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Friday, October 31, 2003

VICE-PRESIDENTS

Here's one of the possible running mates for next year: Mark Warner, governor of Virginia since 2002. There's been some speculation about the usual suspects: Bob Graham, John Edwards or Wesley Clark, should he not capture the nomination.

Graham is old news. His aborted campaign just did it for him. Edwards still has some time ahead of him. I can see him coming back later in some other capacity (à la Gore 88-2000). Clark sounds like a perfect VP. But there's a general agreement on the fact that a strong VP candidate usually comes out of the primaries weaker than stronger. Graham, Edwards and Clark will be all banged up and bruised and have a big bad record that the Republicans can exploit...

So then we have to look at guys like Warner... young fresh faces from the South. I don't know what he's really worth but I'm sure the next VP-candidate will come from the same mold.

UPDATE: here are a few words about Mary Landrieu, one of Louisiana's senators. She's a possibility.
WHO'S PULLING CLARK'S STRINGS ?

This Is Not Funny is asking the question... According to this post, it'll all come down to Dean vs. Clark, which is what a lot of people think. I'm not sure though...

Thursday, October 30, 2003

NATIONAL POLL

Here's a national poll showing Clark as the best contender against Bush. Let's hope these good nation-wide number sometime soon translate into good NH numbers...

Monday, October 27, 2003

WE'RE MOVING OUT... LATE

It's time to really get going in New Hampshire... so I'm glad to see things are starting to move up there. Here's an article about Clark and NH. Clark's campaign has had some problems of late (policy on Iraq, scheduling problems...) so I think what this woman says sums up what's important now:

"We think the world of him," Ms. Rauh said. But before committing, she added, "I want to feel comfortable that his campaign is really humming, because that's critical."
SO WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT ?

Here's a report on last night's debate. Apparently, nothing seems to have changed: the same phrases, the same concerns, the same squabbles.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

IOWA VS. CLARK/LIEBERMAN

Is Iowa gonna hurt Clark, or is Clark gonna hurt Iowa ? That's basically the question the DesMoines Register asks.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

HOW IMPORTANT IS IOWA REALLY ?

If you want to pretend feeling good about Clark's bypassing Iowa, read what Gilbert Cranberg has to say about the caucuses.

Friday, October 24, 2003

CLARK IS SICK

I just love linking to stupid stories...
CLARK AND THE PRESS

Howard Kurtz looks at Clark's relationship with the press. Meanwhile, The Boston Globe says that Chris Lehane will join Clark's campaign next week. Lehane resigned from chez Kerry last month (where he was communications director) and is expected to come aboard as a consultant. The article also deals with Clark's economic policies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

DICK GEPHARDT NEWS

Though this is supposed to be a Wes Clark blog, I couldn't help but link to this Washington Post piece about Gephardt. I'm sorry but NO, Gephardt is not the "toughest rival for Bush" (Clark is of course). The guy is a stale, stiff piece of meat with blonde hair. His labor credentials are good but it seems obvious they're far from being a strong enough weapon against Bush. Gephardt has been in the loop for decades. He's an old cliché of a politician... If a guy like Gore couldn't make it (actually he did make it but we're not gonna talk about that are we... ?), I don't see how Gephardt can even come close to pulling it off.
THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG HERE

Dick Morris puts it simply: Clark is making the wrong decision in skipping Iowa. The widespread opinion is that Lieberman is already doomed, so who cares ? But for Clark, his withdrawal from the caucuses is seen as a major mistake. Making a good finish in Iowa would help him greatly in the 100%-attainable NH primary. Everything is up in the air right now: one day we've got Kerry closing in on Dean, and the next day, Dean has a million-point lead. Nothing's impossible in NH... but only if Iowa isn't left in the sidelines.

UPDATE: a Clark adviser says they would consider a 4th place in NH a "successfull showing". I know it's important to lower expectations, but please...

Monday, October 20, 2003

THE IDEAL NOMINEE

The results of this poll are interesting because they show the real, mixed face of the Democratic party. The ideal nominee isn't necessarily someone who's against the war in Iraq (quite the opposite in fact), but he needs to stand up for the party's core more than appeal to independents.
CLARK IS GOING TO SKIP IOWA

I really don't know if this is a good idea. People often bring up McCain 2000 and Gore '88 as good examples of the risky skip-Iowa strategy. Clark and Lieberman are gonna do it, according to a NY Times article. One of Clark's adviser has a clever comparison, but it's not enough to be convincing:

"What we'll do is what I call the General MacArthur strategy," a senior Clark adviser said. "General MacArthur was very successful in World War II because he skipped over the Japanese strongholds, where they were more organized, and instead picked islands that were favorable or neutral terrain. Which means we would choose not to focus resources on Iowa and instead focus them on New Hampshire and on Feb. 3," when there are Democratic contests in seven states.

But as Joe Trippi of Dean's campaign puts it: if you have a problem, "There really isn't any room to recover this year".

Sunday, October 19, 2003

THE CONTENDER

The Washington Post just added the final episode of their "contender" series: and it's Clark. It's a good in-depth look at the guy that you can check out here.

Friday, October 17, 2003

WHO WANTS CLARK ?

