room.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-16 10:49PM | 0 recs
Re: He apparently was at a small reception.
I just checked out cvcobb01's first Cal Con diary and I was not impressed. Maybe Clark was really at some off site reception and maybe he wasn't.

In the first diary cvcobb puts a smackdown on the motto of the convention, Democrats Protect Real People. If cvcobb was really at the convention, he or she missed literally dozens of black and white photographs of real Californians and real California families. This theme builds on The Ahnold's attack on nurses, teachers, firefighters and police officers as special interests.

The link may not convey the full impact that the convention presentation did, but there is a very powerful message in that theme.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-16 11:14PM | 0 recs
Re: He apparently was at a small reception.
Been in the business too long to be impressed. We'll have to agree to disagree.
by ccobb 2005-04-17 02:09AM | 0 recs
Did you just call me a liar?
Hmm. Is this how you react to those with a different opinion than you? Insinuating that they are liars?

"Maybe Clark was really at some off site reception and maybe he wasn't."

"If cvcobb was really at the convention..."

I was there. And I'll be there again tomorrow. Just look for a guy about 6'0, shaved head, probably wearing black, slinging a computer. Feel free to look me up. And feel free to apologize.  

by ccobb 2005-04-17 02:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Did you just call me a liar?
I was leaning that way because of how misleading your diary was. It has nothing to do with a matter of opinion. I asked around this morning and nobody had heard about Wesley Clark being at the convention or making a statement about running for President. I checked both in the media room and at the information desk for the convention.

I also googled Wesley Clark and there still has been no news report about Wesley Clark being at or near the convention. I had very good reasons to be skeptical about your report. If you want to be given credibility in the future, you might want to be more careful with how you present the facts.

I'll give you the specific reasons I questioned your credibility:

And Stuart Shapiro just walked up to me, told me he was looking for an LA blogger. Wants to talk. Umm, wow. Have no clue who he is, and I already own my own company, but like I said, blogging is magic.

I don't know who Stuart Shapiro is either. I do know that nobody at the convention was the least bit impressed that I was a real live blogger. In fact, I talked to Jerry Brown in front of the Holiday Inn and his response was, "I'm a blogger too." How many tens of thousands of bloggers are there? Why on earth would anyone be impressed by an uncredentialed blogger who just shows up banging on doors and demanding admittance to events?

I see the signs on the wall, championing our slogan for the next election cycle, "Protect Real People". Folks, the party is alive and well but I'm afraid we've already lost. Why? Let's break it down shall we? Protect real people from what?

In addition to the signs and the overall slogan of "California Democrats Protect Real People" there were dozens of black and white photos of real live Californians. There was also a large banner that proudly said "We Are The People." This is a powerful slogan that plays into the antagonism The Ahnold has generated among nurses, teachers, firefighters and police officers. I still question your judgment if you cannot understand the strength behind that simple phrase.

Because the convention SUCKS at providing wireless service, here's a bunch of entries all at once. But one question first: how can a Dem convention still be sucking at wifi?

Netroots, anyone? Anyone?

As a matter of fact there was free wifi in two different media rooms and down in the food court as well. There were even signs about wifi hot spots in the food court. You blame the Dems because you are too careless to find out that there was free wifi available all weekend? You seem to be very adept at blaming other people for your personal problems.

Don't hold your breath waiting for an apology from me. Next time be more careful about what you present as facts and how you present them.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-17 04:03PM | 0 recs
You insinuate I was a liar...
...then stack up all of these factiods to prove you came by your baises by misconceptions and a lack of information? You made accusations that you can't then support by the facts.  And it's all really because you don't like my characterization of the event.

Perhaps you don't agree, but in my opinion the Democratic party is meant to be a big tent that allows for open debate and differing opinion. We don't call people liars without having the proof behind it. You now have proof that I didn't lie, proof that was right in front of your face alll the time, yet you continue to try to avoid having to own up to it. That's the far rightwing Tom Delay approach. It's wrong and you ought to stop using it.

It's a small town and state for activists Gary. I suspect we'll meet one day. I don't think it's wise of you to make enemies of those who would otherwise be your friends.

by ccobb 2005-04-17 07:04PM | 0 recs
Every single statement I made was factual
I didn't call you a liar. I questioned your accuracy based on personal knowledge of the facts. You raised the question of your integrity yourself. I simply responded because you opened the door.

Not only do you lack judgment, as demonstrated by your own diaries, you are incredibly immature and obnoxious. You have what I call the King Baby Complex. You expect the entire world to revolve around your perceptions and your desires. When it doesn't work out that way you attack legitimate constructive criticism.

Another way to put it is that you are a knuckle dragging ball baby. If we meet one day you can be absolutely certain I will be completely unconcerned about your empty threats. I would not have you for a friend or an ally. I am perfectly capable of choosing not to get involved in toxic relationships with toxic personalities. It makes my life much simpler and I am far happier.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-17 09:11PM | 0 recs
P.S Get some help with your drinking problem
The King Baby syndrome is one of the classic symptoms of a raging alcoholic:

An egomaniac with an inferiority complex
Childish insensitivity to criticism
Inability to admit even the most obvious mistake
Alcohol dependence in all social situations
Self destructive
Embarassing lack of social skills

My advice is that you grab a bottle of your favorite booze and drink yourself into obliviion. Good luck hitting your bottom cvcobb.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-18 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: P.S Get some help with your drinking problem
Now that was a bit juvenile.
by yitbos96bb 2005-04-18 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: P.S Get some help with your drinking problem
LOL! See what I mean? I knew cobb would be back. He's got all the symptoms. A normal mature adult would have been able to admit that they had been careless in describing the Wesley Clark event. A number of different people pointed that out.

Not cobb. Cobb is an alcoholic and cannot ever admit he made a mistake. My first clue was when I read Part I of his diary and he was constantly complaining about everything and blaming everyone except himself. The grandiosity and immaturity jumped off the page for someone who is used to working with wet drunks.

A perfect example is his inability to get internet access. He plugs into the wall and it doesn't work. Does he ask anyone about wifi access? No. He just complains. If he had gone to the food court and looked around, there were big signs advertising a wifi hot point in the food court. If he had tried to log on in the food court, a Smart City web page would have popped up with a note to enter "free" as the subscriber and "free" as the password. Guess what? He would have gotten free wifi access.

The proof of cobb's alcoholic immaturity is his lengthy argument with concerned democrat. No matter how trivial the criticism, an immature alcoholic's pride kicks in and their character defects compel them to defend their ego and pride.

