And Now There Are 10…

It appears as former Gen. Wesley Clark will officially enter the Democratic race.. Clark was the Allied Supreme Commander of NATO during the war against Serbia, and has a strong following among Democrats. Clark will likely draw votes from both John Kerry and Howard Dean, and could well emerge as the front runner in the race.

Clark is an attractive proposition for the Democrats. He’s has a strong military record, and he’s a Southerner, the two classes of voters that the Democrats are losing badly. However, it remains to be seen if Clark’s entry will be able to give any significant boost to the anemic Democratic field.

Of course, this also completely fouls up my Nine Doomed To Die motif… I’m thinking Ten Little Idiotarians will have to rise to take its place…

11 thoughts on “And Now There Are 10…

  1. I’m not exactly overwhelmed with glee at the prospect of a Clark candidacy, and especially his perceived status as a likely frontrunner, given that he has only spoke publicly on foreign policy while the rest of his platform has not yet been made available, and likely won’t be for as long as he can get away with it. Then again, the same things we’re now being told about Wesley Clark (he’s the party’s salvation for 2004….he’ll be an immediate frontrunner…everyone will rally around him) we were also told about Bob Graham a few months ago. He now stands at 1% in the polls.

  2. So, Jay. Which one exactly do you think would fail Mr. Clark? That he “seem[s] to be a man of integrity,” or that “[he] seem[s] not afraid to speak the truth.”

    I mean, I know that I have become enough of a cynic to believe to that such qualities do indeed hamper one’s political career. But I did not know that you are as disillusioned as I am about politics.

    J. – in, what is the term you use all the time these days? In the mood for SPIN.

  3. Actually, it was his list of five points that explains why Clark will not and should not be President.

    That and the fact Clark damn near sparked World War III with his unnecessary bombing of Belgrade. Only by the grace of God did the US get Vojislav Kostunica in power rather than have another bloody reign of Slobodon Milosevic, and all of it was in spite of the bombing rather than because of it. Clark should have been fired on the spot for authorizing such a campaign that not only killed civilians unnecessarily, but damn near had the Russians clamoring for our throats.

    Clark is not a man of integrity, and he is not a man who has anything but a passing flirtation with the truth. He’s an ambitious empty suit with delusions of grandeur who was a horrid NATO commander and would be an even more horrid President. We don’t need another mindless Bush-basher who supports weakening our defenses against terrorism, deciding foreign policy in Brussels rather than Washington, and ignoring pressing dangers and rogue regimes. We need a President who will stand strong against terror, fight back against terror effectively, and grow the economy. So far the only Democrat to even come close is Lieberman, and he doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting the nomination at the moment.

  4. Let’s take a look at those five points, shall we?

    “1. You oppose the Patriot Act and would fight the expansion of its powers.”

    There he’s in league with many rights advocates both liberal and conservative. The Patriot Act is an awful piece of legislation, and is destined to blow up in Bush’s face.

    “2. You are firmly pro-choice.”

    Just like Clinton and Gore. The pro-life, pro-choice voters are so polarized to their respective parties that this won’t make a whit of difference in the general election.

    “3. You filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action case.”

    See above. Affirmative Action is, when it comes down to it, a non-issue, and can only help him win the minority vote.

    “4. You would get rid of the Bush tax “cut” and make the rich pay their fair share.”

    This, admittedly, is a problem. It’s doubtful that even a Clinton-style readjustment will be possible any time before 2008, since it will take a major re-alignment in congress before such a move could really be made, so scratch that one. Dean is the only candidate that will touch this issue with a ten foot pole… I expect Clark to be far more measured than that.

    “5. You respect the views of our allies and want to work with them and with the rest of the international community.”

    Ditto, here, and the way things are starting to look for Bush, ditto the rest of the country.

    The over-confidence of the Republican party never ceases to amaze me. Bush’s popularity is falling, and is only going to continue to fall. While few Democrats are doing any better, the latest polls on our ex-President, Bill Clinton, are standing at 57%. The 800-pound gorillas of the Democratic party are stirring and preparing for a strike next fall- and if you throw your champaign parties early, electoral defeat awaits. Bush can’t win on the economy, Iraq and Afghanistan are falling apart around him, and our newfound security is a myth. All a Democratic candidate has to do is ask the American people if they really feel safer than they did three years ago. And when they answer no, there’s only one man to blame, and he isn’t going to win a second ill-gotten term.

    (angry rant off. It’s fun to vent like a partisan fool from time to time!)

  5. Polls on the PATRIOT Act consistantly show that there’s no strong swell of opposition – in fact, there are nearly as many people who argue that it doesn’t go far enough as there are who say that it goes too far. In the end the American people realize that we have to enable law enforcement to fight terrorism in order to prevent another terrorist attack. Before the PATRIOT Act, terrorists had more legal protection than organized criminals did under the RICO Act. Somehow I don’t think giving Osama bin Laden more rights than Tony Soprano is an effective way of combatting terror.

    Clark might have a better chance than The Nine Doomed To Die, but my guess is that he will turn the two-way race between Dean and Kerry into a three-way race which will only divide the Dems more. The only candidates who stand a reasonable chance of emerging from the primary unscathed are Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, and they’re not on the ballot.

  6. Now flaming and blogging rituals aside, I would like to hear your reasons for thinking that Al Gore and Hilary Clinton would come out onscathed.

    About Clark – media here in Germany predict that the major problem Clark will face will not be any of the points you raised (and I did know that you were referring to those. You were a spoilsport and did not pick up on my jest), but in fact it will be the inconsistency in argumentation: “If it was a mistake to bomb Saddam, why was it not a mistake to bomb Milosevic?” And of course there is the fact that during that campaign, Clark was… shit, and now I am lacking the vocab. Sucks not to be a native speaker. Anyway, he was “decomissioned” from the job back in the day of bombing Belgrade (to think that I was in that city mere months before that began…), and that will not go well with any account of his leadership qualities.

  7. Now flaming and blogging rituals aside, I would like to hear your reasons for thinking that Al Gore and Hilary Clinton would come out onscathed.

    Well, first of all I said they’d make it through the primaries unscathed. While they’d give Bush a run for his money, I don’t think either would really win.

    However, among the Democrats, Hillary and Gore are practically like saints. They both poll consistantly higher than any of the other candidates currently running and they’d be the only ones likely to come through the nomination process strong enough to be viable. Right now my prediction is that the nomination is going to be a knock-down drag-out fight between Dean and whoever is closest to him – and I would not rule out Dean running as a Green if he doesn’t get the nomination.

  8. My impression was that Gore did not fly so well with a few of the democrats I met (Jay, you may guess whom in particular I am referring to…). They said that right though he may have been about the recounts back in 2000, he nevertheless cut a poor figure in the end and this would forever mar his image – even with the democrats.

    Oh, and another thing (catching up on my knowledge about the American election system. I guess I used to know this, but I seem to be getting old). Does the incumbent have to go through the entire primary process, too, or is his running for the second term always a given?


  9. An incumbant can have a primary challenger, but it usually doesn’t happen. Theoretically someone could run as a Republican against Bush, but that person would have almost no chance of getting the nomination.

    Technically, nominees are voted on at the national convention, but usually the nominee has already been decided in the primaries long before the convention, and the vote is just a technicality. However, it is possible that if there isn’t a clear frontrunner and the other candidates don’t drop out, the convention could be divided. This rarely happens, but when it does the results can be very bad for that party.

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