Why The Right Is Going After Clark

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 19:00

How important is Wesley Clark to the Democratic cause? Consider that, in 2006, he was the single most requested surrogate by Democratic congressional campaigns around the country:

In 2006, Jon Soltz of Votevets tells me, Clark was the single most requested surrogate in the country, with the possible exceptions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Clark is heavily involved in both his own PAC and Votevets, raising money and supporting Democrats up and down the ticket.  He has huge credibility with officials all over the country because he was reliable and helpful to groups, candidates, and activists.  There is simply no one else who comes close to his ability and track record of delivering a persuasive and progressive argument on national security on behalf of Democrats.

No one in the entire country is more important to Democratic credibility on foreign policy than Wesley Clark. No one. And this isn't just my opinion, it is the opinion of Democratic congressional candidates who requested him.

There are those who think that Obama is being super secret strategic on this one, and playing both the McCain campaign and the media for a fiddle. However, if you really want to be strategic, you need to see the whole board. Going well beyond this media cycle, and even going beyond this presidential election, Republicans score a huge strategic victory if they are able to permanently damage the credibility of the leading Democratic spokesperson on national security.

Imagine if the top issue in the mind of the electorate was energy and global warming. Imagine if, as a result, Al Gore become the most requested surrogate in the country by Democratic congressional candidates. Then, imagine if the right-wing began attacking Gore in an unfair manner for a benign, true statement. And then, imagine if the Democratic nominee condemned Gore for that statement. Now, you tell me, would dumping Al Gore for the rest of the campaign season be strategic in that case?

Taking out the leading Democratic surrogate on national security would be a huge victory for Republicans. This news cycle will come and go with little impact on the campaign, but losing Wesley Clark as a credible, effective national spokesperson would be a big blow to our cause. So, even if Obama doesn't want to, step up today and defend Wesley Clark. We need to fill in where other Democrats fail.

Chris Bowers :: Why The Right Is Going After Clark

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I think it may be too late. (4.00 / 2)
Obama's repudiation finishes him as a surrogate.

But, yes, I agree.  He certainly was more effective then Kerry, rightfully or wrongfully.   One asset gone.  

Wasn't it over at mydd that you and others used to discuss (4.00 / 7)
the difference between being tactical and being strategic in 2004? I am begining to think Obama is good a tactical short term battles like winning the primaries, but not so good at winning strategic battles. Clinton '92.

True, But This Is More Like The Difference (4.00 / 9)
between being incompetent and being idiotic.

Incompetent is you think tactically instead of strategically.

Idiotic is you think tactically instead of strategically about the strongest surrogate you have on your weakest suit in the game.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
This Is SO True (4.00 / 3)
Just taking one aspect here--the micro-scale "win the news cycle" mentality has another name:  It's calling "losing the war while winning the battle."

As in, "The British lost the Revolutionary War, even though Washington lost almost every battle."

Or, "America lost the Vietnam War, even though they won almost every battle."

So much for Obama's "big picture" thinking.


I guess that meant "big picture-book" thinking.  The kind without words, that is.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Hmm, sounds like Iraq (4.00 / 2)
I'm fairly certain we have won every tactical battle in Iraq; if the success rate isn't 100%, it's close.

But all those victories just don't seem to actually help, ya know.  I, for one, blame the troops.

[ Parent ]
Watch out, (4.00 / 1)
this comment will be Bill O'Riely's most ridiculous item of the day!

[ Parent ]
Especially That Lyndie England Chick (0.00 / 0)
Bad Apple! Bad Apple!  

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
signaling they don't want him as VP? (4.00 / 1)
I have been thinking that if I were Obama, I'd pick Clark as VP. Maybe they were in a hurry to distance themselves because Obama isn't interested in having Clark on the ticket and wants him to look like damaged goods?

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

I didn't think they would want him given how he appears to be a strong (4.00 / 1)
progressive, and right now the right of center types are clearly in domination in obama's campaign. One can only hope that's not he case.

[ Parent ]
Pretty extreme way to say "no" (0.00 / 0)
don't you think?  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
it seems like Clark is getting a lot of appearances (4.00 / 3)
MSNBC and ABC Good Morning America according to the linked dailykos diary.

Who knows, maybe it will all work out okay anyway?

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

Clark (0.00 / 1)
You seem to forget Clark is a war criminal.  Bill Clinton gave him an illegal order to bomb Serbian cities, and he followed that order.

