More on Clark

Mark Schmitt had a really good after-New Hampshire post on Wes Clark which I finally got to read. Schmitt offers a very appealing alternate vision of how Clark's message could have run which would have freed him from all the inane proving he's a Democrat garbage not to mention having to defend his nuanced position on the war to everyone and their mother by oversimplifying it. Basically, Clark had a chance to speak for the middle, the people decidedly not concerned with party labels, but in a supremely principled rather than politically opportunistic way. He could have capitalized on the political neutrality generals are allowed in order to argue that he was the candidate for free-thinking Democrats and Republicans alike unhappy with Bush policy. That in fact, is what his candidacy hinged on, and why, besides the money and Internet bases, he was seen as the anti-Dean. Dean's unreconstructed Dem populist schtick is anathema to Republicans, but a Clark candidacy for the middle could easily lay claim to Clark as the 'real' uniter of the increasingly hostile parties. But somehow Clark got goaded into swearing all sorts of lefty affiliations he didn't need to, they don't really fit, and they are stunting his ability to really get in the spotlight. One has to wonder if Bill Clinton, who became the hardest working man in politics just to prove he was the real president of the middle, is trying to figure out why Clark is in this position when he wouldn't have had to lift a finger for the same creds.

It is quite a shame that when self-professed 'moderates' look at the Dem candidates, their best bet looks like Lieberman. That's really weak. It should be Clark.


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