One of the characteristics of alcoholism is that their emotional maturity is frozen at the age when they started drinking. Normies don't understand it because they grow up and learn mature ways of dealing with life's problems.For alcoholics, from their first drink, alcohol is the solution to all of their problems. Because alcohol fixes everything, they never learn the normal coping mechanisms that most people learn in high school and beyond.

I used to drink at my teachers, the principal, my parents, the cops, the judges, my bosses, my co-workers and even my car. That's right. If my car broke down, I wouldn't do the normal adult thing and take the time to get it repaired. I'd kick it and cuss at it and then get a lift to the nearest bar where I could complain about it not running, and spend the money I needed to fix my car on getting drunk. Drinking didn't fix my car, but it fixed me. That's alcoholic immaturity. Cobb's got it big time.

One or two drinks would quiet the demons of insecurity and false pride that raged inside me. It filled up that empty hole in my gut, the aching loneliness of never fitting in and never belonging. Alcohol was my best friend and towards the end, my only friend. I used to get a bottle of Captain Morgan and a 2 liter of Coke and go into my bedroom, turn on the TV. Me and David Letterman would have our own little party. It was great. Really. It was. Honest.

I had no way of knowing if Cobb would be back, but I suspected it. That's why I left my comment. Now that Cobb's covers have been pulled, his denial has kicked in and he was compelled to attack me. No biggie. Cobb is just a bunch of scattered cyber molecules to me. I could care less what he thinks about me. I've done my job and planted the seed of alcohlics anonymous in his belligerant alcoholic brain. I've done my good deed for the day.

From this day forward, Cobb will never be able to drink in peace. This diary and my factual discussion of alcoholism and my personal experience will haunt his drinking. I will be sitting on his shoulder reminding him he has a drinking problem every time he has a drink. Some day he will hit bottom and with a little luck he will be desperate enough to ask for help. Until then, nobody can tell him nothing about nothing.

My job is complete. I have carried the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to a still suffering alcoholic. Good luck hitting bottom cobb. I wish you well.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-18 11:43PM | 0 recs
Re: P.S Get some help with your drinking problem
gary, i don't know what your point was in all of this.  but you now look incredibly foolish with all this alcoholic stuff.  everything you've said previously has now been flushed down the drain with these comments.
by JAmbro 2005-04-19 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: P.S Get some help with your drinking problem
Now that was a bit juvenile.
by yitbos96bb 2005-04-18 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: P.S Get some help with your drinking problem
Also quite accurate. Believe me, it takes one to know one. I was in cobb's shoes a short fourteen years ago. He's a textbook case. It probably won't do any good, but I've done what they call planting the seed.

Classic advice from the Big Book is to encourage potential alcoholics to attempt some moderate drinking. Drink two drinks a day for five days. If you can take a few drinks and walk away from it, our hats are off to you. You can drink like a gentleman.

Chances are that cobb's family has already suggested that he get help. He sounds like he may be a functioning alcoholic, who can maintain the veneer of normal life while the demons of alcoholism tear him apart emotionally and spiritually. It's not a pretty sight, but help is available.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-18 09:05AM | 0 recs
Wow. I should troll rate this but I want people...
...to read it. You make the case better than I ever could that you shouldn't be taken seriously. Too bizarre for words.
by ccobb 2005-04-18 10:24AM | 0 recs
Whoa. Pulling a Bill Frist
Diagnosing me on the web? You have jumped the shark.
by ccobb 2005-04-18 09:44AM | 0 recs
Threats? Man, you really are out there
I was trying to extend an olive branch, to figure out how to not go round and round on this thread or at the next convention or meetup or whatever. As I sadi, it's too small a town and state for activists to be enemies when we should be, not friends I guess after re-reading your comments on this thread, but working for common cause.

But then this venom?  Wow. You are a piece of work. "Knuckle dragging ball baby"? "King baby syndrome"? "Immature and obnoxius"? The biggest irony is that you're the one that seems to be behaving according to your own diagnosis. So friggin' out there as to be almost funny, if it wasn't so astoundingly bizarre.

by ccobb 2005-04-18 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: You insinuate I was a liar...
I have to disagree.  Gary's posts were a heck of a lot more convincing.  Just from an outside perspective, he is tearing you apart.  You still don't refute any of the criticisms gary says.  Not really caring about either of you, but watching the catfight unfold you may want to actually refute the criticisms instead of saying he called you a liar.  He never used the word liar at all.  You insinuate he is calling you one, but he never actually did.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-04-18 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: You insinuate I was a liar...
When I asked him if he called me a liar, he said above "I was leaning that way because of how misleading your diary was." Perhaps that's not an insinuation to you, but it's how I took it.

As for getting torn apart in an argument with him, I just never took it at face value that he was open to having an honest debate. I mean, he starts out with the liar thing, and then he actually misrepresents the diaries I posted in order to set up his premise. You tell me--how much time do you want to waste refuting that strawman? Not really worth it.

But now he's diagnosed me as an alcholic with what he calls The King Baby Complex. Wow. At least he's proved to me my instincts were right--this was never a serious conversation; it began with insinuation, and misrepresentation and eventually led to a diagnosis over the Internets. Bill Frist would be proud. I sensed Gary would take this sort of approach from the start, and so he did.

As for the diaries he speaks of, they rise or fall on their own; that he misrepresents them is how he sets up this whole strawman thread. I'm encourage you to read them yourself before you buy into the arguments he makes.

IMHO what it comes down to is pretty simple-he disagrees with me, so he's wandered through his process of getting to diagnose me as an alcoholic. It is so bizarro world to me that as to be inhinged. Long story short, I thought that's the kind of exercise this would turn out to be, and so it is. Not worth a lot of effort, because there's no upside to it, no common ground on which to have a reasonable debate, and no agreement possible.  

by ccobb 2005-04-18 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: He apparently was at a small reception.
I was only there for a few hours, but I would agree that cvcobb01's impression had merit.  There were a LOT of slick, suit-and-tie, professional volunteers.  I felt very out of place wearing shorts.  They spoke with this polished air that made them seem one or two steps removed from real people, and often with a gleam of insincerity.  It actually made me feel worst about the California Democrats, not better.
by wilder 2005-04-17 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: He apparently was at a small reception.
He was at the convention, as was I. This event, like many of the events going on, happened around the convention.

The convention itself has nothing this exciting on the itinerary.

by ccobb 2005-04-17 02:11AM | 0 recs
"The convention itself ...
has nothing this exciting"

Like the Dean speech that was going on at the same time? Is that what you mean?

Perhaps an announcement of the event:

http://www.bopnews.com/archives/003161.html#3161

Clark v. Dean, Redux supports that contention...

