The New York Times has a not very confidence inspiring profile of retired 4 star General Wesley Clark.
On Thursday, the day after he announced his candidacy, he said, "I probably would have voted for" the resolution. On Friday, he backtracked, saying, "I never would have voted for war." But last October, according to The Associated Press, he said he supported a Congressional resolution to give President Bush authority to use military force against Iraq. He then spent months as a television commentator criticizing the president's action.
His real preference has got to be his first answer when he said he was for the war resolution. But then someone reminded him that he has to win in the Democratic Party primary before he can move to the right for the general election.
He sounds like he's for war except when being against it will help in self-promotion either as a TV commentator or when running in a Democratic Party primary trying to appeal to the left-leaning base of the party. He comes across as one of those self-promoters that lower level officers with more conviction love to hate. He'd be better suited for the US Senate where the disconnect between power and responsibility would work well with his personal style.
Update: I think Mark Steyn's takedown on Clark sums up the problem with Clark's candidacy:
The only rationale for his candidacy is that he is the soldier for the party that doesn't like soldiering. He supposedly neutralises the Democrats' national security problem: they can say, hey, sure, we're anti-war, but that's because our guy is a four-star general who knows a thing or two about it . . . That's all they need him for: cover.
It is not going to work. All General Jello does is remind voters of what they dislike about the Dems on this war: their weaselly evasive oppositionism. All his military background does is keep military matters at the forefront of the campaign.
Could Clark swing any marginal southern states if he was Dean's VP pick? If he's the VP candidate then he doesn't have to have so many issue positions of his own but might sway a few people into believing that the Democratic Party isn't as wobbly as it otherwise appears to be.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 September 21 12:51 PM Politics American Domestic|