Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | October 16, 2002

Clark for prez?

The latest buzz in the left-leaning web is the possibility that former NATO Supreme Commander Wesley Clark may be laying the groundwork for a presidential run as a Democrat. Clark was in charge of the NATO war against Serbia, but didn't get the face time and name recognition that Colin Powel did during the Gulf War. Thus, his name recognition is low.

Still, it's not every day a former general becomes a Democrat, and a Clark candidacy -- even if unsuccessful, would go a long way toward repairing the Dems image as "soft on defense" and help negate Bush's advantage on defense issues.

For his part, Clark denies he's running for president (a tradition that only Howard Dean has seen fit to ignore), and he's also denying he's chosen a party. But he's been running in Democratic circles, and will even endorse Erskin Bowle's candidacy in North Carolina.TNR writes:

Of course, the interesting question in all of this is whether a Clark candidacy could ever catch on.
On the one hand, not many people who vote in Democratic primaries have ever heard of the guy, which has to be a drawback. (Though we shouldn't underestimate the cachet of those occasional CNN appearances.) On the other hand, Clark does have more or less instant credibility on foreign policy and national security. Clark could use it to express the views many Democrats privately hold--that the administration's Iraq policy is hopelessly misguided--but which would get any other Democrat slaughtered in a general election. Even better for Democrats, he could make this critique completely un-cynically: Clark's views turn out to be pretty common in the officer corps of the U.S. military. Who knows?
There's no doubt that a Clark candidacy would inspire some excitement. However, I cringe when I hear Clark mentioned as a possible veep candidate. It's really time the Democratic Party chooses a non-white male as a running mate. Ideally, I would love to see a woman, but at the very least a Latino or African American. Another all-white, all-male ticket doesn't look good to the people who are currently keeping the party competitive. (Hint: it's not white males who overwhelmingly vote Dem.)

Posted October 16, 2002 09:01 AM | Comments (6)


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