We're gearing up for the California Democratic Party convention this coming weekend in Los Angeles, and I've just received word through the grapevine that "General Clark is scheduled to speak." However, there's nothing official yet from the CDP.

What is official, though, is that Los Angeles supporters, the 4-Star Democratic Club of Los Angeles and SoCal Grassroots, have put together a reception for Wes Clark to take place at the same time that Howard Dean is keynoting the Saturday night dinner. For Clarkies it's a no-brainer. Of course we'll be there. My inbox is already vibrating with excited e-mails. There is no question that the good General still commands the loyalty of his troops.

Was he at an official convention event or one sponsored by a group of Dems? Was Dean speaking to the convention delegates at the same time?

Which is it?

Your post makes it sound like Clark was part of the actual convention and the question remains about whether that is true or not....

So it should be real easy for you to scan the program from the convention that includes Gen. Clark's speech as part of the advertised event...

Otherwise this is nothing more than a bunch of Clark supporters getting together at an official Dem event and trying to make it sound like more than it is....

by Nazgul35 2005-04-17 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: "The convention itself ...
No, I put it badly. I meant like a formal announcement. The event itself had very cool party building stuff, but most of it was not meant to launch a campaign or create a buzz beyond activists and the party faithful. Which I think is fine and is the purpose of a convetion like this.

But you do have to admit, it's a lot of workshops and budget meetings. Good, necessary work. Not much high drama.

Missed Dean's speech. Could not get a ticket to save my life. That man is beloved by the 'roots. Would love to here a post about it.

by ccobb 2005-04-17 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: "Otherwise this is nothing more ...
Now you're just being willfully ignorant. There were fundraisers all over the place around the convention. Phil Angelides for Gov, Westly for Gov, etc. And quit knocking Clark supporter. This is too far out to be a killjoy and partypooper about. Just let a few Clarkies enjoy the moment and get over it.
by ccobb 2005-04-17 09:42AM | 0 recs
To let people think Clark was at the convention...
was not being honest.  He was at an event with around 100 people who are his supporters.  If you go to the CCN blog at WesPac there is a lot on it.  

The Kos post did not make it clear that he was at a planned event elsewhere than the convention floor.  A planned event like this mentioned at the BOP blog.

http://www.bopnews.com/archives/003161.html#3161

Planned at the same time as Howard Dean's speech at the convention.  

by concerned democrat 2005-04-17 09:53AM | 0 recs
RE "Did not make it clear..."
Yes it did. It is part 2 of an ongoing series. Did you READ the title of the post? If you don't read part 1, you are being willifully ignorant. And you and others are spreading this notion that the events were at the same time. They were not. Clark's was from 5:30PM, Dean's was from 7:00P to 9:00P.

Pathetic. Someone other than Dean gets some love from supporters, and you have to act as if I'm "not being honest" because you don't do your homework.

by ccobb 2005-04-17 10:06AM | 0 recs
The Clark event was changed because of scrutiny.
The event was originally set at 7, with some comments by the poster to indicate it was deliberate.
by concerned democrat 2005-04-17 10:30AM | 0 recs
Now you're just talking crazy
It was changed so that it didn't conflict with the Dean event. To claim it was because of scrutiny, as if they wouldv'e snuck it in if they could, is your own rather sad paranoia. You're impugning the motives of so many people that working at the grassroots level, who would gladly support anyone but that happen to be excited about Clark too.

Sad. Pathetic. And more to the point, really really useless. I'm pretty sure the new DNC chair would think so as well.

by ccobb 2005-04-17 11:00AM | 0 recs
Wow!
Just wow!  I don't even know what else to say.  
by concerned democrat 2005-04-17 11:27AM | 0 recs
You should say...
...you're sorry.

You make up stuff about people conspiring against Dean like it's the JFK assassination. You impugn the motives of a bunch of DFA members, old Clark supporters, convention organizers, all as if they're out to get Dean. This convention is staffed and organized by a lot of newbies and volunteers. The easiest and wisest and most sane conclusion is that this is one of MANY scheduling conflicts. But no--it's a plot to get Dean. That is so paranoid as to border on lunacy.

by ccobb 2005-04-17 11:56AM | 0 recs
This is scary.
What in the world are you talking about?  I am simply quoting the poster at the BOP blog.  I have said very little.  I am surprised at all the anger that my few words elicited from you.
by concerned democrat 2005-04-17 12:17PM | 0 recs
Angry?
You said "To let people think Clark was at the convention was not being honest...."  yet part 1 of the series is EXPLICIT about the nature of the event. Yet, you don't do your homework and you call me a liar? Of course I'm angry. Then you parrot this paranoid horsehit about scheduling, to make Clark and his staff and the volunteers to be schemeing liars who got caught trying to, what?, undermine Dean? And then you sit here and try to act like you don't know what I'm talking about? Pathetic.
by ccobb 2005-04-17 03:46PM | 0 recs
I saw only one diary.
I think you are a little over the line in your criticisms of me.  The diary I saw did not at all make clear that you were somewhere else.  It sounded as though you were at the convention itself.  

I just went and found the diary I read late last night.  A lot has been added to it now.  At the time I read it,  it was not clear to me.

A lot of us knew Clark was not speaking on the convention floor, and it was confusing to read it then. I see you have since clarified.

This is really a shame for things to escalate like this.  It is good to use blogs to spread info, but it is not good to turn it into an attack on others who are sincere in what they say.  I see that very simple statement of mine was marked marginal.   That is a shame as well.

And I have yet to see one single person acknowledge the BOP post was over the line. It was, you know.  There should be no rivalry now.  There is work to do for the party to survive.  

by concerned democrat 2005-04-17 07:13PM | 0 recs
I agree and you're right
The phrase is what set me off, and what will always set me off, is that I'm "not being honest." I'll listen to "you made a mistake," or "I think you need to clarify"..fine. I'll say I'm wrong all day long if someone points it out. But saying that I'm not being honest? I just am not going to lie down and take it if I feel I'm being called a liar. It's my integrity being impugned. I suspect you'd feel the same way.
by ccobb 2005-04-17 08:17PM | 0 recs
Though BTW
The link to part 1 was ALWAYS there at the end of the diary. I added the rest because of the conclusions I felt that you and others leapt to, without following through the links that were there on the page. I also felt that the title CA DemCon Part II was a pretty big clue. But some missed it, obviously.
by ccobb 2005-04-17 08:21PM | 0 recs
Perhaps we should quit while ahead.
I have nothing more to say.  I am too tired too think ahead to 08 right now.  There are many good candidates who deserve consideration.  Clark is only one of many.  Going overboard against those who have reservations about him does your cause no good at all.

