I think Clark is a very smart man, and maybe others are right to say that he is the only one who can beat Bush, but I have some questions:
Why didn’t he disclose that he was earning “over $800,000 lobbying former pals and peers for airline and homeland security contracts” when he was a commentator on the war on CNN? (Scroll down to the bottom.)
Why did he deliver a graduation speech at the School of America in 1996, a school known best for training future human rights violators. (Via Body and Soul.) [Here’s Clark’s official response.]
Do people still think that foreign policy will be the number one issue in the election (Clark’s biggest selling point)? Especially when “58% think [Bush] cares more about large corporations than ordinary Americans,” but “Sixty-eight percent, including majorities of both Democrats and independents, gave him high marks for the campaign against terrorism.” (This analysis in Slate argues that Dean’s loss in Iowa is likely due to his campaign mistakenly focusing on foreign policy at the expense of the bread and butter issues that are the core of his stump speeches.)
All this isn’t to say that Clark is a bad candidate, I’m sure he’d be better than Bush — this year I’ll support any democrat, and I like some of the things I’ve read about Clark, especially on education. He is a smart man, and people might be right that he is the best shot we have at beating Bush. Moreover, being a general, he might be able to focus more on domestic issues than the other candidates (he wouldn’t have to prove anything). But I guess I just still feel uncomfortable with the idea of a general in the White House (not that it would be the first time).
On the other hand, Edwards seems to be getting some interesting buzz. Like the fact that he “used his moment in the spotlight to talk about our “moral obligation” to help the poorest Americans”!
My limited admiration for Dean was all due to the perceived brilliance of his political campaigning. However, if that turns out to not be so brilliant than I’m more than ready to admire any candidate who shows they can run an effective campaign. In the same vein, I never much cared for Kerry because he seemed like a non-entity in this race. If he keeps it up I might have to learn some more about the guy.
UPDATE: If his article wasn’t written on the 18th, I would think James Ridgeway was reading my blog.