It's looking more and more like Dean will win the nomination, which is not good news for the Dems in the general election. Swing voters are key in November, but primaries are won by partisans, not moderates. Dick Morris' strategy of triangulation devised for Clinton in 1992 -- start your campaign as a moderate, move to the extremes to win the primaries, then move back to the center to net swing votes -- has become political law. Of course, more factors are involved than just ideology, which is why some far-lefties like Kucinich have zero chance, but Lieberman and Edwards are both moderates who will not win the nomination either.
Clark's campaign has been a series of bungles and exaggerations. Some examples are given in a Washington Dispatch article
. I have never seen the site before and I am unaware of its political leanings, but facts are facts and Clark publicly made each statement below:
--He claimed on Meet the Press in June that he received a phone call from the White House encouraging him to push the idea that there was “a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein.” No call was placed from the White House.
--He then claimed the call came from “around the White House.” He couldn’t really pin that down either.
--Then Clark stated that the call came from “a Middle-East think tank in Canada." Finally Thomas Hecht, founder of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies, told the Toronto Star he placed the call to Clark. The think tank is in Montreal, which if you are looking at a globe, is not near the White House.
--He said he would have been a Republican only if Karl Rove would have returned his phone calls; trouble is, there were no phone calls logged to Karl Rove from the General. Transcripts and phone logs really hurt the General’s credibility. [See the Weekly Standard article
on this issue]
--He also told KTAR radio in Phoenix that the White House tried to get him fired from his job as an analyst for CNN but when pressed admitted he had no proof of the accusation, but had heard “rumors.”
Now Wes is firing up the rumor mill again. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Clark told an audience of 400 supporters in Arkansas on Monday night that “the Bush administration contemplated overturning as many as seven Middle Eastern and African governments,” soon after the attacks on America on 9/11. The report by Paul Barton continued by stating that Clark “learned while visiting with Pentagon acquaintances in the fall of 2001 that such thinking had already been put on paper, at least in a very preliminary form.”
But the reporters wanted more, demanding that Clark show some proof besides another imaginary allegation. Once pressed--Clark admitted he had never seen any memo with a plan to attack the seven mentioned nations. But he did list them off for the crowd. The seven supposedly are Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.
Clark kept going, “But they told me there was something, some kind of a memo or something. I never saw it. I said, ‘Stop, I don’t want see anything more. I just didn’t want to get into it,” the Democrat-Gazette reported in its Monday edition.
According to the Washington Post, after months of opposing the Iraq war as a CNN commentator, on Sept. 16 Clark made the following statement regarding Congress' use-of-force authorization:
"I don't know if I would have or not. I've said it both ways because when you get into this, what happens is you have to put yourself in a position — on balance, I probably would have voted for it."
The next day
, he said "Let's make one thing real clear: I would never have voted for this war.
I've gotten a very consistent record on this. There was no imminent threat. This was not a case of preemptive war. I would have voted for the right kind of leverage to get a diplomatic solution, an international solution to the challenge of Saddam Hussein."
Every politician waffles at some point, but this was an amazing 360-degree flip-flop-flip in the space of 24 hours. Clark is in over his head. His poll numbers are dropping and he's skipping out on the Iowa caucuses. Unless his results in New Hampshire are stunning, Clark will be finished early in the primary season. I would not rule him out as a VP
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.