I am concentrating on 2006, and some locals in 2005.  I am not a huge Clark fan, and the way things have gone here since last night don't help.

by concerned democrat 2005-04-17 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: "The convention itself ...
I liked clark in 04, but he is starting to get the same type of vocal following that Dean had.  Some of the most vocal followers of Dean were so damn obnoxious, it made me not want to vote for him.  I am seeing the same thing with the vocal minority of the Clarkies.  I hope when Russ starts gearing up, his supporters who make up the vocal minority aren't going to turn into the leftwing version of the Bushies or end up alienating people like some of the more vocal deaniacs did in 04.  I know many people (myself included) who regretfully never gave Dean a real hard look or chance due to the obnoxiousness of this minority...  Is it right?  Of course not, but much like the GOP stealing elections it sure as hell happens.  Imagine, scheduling a dinner for a possible 08 candidate 2 years before more candidates announce their intentions and to add greater levels of obnoxiousness, competing with the head of the party.  Have your dinner Clarkies, but don't disrespect the DNC chair like that.  I don't care if it is McCauliffe or Dean, that was just plain stupid.  
Sorry, that article just pissed me off...No brainer for Clarkies... what kind of stupid BS is that.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-04-18 08:14AM | 0 recs
please, please, please...
We need Clark.  He has the common man way of speaking and a mature mind.  He can connect with Southern voters and credibility on defense.  

Clark/Clinton 08'

by Tundraman 2005-04-16 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: please, please, please...
  1. No way Hillary agrees to second fiddle.  

  2. I don't think anyone except for the Theocons would argue against Clark's defense credibility.  I have yet to see anything that shows he can connect with Southern voters.  Please provide some proof other than He is from the South.  He goes up against Bill Frist or Newt... Well I think we have an idea who a lot of Southern voters will connect with.  

Not bad mouthing Clark as I supported him in 2004, just challenging the assumption he can connect with Southern voters.  Please show some evidence that this may happen.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-04-18 08:25AM | 0 recs
a good man
Wes Clark is the real McCoy in my book, and he has the right credentials and progressive values. He has broad spectrum appeal. I worked in his last campaign and remain a supporter.
by cmpnwtr 2005-04-16 09:49PM | 0 recs
Gee
I hate posting on '08 threads, but here goes.

I'd vote for Clark in a minute. He's, in my mind, the perfect candidate - military guy (takes away the "soft on defense" charge), 100% Arkansan (you know what I mean), and looks like your average redneck. Yet on top of everything, does not back off from Republicans, fights the good fight. Perfect.

I should learn more about Mark Warner, though.

by raginillinoian 2005-04-16 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Gee
Clark was on Bill Mahrer's show and went toe to toe with Frum on a number of issues. The only thing Clark is a little short on is charisma. With a little bit more media exposure and experience there's no reason Clark cannot be a very strong candidate.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-16 10:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Gee
I saw that show. Clark was quiet but didn't shy away from stating the obvious, Bush let 9/11 happen and was and is unfit to be president. I think he does have a lot of charisma. I don't get Bush's charismatic appeal. Where is his charisma? Clark was my man in '04 and I think he would have won. I'll be delited to back him in '08. He da man!
by kitebro 2005-04-17 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Gee
I supported Clark in 04.  He didn't deserve to win.  He didn't know how to campaign or stump and despite his positives would have needed to learn how to campaign pretty damn quick to win the election.  Otherwise, Rove would have torn him apart.

I like Clark as a person... much more than Bayh or the NEW Hillary.  I just would liek to see him have gone through some kind of campaign before.  I still think he remains a strong VP candidate OR a strong Defense/State secretary in a Democratic administration... positions that could propel him in the future.  Maybe he will show more chops in 2008, but if he only shows marginal improvement, I just don't see him as viable.  

I still like Russ.  He isn't a conservative or a Liberal.  He has a lot of Populist and libertarian lite view points.  While I don't see him as a player in most of the south (other than Florida and maybe VA and NC), I do see him as the second strongest of most of the potential candidates in both parties in the west and midwest... after John McCain.  I ahve always thought W's popularity stems not as much from policy but from his charisma.  The cattle owning cowboy image plays well in the west.  McCain will pull that off, Frist and Newt have no chance.  Feingold isn't a cowboy but his vote against the patriot act and support of smaller government and less intrusion will work well in the west and midwest.  I am not as up to date on western values but midwest values differ from southern values.  While there is some God, Gay Guns mentality here, other values creep into play.  Russ's main obstacle is name recognition, but once 07 kicks in and the GOP targets all the barrels at Hillary, I think Russ as a choice will grow.  

by yitbos96bb 2005-04-18 08:39AM | 0 recs
If he runs, I definitely Lean supporting him !
If General Wes Clark decides to run in '08, I am heavily leaning towards supporting him.

Look at the Kossacks at Dailykos site, he is also getting RAVE reviews from everybody!

I think he is a much better candidate today than he was in '04. He openly admits that he was was a newbie in politics in '04. Made mistakes in dealing with the media, choosing his handlers & joining the race way too late to raise money, etc.

He admitted not having a clue as to how to play the media game, raise money, and choose the right people to promote his candidacy.

That was then, this is NOW.

First off, what I like about him is he has the POTENTIAL TO UNIFY the Democratic Party & ALSO attract millions of Moderate Republicans and Independents !

I believe he is the ONE CANDIDATE WHO CAN REALLY UNITE the Democratic Party. His candidacy CAN & WILL Attract BOTH LIBERALS & CENTRIST DEMOCRATS across the party. In fact, he was also very popular among African-Americans especially in the South during the 04 campaign. His stand on being Pro-Choice, Strong on National Security, strong on protecting american jobs and uplifting the poor, his stand on reinvesting in R&D to create jobs, Affirmative Action, on Protecting the Environment.

His SOLID SOLID background in both the Military as a LEADER, TACTICIAN, & a GENERAL, his successful Business Background in Investment Banking. Not to mention since he has NO Political Voting Track record to defend, Republicans will have a tough time targeting any votes the same way they did to Kerry.

His honest, an appealing personality is also a plus. Not to mention his Strong Family Values & he openly shares his Faith as a church going man every sunday.

And of course a  Rhodes scholar ( Like Bubba Clinton) and will probably be the most intellectual candidate among the bench for 2008, a Self-Made man, who came from humble beginnings.

Not to Mention, a TRUE PROGRESSIVE, a Southerner,
a Decorated 4 Star General, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, a Vietnam war hero ( without the controversy) who is tough minded, smart as they come, genuinely progressive and caring about people.

