Starting late hurt him in 2004, and while he could still enter the race 6 months earlier than he did in 2003, this one’s already well underway. March 2007 is more like July-August 2003 than like March 2003, in terms of where we are in the arc of the Dem campaigns for the nomination.
Besides, it’s a whole different environment than 2003 was. Like the GOP this year, the Dems had a bunch of candidates then that nobody was particularly happy with; there was room for a second-tier candidate to move to the forefront.
But this year, we’ve got the Battle of the Bigfoots. Hell, it’s hard even for Edwards to get press coverage (except when the right-wing noise machine finds something to jump on his case about), let alone Richardson, Dodd, or Biden (although it’s no great loss that Biden can’t get ink).
So how is Clark going to make an impact on this race? He’s a good candidate, but what’s he got to offer, besides stars on his shoulders, that’s going to make him stand out from the field? He had good netroots support once upon a time, but even that peaked sometime last year, and has been declining since. If he’s got any brains, he’ll talk to Vilsack a bit, then throw in the towel.
Clark’s 2004 campaign was really awful, as far as I could tell. People like Michael Moore got behind him, saying he had the ideal credentials - and he didn’t deliver against a field that, as noted, wasn’t great. His past supporters will probably move on to other candidates, and without them he won’t have much going for him in addition to the other obstacles, like lesser name recognition and financial support. I think that’ll stop him from running.
Will he say what he did on the show. He said one guy in pentagon told him you wont believe what they have on the table. They will attack Iraq , then Syria, Lebanon, Libya ,Somalia ,Sudan and finish with Iran. Lovely.
He also said Guantanamo should be shut immediately.
I think Rufus is right: I don’t think Clark is running. He’s done nothing to scare up the cash or the support you need to mount a presidential campaign, and considering how early the serious candidates need to put their campaigns together, Clark is already out of it. I believe that Clark is angling for a job in the next Democratic administration, so it’s in his best interest to keep his name out there for as long as possible. Sooner or later he’s going to have to declare his intentions, though, and I believe he’s going to say, “I’m not in this time.”
I never got the sense that Clark would be a very good president. He doesn’t seem to have the ability to stir people, or even to work across partisan gaps. Much like George W. Bush, really, only Clark had real military experience.
I wondered if Clark would run for governor of Arkansas in 2006. The opportunity was ripe enough, especially with Huckabee stepping down. The Democrats did get a fine governor in Mike Beebe, so it’s just as well that Clark didn’t run, but the fact that Clark skipped a prime shot at executive experience last year seems to indicate to me that he wants President Next Democrat to appoint him to some high-level position in his administration. And I think that’ll probably happen, too.
The real question is: will Wes Clark endorse a candidate in the presidential race before it’s clear who the nominee will be? We’ll see. I suspect he won’t.
I always thought Clark would make a great veep. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out why Kerry picked Edwards over Clark as his running mate. Nothing like having a Nam vet and a 4 star general/ex Nato commander on a ticket for a war presidency.
Well, I don’t know if the Pentagon is actually champing at the bit (as opposed to having a plan on file) to invade all those countries, but I do know the idea of such a series of wars is completely unremarkable in the thinking of the neocons – if you look at the PNAC website or the Weekly Standard.
Exactly. Clark knows that there are plans on file to invade just about everyone. Now he either doesn’t know the difference between plans and intent which means that he’s stupid…or he does know and he was trying to scare people into voting for him, which is dishonest.
He ain’t running. 2008 promises to be a long, drawn-out, expensive race. He can’t raise the money and he isn’t an experienced campaigner. He has to know he has no real shot. Having said that, I agree that he is likely to make noises such that he “isn’t saying no” and such, so as to stay in the public eye. I also think he’s angling for a spot in the administration of whatever Democratic candidate winds up winning. Wouldn’t mind seeing him in the VP slot…
If the occupation had gone the way the Bushies hoped - a pliant, pro-American government running an Iraq with no notable internal conflict, and the relative handful of American troops remaining having withdrawn by the end of 2003 to the comfort of a handful of permanent bases - why should it be ‘conspiracy’ thinking to believe that the Bushies wouldn’t have tried the same approach on another country or five?
Even now, with things as bad as they are, there’s clearly a significant ‘make regime change in Iran happen’ faction in the Administration.
Clark simply stated a pentagon official told him what was on the paper. He said if it is top secret I do not want to see it. Simply relating that does not make him a conspiratorial nut. It was in the Dept of Defence…
I was initially enthusiastic when Clark announced in '04, but then out on the campaign trail he proved to be stiff and not very good at thinking on his feet. So if he runs, I don’t think he would win the nomination. Too much good competition out there. Would he be a good President? Harder to say, but thinking on your feet would certainly seem to be a job requirement.
Now that I think about it, if Iraq had greeted us as liberators and we really saved them from their burdens of Saddam and too much oil. would we have become emboldened. If it had been as easy as the neocons said it would be, I can see them going right ahead. They do see a brave new world of multinational power and marketing, whether we like it or not.
I would be quite surprised to see Clark run. He doesn’t have the organization, the money, or the popularity to jump in at this point. He could be like the guy in 10th place in a car race, biding his time for 1-9 to get into a wreck. Under some bizarre self-destruction scenario of at least three of the current front runners, he could throw the hat in. But unless it happens, he’s too smart to enter a race he can’t win.
As a veep, I think he’d be a good choice. It would counter the false conventional wisdom that Democrats are soft on defense. Richardson-Clark would be a very strong ticket. As would Obama-Richardson. Or Obama-Clark.