You seem to forget that Obama is part of the "club", his vy league education and meteoric rise have been planned, his image groomed, his course plotted, and his place reserved.

You seem to forget for the past 2 weeks Obama has been telling  the American people to go fuck themselves, oh and to give him money.

You seem to forget that the Presidential election is the "Theater of the Absurd" a highly orchestrated and professionally choreographed passion play where the "manufacturers of consent and opinion" allow us the mirage of choice.  

You seem to forget that the outcome of this election was formulated years ago.

You seem to forget that yes, the progressive netroots movement can influence small time elctions, but when it comes to the "big circus", we don't exist, except as sideshow clowns for the kids to throw popcorn at.

Now I want you to remember these wonderful and glowing days of summer.  Cool breezes and light showers and birds and beaches.  Because these are the salad days.  In a few years, before I die, we will see civil war, hunger, sorrow, pain and death like can only be imagined.  

Not an apocalypse but a disintegration, not a cataclysm but a slow long decent into nothingness.

And theyb will blame it on a black man.

Mirage of choice (0.00 / 0)
While everything else is pure BS, probably worth marking as a troll, apparently you are correct about the mirage of choice:

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

[ Parent ]
me a troll? (0.00 / 0)
Pure BS???... every President since the end of WW2 has broken the Nurmburg Laws.  ALL OF THEM.  

The progressives aren't influencing this election are they?
We are getting publicly bitch slapped?  Can't you feel the sting?

As for the future, do you see anyone passing laws, formulating policy, or making massive life style changes in this country that will make our economy sustainable?

The answer is NO!!!

We are running out of time.

Don't call me a troll or call my words bullshit.  Everything I wrote is true and you know it, your just pissed because you know you are as powerless as I am.  

[ Parent ]
I have a lot of confidence in Clark (4.00 / 1)
He used loose language but he can take care of himself and he can clean it up.  If he can be taken down by this (and he can't) he wasn't that strong to begin with.

But the big picture is that discussing John McCain's service, or Clark's discussion of McCain's service, or the relevance of McCain's service, or the quality of his service or any other phrase that has the words "McCain" and "service" in it is not what anyone who wants Obama to win should be talking about.

If you want to know whether McCain is qualified you need only one word: Iraq.

John McCain doesn't care about Vets.

Has anyone seen DailyKos in the past few minutes? .. (4.00 / 2)
KO can't even get the most pimped diary right now ... and two out of the top three are diaries supporting Gen. Clark ... from veterans!!!!

Did you read Olberman's absurd piece? (0.00 / 0)
He's saying Obama should vote for the FISA bill, then....

announce that he's gonna prosecute Bush and Co.


KO is embarrassing himself.

[ Parent ]
Did you hear his whole comment? ... (0.00 / 0)
Did you hear/see the last two minutes? ... he's holding Obama to the standard he set for himself

[ Parent ]
No, I missed it (0.00 / 0)
So it was good?

[ Parent ]
Yes it was ... (0.00 / 0)
he took Obama to task .. told him to stand by his word

[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it be nice (4.00 / 6)
if Democrats would try to score points by attacking Republicans, instead of Democrats and their supporters and constituencies?  It's hard to win when both sides see attacking Democrats as the way to go....Even when Bush sits on a 25% or less approval rating.  

Dare to dream.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

New action item thought (0.00 / 0)
If a pollster calls you, tell them you are a Democrat voting for Nader or Barr ( in other words lie ) so that Obama's Democratic support numbers totally suck and he quits running to the middle.

Or would artificially inflating McCain's numbers increase his fundraising?  

John McCain won't insure children

A couple more weeks like this (0.00 / 0)
and I won't be lying to the pollster.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
I wrote on another blog today that Obama and his campaign (4.00 / 2)
have made a huge mistake in objecting to Clark's statement.

All Clark did was state the obvious without a smear, or a whisper or with any rancor.

Clark. Simply.Stated. The. Obvious.

In simple terms.

It is very apparent that Obama and his campaign are using the slightest pretext to slap down what they perceive 'the left'as advocating, or to slap down any individual such as Clark who has "authority" aura as a military expert who can give Obama, because he is whacking away at his supposed "allies", the appearance of appearing 'strong' and 'independent'

The actual appearance they are giving off is that they are pandering to a failed strategy of the "old politics"( running to the middle), and that they(the campaign) and Obama have no loyalty.

Do they realize that as bad as things are economically and in every other realm,people are and will be still voting for the person for the presidency and what I described above are negative character traits?