Did I mention he is from the South? :) In fact Arkansas to be exact!

He comes across as authentic, and who has obviously learned how to speak so as to fire up the Dem base. He can certainly give Hillary a run for her money without the baggage.

RUN WES RUN!

by labanman 2005-04-16 10:35PM | 0 recs
Why lots of people didn't jump
Clark was late to the game. Kos and many dKos posters were ready to get on the bandwagon. But for months Clark refused to get off his comfortable CNN stool and take Bush head-on over the war. He had his reasons, most people were convinced that taking on Bush at the height of his popularity was political suicide, that the key was selling a better Bush, i.e. one who could actually win the war. But a lot of people were looking on and making the rational conclusion that this war was going to be a huge clusterfuck that as I said in real time before the war was going to result in large numbers of "boys and girls in boxes".

Clark could not have prevented the war, but he could have put all of his numerous qualities and talents behind those of us who opposed the war not just because it was a disasterous policy overall but because it was certain to be a huge, bloody, expensive disaster for this country and its military.

I was and am a huge fan of Dean. I gave money, I supported him against plenty of attacks online and in the world. But what Democrats needed in December 2002 was a General and not a Doctor. And Clark just wasn't there when we needed him.

I'll get behind Clark when he runs. But I am not ready to write a new chapter in Profiles in Courage.

by Bruce Webb 2005-04-17 04:06AM | 0 recs
Totally unfair accounting
Clark held off on his decision to run in '04 for one reason and one reason only.  Gert wouldn't hear of it.  Even made him promise he wouldn't bring it up to her until after Wes Jr's wedding.  I don't think she believed at that point that a presidential campaign was a real possibility.  Maybe he wasn't so sure either--he was setting a new historical precedent and that's not something to accept lightly.

But whatever.  His hesitance had NOTHING to do with not wanting to commit "political suicide" by taking on Bush.  Clark had been taking on Bush all along.  He was speaking out against the war in Dec 02 and well before.  In fact, on 9/12/01 he was on NPR warning against the drive to connect al Qaeda with Iraq.  He started working for Democratic candidates for Congress.  By Sept 02 he was testifying before BOTH houses of Congress against the war.

I don't know what more you'd expect from a guy a who was totally non-partisan when he retired from the military in mid-2000.  Who didn't even know where he was gonna live or what second career he was gonna pursue.  Have you ever had to make a life-change that overwhelming?  How long do you think it would take you to get your bearings?

Criticize if you will the elected officials who were too gutless to speak out (and speaking of which, on what day did Dean first say anything about the war?).  That was their obligation.  Clark could have sat back and made his millions and never said a word.  He chose a different course, and we're all the better for it.

by hf jai 2005-04-17 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Totally unfair accounting
If Edwards ran again, do you think an Edwards/Clark ticket would work?
by jkfp2004 2005-04-17 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Totally unfair accounting
or what about this.

Clark/Henry (Gov of OK) and Edwards as AG.

by jkfp2004 2005-04-17 08:36AM | 0 recs
perfectly fair
There's nothing unfair about it.  He should have been openly and loudly opposing the rush to war, in the fall of 2002 and spring of 2003, when it might have made a difference.  Of all people he might have actually made a difference, and at least brought some more former military into the anti-war movement.  He was quiet and subdued when we needed people like him to take a bold public stand.  I hope he regrets it, but I'd like to see a frank public apology before I believe that.

Which is not to say I wouldn't support him for president - if Feingold doesn't run, and Rendell doesn't run, Clark is about the only one in the possible field (speculated so far) who I feel more good than bad about.  He's a smart man, and a candidate we could work with, but I doubt he really understands grassroots, and he's not (so far) the kind of politically courageous candidate I'd like to get behind.  He's certainly no Dean, not by a long shot.

by cos 2005-04-18 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: perfectly fair
Wesley Clark needs to have a future in the Democratic party.  All of the talk here is about him as a potential candidate for President.  As for me, I would like to see him take on and beat Mike Huckabee to become Governor of Arkansas first.

If he does that, then he becomes an even more legitimate candidate for President in '08.

My other thought is that if Hillary is indeed the candidate in 2008, then Wes Clark could and should be the pick for Vice-President.  The ties are there from the Bill Clinton administration, and coupling Hillary with a military guy makes a lot of sense.  If Hillary is what it's going to be, then a Clinton-Clark ticket is probably our best case scenario.

by betterdonkeys 2005-04-18 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: perfectly fair
I think the best place for Clark would be as secretary of Defense or State in the next Democratic presidency.  Those are clearly where his skills, experience, and connections would most help.  I don't quite see what he's got to make him a great governor, but I don't know or live in Arkansas.  If he ran for governor and won and did a good job, great.
by cos 2005-04-19 08:04AM | 0 recs
Popular among black voters?
Compared to whom?

According to the exit polls, Clark lost black voters to Dean, Edwards, Kerry, Lieberman, and Sharpton in Deleware; to Dean, Edwards, Gephard, Kerry, and Sharpton in Missouri; to Kerry in Oklahoma; to Edwards, Kerry, and Sharpton in South Carolina; to Kerry in Tennessee; and to Edwards and Kerry in Virginia.

Otherwise, I wouldn't rely on Clark's Vietnam heroism being "without the controversy" that plagued Kerry's.  Because they made that shit up about Kerry, and they'll do it again with Clark.

by Drew 2005-04-17 11:26AM | 0 recs
While I agree they made shit up about Kerry
It will be harder with Clark.  His battalion commander witnessed his heroism from a helicopter and sure didn't mind appearing in the "American Son" campaign video to describe it.  That's already on video record.

Remember too that Lt. Gen. James Hollingsworth is quoted as saying, "Clark took a burst of AK fire, but didn't stop fighting. He stayed on the field 'til his mission was accomplished and his boys were safe. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. And he earned 'em."  Hollingsworth is a big name in military history.

Which is not to say the RW won't make up other shit to besmirch Clark's military record.  But not his Vietnam medals.  Not credibly.

He also can't be branded "Hanoi John," shown in fake photos with Jane Fonda, or questioned over throwing his medals away.  That in itself pissed off enough 'Nam vets that it beccame pretty easy to find the 250 or so who were willing to lie.  About the worst they can say about Clark is how strongly he defended Kerry's right to do so.

Finally, take a close look at the Hollingworth quote:  "Clark took a burst of AK fire, but didn't stop fighting."  That's the man he is as much today as 30 years ago.  He won't take the bullshit lying down, hoping it'll blow over, no matter how many "advisors" tell him to.  Clark saw what the swiftboat idiots did to Kerry--he was in the thick of it trying to undo the damage.  He wouldn't be even thinking about running if he didn't have a plan to deal with the same shit, cuz he knows it's coming.

