Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 16, 2003

by J

Clark's In

It's juuuuust about official that Clark is in, according to CNN.
Former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark has decided to seek the Democratic nomination for president and is expected to announce his candidacy Wednesday, sources close to the retired general said.
My overall assessment: If (and this is a big if) the Clinton-Gorians and the DLC are not pulling his strings from behind the scenes, then this can only be good for the party and the country as a whole. The more credible, intelligent, well-spoken people out there getting press and criticizing the Bushistas, the better. So, assuming no backroom Democratic shenanigans and barring any major implosions, I look forward to a clean nomination fight and I expect it to come down to Dean v. Clark. Either of one of these two can beat Bush and I think either one, given what I know now, would be a fine President. Go Dean! Go Clark!

Now, my current preference ranking for the Democratic candidates is as follows:
    1. Dean
    2. Clark
    3. Edwards
    4. Graham
    5. Gephardt or Kerry
    6. Braun or Kucinich or Sharpton.
So, what does a Clark entry do to these other guys? My prediction: Clark hurts Kerry the most, followed by Edwards. He hurts Kerry on substance (takes away his veteran shtick) and Edwards on process (by announcing during Edwards' official announcement week where I imagine he was hoping to get some momentum). Clark will pull some from the other candidates too, at least initially. But, again with the big qualifier about running a clean campaign, I don't think he hurts Dean a whole lot in the long run. And in the short run, he probably helps Dean. The knives have been out for Dean over the last week or so. Now, Clark is going to suck up a bunch of air time, and just when the media gets over their Clark buzz in a couple of weeks, Dean can roll out his third quarter fundraising numbers and say, "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW??" And then, then, things get serious.

My fervent hope is that Clark and Dean have a non-aggression pact and will run clean campaigns all the way to the nomination. In that circumstance, we're in a win-win situation to go up against Bush/Rove in the spring, regardless of which of them wins. I'm partial to Dean and will continue to campaign and ultimately vote for Dean, but if Clark wins the nomination I might actually give him money and time, too (something that is not likely for any of the other candidates.)
Posted by J at September 16, 2003 01:26 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

In Association with Amazon.com