Tuesday | September 16, 2003
Clark's team takes shape
Okay, Mark Fabiani is being quoted as a Clark "spokesman". Fabiani was Gore's deputy campaign manager for communications, so he'll probably reprise that role for Clark.
And remember Chris Lehane, who I called an asshole yesterday? Remember how I hoped he wouldn't end up on the Clark campaign, because he was such an asshole?
Well, Lehane and Fabiani are business partners. In fact, they are known as the "Masters of Disaster", specializing in public relations damage control. With campaigns, their MO is to create such disasters -- for their opponents, by tearing them down. They did it to Bradley on Gore's behalf. They worked for Gray Davis and Garry South (masters of sleaze themselves).
That's why Lehane quit the Kerry campaign -- because Kerry wasn't aggressive enough confronting Dean's rising star (though ironically, it was Lehane's early attacks against Dean that helped raise Dean's stature).
Now with his Fabiani near the top of Clark's organization, it shouldn't be long before Lehane is working right alongside him.
The Clark plan is probably simple enough -- set themselves up as the anti-Dean. They probably figure Dean will take care of Gephardt (Iowa) and Kerry (NH) all by himself. So they'll give Dean a temporary pass and train their guns on Edwards and Lieberman. (Clark's announcement date was strategically timed to drown out Edwards' effort -- something I previously missed.)
Take those two out, and Clark has a clear path in the SC and OK primaries. Then he and Dean can fight over AZ, DE, MO and NM -- the rest of the states on Feb 2.
After that, it would be a Dean/Clark battle to the bitter end. And with Fabiani and Lehane in the mix, it won't be clean or amicable.
It pains me to say this, but it's not looking like a Dean/Clark or Clark/Dean ticket will be viable.
Also keep an eye out on the competing Draft teams and the role they'll play in the campaign.
There's the classy team of DraftWesleyClark.com, and then there's the DraftClark2004.com team (who should get along really well with Lehane. They're cut from the same cloth). There is no love lost between the two groups.
Clark is building a team with high-powered Clinton guys, seemingly deploying a traditional top-bottom approach that runs counter to the very spirit that fueled the Draft movement.
Clark's challenge is to integrate the Draft movement into his organization despite any resistance his new consultants may exhibit, while also forcing the feuding Draft camps to settle their differences.Posted September 16, 2003 03:18 PM | Comments (435)