How to lower the bar regarding expectations for a lot of people if he does win: as a progressive I do not expect  and have not expected anything much from a Obama presidency at this point. If I am pleasantly surprised - .....I'll be pleasantly surprised...

Criticize but don't panic. (0.00 / 0)
Obama has made a number of mistakes over the last few weeks and tacking to the right probably does him as much harm as good. We should continue to criticize his campaign for these latest blunders.

But don't panic. None of this means he is going to lose and none of this means he is going to govern from the center-right.

When someone shows you who they are, (0.00 / 0)
believe them.

Obama will be a center-right, caretaker president but we have to vote for him anyway. He despises us, but he needs us, and will throw us a bone now and then. McCain will not.

Meanwhile we have to build a real progressive infrastructure in this country.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
I certainly don't think he despises us (0.00 / 0)
I'm not sure what evidence there is for this. That's my problem with these reactions to Obama's recent stances -- the hyperbole attached to them makes it difficult for me to get on board. I doubt very seriously Obama will be center-right. Centrist, maybe; but not center-right.

[ Parent ]
What is it you are affraid Obama will do? (0.00 / 0)
And what about this Wesley Clark fiasco makes Obama center-right? I really fail to see how this is a right-left issue. Either you agree with what Clark said or you don't. Or you might have a more nuanced opinion where maybe you agree but think he should have said it more gently.  

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.

[ Parent ]
I'm afraid he's going to keep on doing (0.00 / 0)
what he's been doing.

He takes his marching orders from the Village because a) he actually agrees with their thinking or b) he's too fearful to do otherwise. Either way it doesn't matter, the results are the same.

He won't end the war unless Congress makes him, which means unless we make Congress make him -- his promise is to bring home "combat troops," remember? In other words, not "residual troops." And how many troops are "residual?" He won't say.

His health plan is not universal. he calls it "universal" but it isn't.

He won't end warrantless searches and seizures.

People don't seem to get him, he is only culturally Liberal, not ideologically. He has the signifiers of a Liberal (bi-racial, well educated, well travelled) and people are thrown by that. But he is not one of us, he is just another weasel-worded, smooth talking politician. His stiff arming of the DFHs is a tell, sure as the world.

Not that we can't deal with that, we have and we can. But we need to get these stars out of our eyes because we have alot of work ahead of us.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
Faith-Based Politics (0.00 / 0)
used to be the domain of the Right.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
I was coming to the conclusion (4.00 / 2)
that Clark was the best choice for nominee.

Now he is gone.

This is not going to be popular here, but he should be gone. It was a moronic attack that walked into too many GOP frames to count.

He's not going anywhere... (4.00 / 2)
this story is a footnote...Clark is here to stay.

[ Parent ]
Clark brought down by Obama rather than the GOP (4.00 / 1)
It's from the Democratic Party that brought Clark down rather than the GOP. If only Obama has kept his campaign's mouth shut on the issue, and it would just fly by. Remember that we have about half more year before the General, but by dissing Clark out now, we have lost a strong and reputable voice for the remaining many months. Especially one with national military credentials and is much needed by Obama's campaign.

Obama:-1 McCain:1

You guys don't get it at all.... (0.00 / 0)
...in three weeks, McCain's the one who will look like the fool and Obama the master.

McCain WANTED this fight!  He wanted to talk all about being a "war hero".  He even had an organization geared up for it.  Now, he's yelling at clouds.

Obama doesn't get involved with sideshows or distractions.  This would have been a fight that lasted weeks with McCain as the likely winner.  Obama's not going to fight just for the sake of fighting, or engage in battles that take away from his primary focus.  Now, McCain ends up being the loser.  He again doesn't get what he wants and Obama doesn't take the bait!

Like it or not, the public and the media consider McCain's "War hero" status as sacred.  Attacking it... implying an attack against it, only elevates McCain.

I know we want blood... we want revenge for 2004... but, this is smart politics.  Discretion is the better part of valr.  In three weeks, you shall see that McCain ends up the loser in this fight, and Obama the winner.

Clark, too... He's now free to go and rip McCain a new one without hurting Obama.  And the press might even decide to go after McCain a bit and dig up a little dirt, so he has to go on the defense against diversions, while Obama stays on message!

You'll see!  Mark my words!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

This may end Clarks role as a surrogate but I don't see how Obama in any way repudiated his credibility. He simply said he dissagreed. n/t (0.00 / 0)

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.


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