I left a comment about Clark’s candidacy over at annatopia. Here it is (heavily edited to make me look better.)
I think Clark’s a great guy, and if he’s giving Dean’s speech that’s all the better. Clark is for the Washington-type people who think that image and perception are the ONLY thing that matters. And as far as it DOES matter it’s great to have a 4-star general out there supporting everything Dean is saying. Because that alone gets rid of the “McGovern” problem. THE non-McGovern says the same things as Dean does.
But in my opinion Clark can’t win the nomination. The Washington/Perception/Image people hope that just having a general running will cause everyone to rush away from Dean and over to Clark. I just don’t see it happening. Dean is about substance, issues, honesty and respecting the public. And THAT is what is driving Dean. The people behind Clark (not Clark himself) are not about that – they are about presenting an image, and essentially using it to trick the public. It’s the very same people who screwed up Gore in 2000 by stopping him from speaking his mind and making him act like a phony. I mean the very same individual people that screwed up the Gore campaign are running the Clark campaign.
I think Dean is inoculating the body politic against that sort of thing now. He is speaking frankly, he is involving the public in his campaign, he is actually speaking about the issues that matter and talking about the reality of what has to be done – previously forbidden in politics – and he is acting like an adult. This is inoculating the public against the phony, poll- and consultant-driven conventional wisdom of campaigning.
And Clark doesn’t even HAVE positions on issues – at least that I know about, and I am heavily following these things. I mean he probably does but they are not articulated, or known, or on his web site, etc… and issues will drive this primary. He can’t have thought through the issues, or even be aware of all the issues that matter – and if he WAS aware and HAD thought them through he would have been spending a lot more time publicly talking about his ideas. So he doesn’t have time or experience to formulate the issues into policies. He doesn’t have the background of public office to translate the issues into realistic positions that reflect the needs of the nation.
Clark also doesn’t have experience delivering a stump speech six or seven times a day. He doesn’t have the background of dealing with crowds, and crowds of reporters, and all the other things that make a campaign. Put simply, he doesn’t have ANY experience in politics and that is no place to be coming from and running for President. Especially THIS campaign, with Dean in the race, raising more than any previous Democratic primary candidagte, with his HUGE well-organized base of support. It will show. He can’t win the nomination.
But if he does win the nomination and win the Presidency the country will be better off than it is now by far. He is a good man, he is on the right side, he clearly has the right instincts and certainly has a background of leadership.
Those are my thoughts.