Your examples of the black vote are out of context.  Except for OK, those are all states Clark ceded to the other candidates to focus elsewhere.  And in any case, the vote breakdown becomes sort of irrelevant after Iowa.  Before that, he was endorsed by some pretty heavy hitters in the civil rights community and doing very well among minorities in the polls.  After Iowa, none of it mattered, for Clark or any of the other "also ran."

by hf jai 2005-04-17 05:42PM | 0 recs
Out of context?
I listed every state with an exit poll that reported the preferences of black voters.  That isn't "out of context"; it's the entire context.  Fact is, when black voters went to the polls, a disproportionate number chose Kerry, not Clark.  The assertion that he is popular among black voters is unsupported by the facts.

It will be harder with Clark.

Wishful thinking.

Which is not to say the RW won't make up other shit to besmirch Clark's military record.  But not his Vietnam medals.  Not credibly.

I'm sorry - are you under the false impression that the witnesses against Kerry were credible?  They weren't.  They were liars.  That they were liars did not stop the media from repeating those lies.  Nor would it stop the media from repeating lies about Clark.

by Drew 2005-04-17 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Out of context?
I will merely point out here that the smearing of General Clark's military record, whether fair or not, has already begun.

I have a math/history professor who is a former Army MP and a moderate conservative. He told me that conservative websites have already begun to circulate interviews with other former military brass who served with Clark. They remember him as an ass-kissing yes-man and a weasely back-stabber with no real convictions or friendships who would turn on you in a second if he thought it would stand him in good stead with his military superiors and, later in his career, with the President.

Now, I have no knowledge about the factual accuracy or lack thereof of these accusations. All I know is that they are already out there now, and they will only begin to expand and multiply if Clark decides to run again.

As for the black voters thing, that seems like an awful lot of states to "cede to the opposition," especially in the South, which was supposed to be his stronghold. Was he actually planning on competing anywhere?

by craverguy 2005-04-17 07:53PM | 0 recs
Vietnam is History
And I think that means as an election issue.  Kerry and Bush spent so much energy on Vietnam, I think there is nothinb gleft to say.  I really think that anyone who brings up Vietnam (in any way other than as an aside in his biography) will take a negative hit in public perception.  Using the Vietnam war AGAIN in a political way will hurt, not help which ever candidate uses it.  

Clark's arguments with Clinton over the NATO involvement in Bosnia, whoever, will do him a lot of good.

by David in Burbank 2005-04-18 06:52AM | 0 recs
Why would I support Clark?
I can't really think of a reason to support him in '08 and it floors me that there are so many of you here--why?

I really can't think of a reason.  There are so many other options.  

What does the guy know about social justice anyway?

I am at a loss.

by aiko 2005-04-17 04:19PM | 0 recs
Clark is surely better than ....
Bayh, Richardson, Biden, Gore, Kerry, Edwards,

and probably better than Clinton,

but maybe not better than a certain Governor from the Big Sky State (who also is a guy 'regular' folks can identify with and is showing his executive branch of govenment skills and a penchant for getting things done.

I could support Clark easily, but Rove will certainly uncut his military experience along the lines of attacks on his leadership when he was a candidate last time.  I see another "Swift-Boat Veterans" thing with former military associates telling trumped up stories and vicious lies again.

by JimPortlandOR 2005-04-16 10:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Clark is surely better than ....
Let's face it. No matter who the nominee will be, whether its Hillary, Bayh, Clark, Richardson, Warner, Gore, Edwards, and as we all know what happened to John Kerry- the Repug Right Wing Machine will attempt to destroy our candidate.

That's already a given. This is politics. There will BE NO PERFECT candidate to face the Republicans. Whether there is true Dirt or they will make up the Dirt ( As proven by the Swift boat liars)

Anyone of these people WILL GET HAMMERED BIG TIME. Its how they & our Democratic Party Responds forcefully that will make a difference.

We HAVE TO BE PRO-ACTIVE in '08. The Worst we can do is WAIT for the Attacks & be on Defense 24 hours.

It will be the responsibility of ALL of us as Democrats to not only Defend our Candidate but ALSO EXPOSE the Republican candidate.

But yes, certain candidates such as Hillary Clinton, Richardson, Gore, and of course John Kerry will give Republicans much more ammunition.

by labanman 2005-04-16 10:57PM | 0 recs
The attacks have begun.
...at least against Hillary.  

Also, I can not say enough how much I agree with your statements that we MUST be Proactive.  

I'm looking forward to a contested election as long as the candidates run on their policies and ideas and not attack each others character.  This would keep the American public's attention on Democratic ideas and leave no room in the Media for the Republicans.

I think that one of our biggest problems during the last electrion was that Kerry won the nomination too early.  Once he won the Dem nomination we dropped out of the news.

I think the view that we should jam pack all of our primaries together and early hurts us.  We should have a primary system where the candidates have to slog it through all of the states and let everyone have the opportunity to see and hear them.

I'm looking forward to '08.

by lisadawn82 2005-04-17 05:27AM | 0 recs
Better than Clinton?
That's getting a little carried away. I don't think Clark would have a bit of trouble defending his military credentials against a swiftie attack. Wes Clark is no John Kerry. Kerry made the mistake of listening to his advisors and ignoring the swiftboat attacks until it was too late.

I think Richardson is still a very strong candidate. Edwards has to figure out a way to keep his name in the news, but there's nothing preventing Edwards from being a strong candidate.

It's kind of silly trying to crown a nominee until after the 2006 election. All of these guys have two years to hone their message and build their name recognition and public recognition.

I thnk Biden, Gore and Kerry are definitely out. Bayh still has his hat in the ring unnless I missed something. He may be the only "centrist", whatever the hell that means, that hasn't stepped on his anatomy.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-04-16 10:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Clark is surely better than ....
But Clark could make fantastic VP choice, were that certain Big-Sky Governor to join the fray...

