Thursday, September 11, 2003

Dean and Clark?
This morning, The Washington Post reported that Howard Dean and former NATO Commander Wesley Clark had a big pow-wow in Cali last weekend: ["Gen. Clark Reportedly Is Asked to Join Dean"]. This was a smart move on Dean's part in some ways; dumb in others. First, I don't know why everyone is so worried about Clark doing anything in the primaries. He has no base, no cash, and no home advantage that we know of. Sure, he is a media darling and he was against the invasion of Iraq. Clark will get a lot of free media and face time on television. But he is irrelevant in this process and isn't going to win the nomination. Dean is smart to talk with him, offer him a bone, or whatever, to keep him out. Dean already has Dennis Kucinich and to a lesser extent, Carole Braun and Al Sharpton, all bucking for the anti-war vote. He doesn't need another person in there and Clark could do some minor damage to Dean. However, putting Clark on the ticket does nothing for Dean strategically. What electoral votes does Clark bring to a Dean/Clark ticket? Which of the red states - those amber waves of Bush which start in Nevada and end in Maryland - does Clark help Dean win? None. Clark was in the military - so what? That doesn't mean a thing. Dean has a good chance to win the nomination even if I don't think he will. However, in order to beat George W. Bush, he is going to need someone from the Midwest or South to balance his "Northeastern liberalism" and someone who can get his agenda through the Republican-controlled Congress. Dick Gephardt fits that role; there are others, too. This is also why I suggest that if Gephardt wins he should pick Dean, vice-versa. If John Kerry wins, which I also doubt, he would be in a similar situation, although he would be better off with a Midwestern or Southern governor to balance off his Washington insider reputation. If Joe Lieberman wins, God help us all. He better put a Socialist on the ticket because liberals are going to abandon him for Ralph Nader and the Greens in a nanosecond.

'The right lessons?'
Political commentator Jon Keller of Boston's WB56 is looking for comment about the Sept. 11 anniversary and whether the country has learned the right lesson from the attacks: ["Keller's Hot Button"]. It should be noted that Keller is the same person who castigated peace activists calling for a sane policy in dealing with terrorists in the wake of Sept. 11. I don't know Keller's position on Iraq; but he was for the Afghanistan action and verbally humiliated anyone who wasn't.

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