Check out this Gallup poll. It's pretty good for Clark: you'll see that he leads practically everywhere. Ruy Texeira deciphers the numbers pretty well.
POLLS

A new poll shows Dean way ahead of Kerry in NH (30 to 17). Wes Clark is third at 10%. This basically confirms how things are falling in place over there. Note that the poll was conducted on 274 people which gives it a 6% error margin. Meanwhile over in California, Clark is in the lead with 17%, followed very closely by Lieberman and Dean at 14%. California is a huge fundraising state so things look okay...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

CLARK'S OFF TO A GOOD START

USA Today talks about Clark. It's a simple and straight-forward article that won't teach much to political junkies but still sums up Clark's situation quite well. USA Today's Jill Lawrence has a little audio interview up where she says a little about how Clark's doing on the campaign trail.

Monday, October 13, 2003

SKIP IOWA ?

This is from a NY Times article about Joe Lieberman:

"Gordon Fischer, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, expressed skepticism about the skip-Iowa tactic.

"You can certainly ask President McCain or President Al Gore in '88 how successful that strategy is," Mr. Fischer said. "I think the fact that other primaries have moved up makes Iowa and New Hampshire more important, not less."


The "skip Iowa" strategy is the one Edwards is following and Clark is contemplating it given his late start over there. Let's see how things evolve...
THE WAR ROOM REUNION

The Washington Post has a look at what it's like being part of the (numerous) Clinton veterans in Clark's campaign. You can check it out here.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

NEW ADDITIONS TO CLARK'S TEAM

Here's the official list of the news guys on Clark's team:

- Eli Segal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
- Mickey Kantor, Chairman of the Steering Committee
- Richard Sklar, Chief Operating Officer
- Matt Bennett, Director of Communications
- Dianna Rogelle, Finance Director
- Janet Abrams, Director of Administration and Control
- John Hlinko, Director of Internet Strategy
- Steve Bouchard, New Hampshire State Director
- Maya Israel, Associate Director of Communications
- Jamal Simmons, Traveling Press Secretary

The bios of everyone are available here. You'll notice that Bouchard and Simmons are veterans of Graham's ill-fated campaign. And John Hlkinko was the co-director of DraftWesleyClark.com.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

CLARK'S PAST

Clark has had a career in the military both successful and troubled. The AP has a balanced article about his "flaws" as seen by other military colleagues.
(GENERAL) CLARK

There was some noise a couple of weeks back that Clark's numbers improved dramatically when the pollster referred to him as "General" Clark instead of just Wesley Clark. However, there's a CBS/NY Times poll conducted at the end of September that in fact shows lower numbers for Clark WITH his title than without (he goes from 14% to 10). It's funny to notice that Moseley-Braun's numbers drop from 7 to 1% when she's referred to as a "former Senator". Gephard, Lieberman and Kerry's results grow dramatically with their titles next to them.
CLARK'S TEAM GROWS

The NY Times has a story about Clark's latest recruits. Not surprisingly, most come from the Clinton/Gore administration.
BUSH AND WILDLIFE

More evidence the Bush administration is just a bunch of buffoons. Not much to do with Clark but this story just says it all...

Friday, October 10, 2003

A RACE WITHOUT GRAHAM

Bob Graham's dropping out of the race is quite surprising when you think about it. You look at the guy's resumé: Florida, extremely popular former Governor, Senator, head of the Intelligence Comitee, etc. Graham has been on the VP shortlist in 88, 92 and 2000. What was supposed to have been a formidable contender turned into a said failure. Graham started late and his grandfatherly persona didn't seem to connect with voters and contributors.

So he's out. Though Graham didn't weigh much in regard to other candidates, his departure still leaves a little more room for Wes Clark to move around in. Graham had one of the best foreign policy/intelligence credentials in the pack, save Clark and Kerry. It's no surprise that the General's team is now wooing Graham's men into their squad. So we'll see how things evolve from here, with only two Southerners left in the race. The DesMoines Register has a story about it.
$3.5M FOR CLARK

Pretty good news, right ? I don't think we were expecting that much. And by the way, it seems two thirds of that sum came from online contributions, so go ahead and help !
I'M BACK

I just got back from a film festival in Italy so I've been completely out of the loop these days. I'm getting up to date on everything that's been happening (Arnold, Graham dropping out, Donnie Fowler resigning, etc.). Sorry for the lack of updates. Expect some later today.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

CLARK TALKS (A LOT)

Josh Marshall has a really big interview of General Clark up. He talks a little too much about foreign policy (a domain in which we already know he's more than qualified) and not enough about domestic and social issues, but it's still a good, in-depth interview.
MR CLARK GOES TO WASHINGTON

Clark went to Capitol Hill the other day fishing for endorsements. The Hill and the NY Times have some stories about it. It seems Clark got a pretty warm welcome over there and some Congressmen were apparently delighted to see that "his performance was as good as his résumé".
THE IMPORTANCE OF NEW YORK

There's been a lot of talking about winning New York in the next election. All the 9/11 trauma, plus the fact the Republican Convention is taking place there in the first days of September, place it in the conventional wisdom has a tough battling ground. But this poll shows that basically, the Dems rule again: Clark, Gephardt, Dean, Kerry and Lieberman all beat Bush quite easily in an imaginary face-off. The poll also shows Clark leading among Dems. He's at 18 followed closely by Dean at 17%. That's what I call good news.

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Wesley Clark for President
Wesley Clark for President
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