That being said, having Wesley Clark in the game from the beginning will only help the Dems, regardless of who gets the nomination.

by Frontier PAC 2005-04-17 07:57AM | 0 recs
I Hope
he does run.  He is a very articulate critic of Republicans
by Bob H 2005-04-17 03:29AM | 0 recs
Clark v Clinton or Richardson
I worked for Clark in the last campaign and felt that he needed a far better organization to sustain him in NY.  He tried a type of Dean-lite with faux Meet-Ups etc.  The people that supported him were almost all from the City [NY City for you non-NYers].  In order to get on the ballot throughout the state you need to pass petitions, i.e. get signatures in each of the congressional districts. It never happened state-wide like it did for Dean.  Admittedly he started late -- however, his organizational presence was OK in the City - and nominal throughout the rest of the state. His campaign was run in a highly centralized manner with NO ONE asking WTF is really going on - in other words no quality control.  IOW, petition distribution was handled VERY POORLY.  These lousy tactics meant that he did not get on the ballot in a number of upstate counties.  We were never asked why.  The Clark folks never followed-up or asked the question why things went from bad to FUBAR. Basically - some of us just said WTF - since we were never really consulted about what needed to be done.  Our experience was ignored -- some of us have been passing petitions for a long time.  Instead we'd get a phone call and were told stuff in telephone conversations without any real input.


IMHO Clark could be a strong candidate but he needs to begin to build a sustainable and quality organization if he wants to win.

My other 2 cents are that Richardson is not disciplined enough to create a nationwide organization.

I don't think that Hillary will be able to emerge from her upcoming senatorial campaign with enough juice to make a serious presidential bid.  It is going to be VERY nasty.  She'll be smeared big-time and all the king's horses will never put her back together so that she can make an effective bid for POTUS. Both Clark and Hillary should steal some pages from Schumer - he's worked his way up the political food chain...her political style is cold/gimme the money type of stuff.  IMHO she doesn't seem all that interested in plain working class Janes and Juans since they cannot laddle out the cash. Hillary thinks she can win by just being Hillary.  Meanwhile, she has been Ms. Friendly with a number of rethug pols in NY instead of helping her fellow dems.

IMHO we need a governor from a western state who connects with your average Maria and John -- and right now the only pol that fits that bill  --- is a man from Montana.

by NYPocho 2005-04-17 05:40AM | 0 recs
I always liked Clark
Bring him in... Bring 'em all in. It could be a fun 2008 campaign season..

I have a feeling tho Clark will bow out and endorse Hillary and get a Cabinet Position in return.

by falcon4e 2005-04-17 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Clark v Clinton or Richardson
We had a lng discussion about how to win in 2008 after the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention last night.  We thought the thing to do is to take advantege of the DFA sponsored chairs in CO and NM and the upcoming DFA or Progressive chair in UT to bring all the candidates to CO, UT, NM, AZ, NV, WY, and MT on a series of "western education" campaign swings.  

We thought mybe Edwards or Bayh or Clark might have the instincts to learn about winning the West given enough lead time and encouragement.  We can't beat Frist in OH or FL;  Bush was known to be the worst president of modern times and he hit those states the worst with his bad policies, so Frist is likely to win by solid margins in both.  That makes our only chance in '08 either a governor from OH or FL or someone who can win in CO, NM, NV, and AZ.  Note also that those states could have been won with fewer additional votes than OH.

But I will say that the very best ticket possible would be Schweitzer with Henry, Richardson, Reid, or Napolitano for veep.  (Maybe Freudenthal, but I haven't really heard much from Dave these past two years.)

Schweitzer/Reid '08!

by Newt 2005-04-17 12:19PM | 0 recs
Well done Clarkies
a well orchestrated media event on the blogsphere....

But wouldn't your energies be better directed at helping the actual Democratic Party?

I am very worried about what is going to happen in 2007 when everyone realizes that the Clinton's already have their candidate, her name is Hillary...

by Nazgul35 2005-04-17 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Well done Clarkies
Oh thanks! Whew.  We didn't realize the party needed building. God, we're so clueless. Man, without you Nazgul, where would we be?

Oh, right. Building the party anyway.

by ccobb 2005-04-17 09:44AM | 0 recs
I certainly hope that you are
Because focusing on the 2008 election when we have state elections going on this year in some key states and the midterms in 2006 is foolish.

If we do the work of reforming the party between now and 2008 the best candidate will get the nomination....who ever that is.

I for one am not going to play the name game three years away from the election, how many people had heard of Clark, Dean, Edwards, etc. before 2003?

Again, good luck in 2008...

by Nazgul35 2005-04-17 10:42AM | 0 recs
Nah...
I don't think so.

I keep a little chart on my wall with the names of people I would support for president, starting with the person I like best and ending with the person I like least:

Senator Russ Feingold
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Gary Hart
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator John Edwards
General Wesley Clark
Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Joe Biden
Governor Mark Warner
Governor Bill Richardson
Senator Evan Bayh

As you can see, on my chart, Clark is behind six people who would have to drop out and/or announce their refusal to run. And I'm pretty sure that both Kucinich and Edwards will run again.

by craverguy 2005-04-17 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Nah...
Since anyone with the word "Senator" or "Congressman" before his name is a sure loser (except Bayh, who also has the title "Governor"), maybe the list should be shortened.

From craverguy's favorite to least favorite:

General Wesley Clark
Governor Mark Warner
Governor Bill Richardson
Governor Evan Bayh

Looks better for Wes now doesn't it?

by Newt 2005-04-17 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Nah...
Yes, because Senator John F. Kennedy was such a loser. And Governor Michael Dukakis was such an overwhelming victor.

I can see how you would reach that conclusion. After all, everyone remembers the ignominious defeats of Senator Richard Nixon, Congressman George H.W. Bush, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, and Senator Harry S. Truman.

Anyone who thinks that being a senator automatically dooms a man's chances at the big job has his head up his ass.

by craverguy 2005-04-17 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Nah...
Hold on, I just thought of somebody else I would favor over Clark.

The updated chart:

Senator Russ Feingold
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Gary Hart
Reverend Jesse Jackson
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator John Edwards
General Wesley Clark
Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Joe Biden
Governor Mark Warner
Governor Bill Richardson
Senator Evan Bayh

by craverguy 2005-04-17 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Nah...
Reverend is better than Senator, I guess.
by Newt 2005-04-17 06:55PM | 0 recs
it's not that they're from congress
"Senator" doesn't make someone a loser.  It's "Governor" that makes someone a more likely winner.  Or VP.  Anyone who's not a former or current Governor or VP, is at a huge disadvantage, because their experience is less relevant to the job they're running for.  Clark is in the same boat as all the congresscritters here - he's never been Governor of VP.

We've had exactly one former top general elected president in each century so far: Washington in the 18th, Jackson in the 19th, Eisenhower in the 20th.  We've had something like three times that many come out of Congress to the presidency.  Sure, the sample is small, and we don't get a lot of former generals running, but really, there's no data here that would lead us to the conclusion that generals make better candidates.  And there's no obvious reason for it, either.

Governors and VPs make better candidates because for pretty obvious reasons.  Governor of a US state is the closest job there is to being President.

If you're making a new list where you drop all the Senators and Reps, drop Clark too.  Make a list that just has former Governors or VPs.

by cos 2005-04-18 09:06AM | 0 recs
veterans vs. dodgers
Broadening the sample size a bit, it's also worth mentioning that in the last four presidential elections in a row, we had a candidate who evaded military service going up against a candidate who served in a war.  Look how that has turned out.  Being a top general does count for more, but it really doesn't look like military service is a key factor in helping a candidate win.
by cos 2005-04-18 09:13AM | 0 recs
Hart and Boxer aren't running
Kucinich doesn't have a chance in hell in getting the nomination.  I don't know about Durbin.

So you have him behind Feingold and Edwards of people who have a realistic chance of getting the nomination.

My list is Feingold, followed by Clark, and then stops, although I will support whoever wins the nom in the general.

by Geotpf 2005-04-17 09:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hart and Boxer aren't running
You don't know that Hart and Boxer aren't running. The future is still the future, and either one of them would be major contenders if they wanted to be. And I don't really care if my man has a realistic chance of getting the nomination. My (hypothetical) vote for Kucinich will be a message to the rest of the party that I like candidates who take principled stands on issues that matter.

If nobody ahead of Clark on that list runs except Kucinich, then I will vote for Kucinich. I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

by craverguy 2005-04-17 09:31PM | 0 recs
Good

I became a Clark fan in late '03 after hearing him on C-SPAN giving a lecture on the war in Kosovo. Came off as a very warm and knowledgeable person, in contrast to my perception from the media of the front-runners of the time (Kerry and Dean). It was interesting how his star so quickly waned in his ambiguous statements about support for the war and for Bush. I also seem to recall that some of his past military colleagues got trotted out saying he was an arrogant showboat. Regardless, I guess the powers that be wanted Kerry (or Bush) so Clark and Dean were history.

I suspected Clark was running for VP and the notion of a Dean/Clark ticket seemed to sew up both the domestic and security sides of the campaign. Not sure how big an issue security will be in '08 unless there's another spectacular domestic attack - and then martial law or Diebold might preclude a fair election.

It's interesting to see all the comments about how the Dems need to think about Going West. I realize that is a reasonable strategy, but I suspect people in all regions of the country will vote more on their perceptions of the man more than where he's from. I'm not sure, but I think Clark can be a guy that can articulate a populist message that resonates with people...which is exactly what we need everywhere.

I heard Paul Rieckhoff from OpTruth talk a few months ago about how much he respected Clark. After the Chickenhawks leave our streets paved with mentally shattered young Iraq vets and our foreign policy cluttered with fractured alliances, a real military man might be just what the country needs.

And as far as thoughts of '08 being premature, yeah, they are. But I wasn't planning on doing any field organizing this afternoon anyway and I think its helpful to start giving it at least a little bit of thought as we try to formulate a strategy leading to '08 and beyond.

by ProgressiveChristian 2005-04-17 03:39PM | 0 recs
it's not too early
Please do some field organizing this afternoon!

Do it for a local or state candidate, but try to work for an organization that will still be around in 2008, so that the organizing you do for them today, will translate into a head start for the 2008 campaign.

And with that, I'm off to downtown Boston to flyer for Deval Patrick for Governor, and later this evening, to a field organizing meeting for Jesse Gordon for Cambridge City Council

by cos 2005-04-18 09:17AM | 0 recs
Clark
Ugh.  I really don't like Clark.  I think he's creepy and slick.
by alhill 2005-04-17 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Clark
creepy and slick?  care to elaborate, rather than just insult?  
by JAmbro 2005-04-18 06:29AM | 0 recs
I just don't see it
Dems made the mistake of picking a resume to win last time around with Kerry.  If the GOP has proven anything, it's that it can destroy any resume - no matter how sterling - with underhanded attacks, innuendo, and lies.  They will undermine Clark's military history by airing the complaints of his many military detractors and focus on his odd mannerisms and lack of "regular guy" status.  Like any Rove campaign, they'll go after his strengths and make up weaknesses.  They'll use his military history against him to kill his positives (with his slightly buggy eyes, I think they'll talk up his impulsiveness and trigger-happiness) and focus on irrelevancies to crank up his negatives.

I like Clark, but he's not a politician and the Dems need a politician to win.  They need someone whose personal charisma overwhelms the attacks and whose instincts tell them where to go in a pinch.  They need someone who most Americans like.  I don't think Clark's that guy.  He's got a great gimmick with the military thing, but it's not enough.  He doesn't have the look, the personality, and the charisma to overcome his obvious negatives.  

by owenz 2005-04-18 05:27AM | 0 recs
RE Wes Clark's military record
Good God, guys.  Do you think really think Clark's military record would be vulnerable to RoveCo attacks?!!!

Let's not forget that Kerry came to fame not as a military hero, but as a WAR PROTESTER.  It was the first big "flip flop", the one he selectively chose not to acknowledge in his campaign.  He probably avoided attacking the Swifties because he didn't want to draw undue attention to that fact.

Clark isn't just some medal winner in some Vietnam backwater.  He was a 4-star general, and NATO commander in the Kosovo conflict.  A war he won without combat casualties.  In order to get to that level a soldier has been through tremendous public scrutiny.  And he never threw his medals away, or wrote diary with factual errors, etc.  Kerry padded his resume.  Clark's resume does all the talking.  The Repug's can flail away, but it's like saying Tom Brady is a lousy quarterback.  

I'm a Clarkie, for sure, and am very enthused about the prospect of his run.  rather than go on about it further, i believe his performance in the 2008 race will speak for itself.  And if I'm right, and you guys start to smell victory in the general election, I bet you all will be on board too.

But let me just leave you doubters with 3 items you may not know about Clark.  

One is that he CONSISTENTLY opposed the Iraq war, unlike Hillary or Kerry.  

Another is that during his 2004 campaign, he had the guts to appear on the cover of "The Advocate" magazine.  In a sweater.  He looked good.    

And lastly, his tax proposal in 2004--which inexplicably got little press--was that personal exemptions be raised so that a family of four making $50,000 would pay NO income tax whatsoever, with graduated increase to 200K to the current taxation level, then increases in taxes to the rich.  Families under the 50K mark wouldn't even file a return--just sign a form and send it in, with their W-2's.

Best fucking tax plan I ever heard of.

by paul minot 2005-04-19 12:52PM | 0 recs
by hpvv 2005-12-19 09:56PM | 0 recs

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