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rsmith6621 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:36 PM
Original message
Why Did Wes Clark

Fail to capture the heart of the party and the USA...

I find Wes a person who knows how to relate.....Kerry did fine but Clark just really seems to be more sincere....
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shoelace414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. the Republicans labeled him a Republican
with that label he couldn't make it through the primaries
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Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
94. Many DUers did also
I was a delegate for Wes Clark and did my best to defend him from smears posted by members of this board.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #94
106. As did Dr. Dean.
Not that I'm bitter, but I'm reckoning that Dr. Dean will be among the contenders in 2008. I want General Clark to be there too. I want people to remember that Clark's message was about uniting us and Dean's was pretty divisive. You can call me an idiot or you can call my guy naive. I can take criticism. But when you call Clark "basically a Republican" you're clearly not trying to win an election so much as trash an opponent and place a "do not enter" sign in front of the door that leads from the veterans' vote to the Democratic Party.

To win in 2008, we'll need to do better.
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Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #106
109. Dean can't run if he's selected to head the DNC
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shoelace414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #94
123. they were regurgitating the Talking Point point from the RNC
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. he started too late in the process
he didn't compete in Iowa. The press for Kerry after Iowa made it virtually impossible for anyone to come back--he was proclaimed the most electable and people who had reservations about him decided that it was vital to beat Bush and since everyone said Kerry was the most electable many people decided to move his way in follow up states.
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knight_of_the_star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. That was probably it
The reason Kerry won Iowa is because he was perceived as "electable". Wes Clark, at least on that regard, did have Kerry beat in the polls and in that part of the campaign, and had he chosen to run in Iowa he probably could have pulled it off, but, and it seemed like a good idea at the time, his advisors convinced him not to run due to his late start compared to the others.
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DjTj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
69. We'll never know what could have happenned...
...but Iowa pretty much sealed the deal for Clark.

Edwards came out too strong and made it hard for Clark to use a Southern strategy.

Kerry came out way too strong and made it hard for Clark to play up the military background.

People like to blame "the media" and "lies" and "dirty campaigns" but I think it was just fate and circumstance. The Clark campaign could not have known that Kerry and Edwards were going to come out of Iowa so strong - they were focused on stopping Dean. When Dean was no longer a factor, the Clark strategy was a failure.

...sometimes things just happen.
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Jersey Devil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
34. Agree - the late start in the front loaded process was it
He was way too late to get any traction. This selection system must be fixed. As a NJ resident I had no say until June and by then only Kerry was on the ballot.
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HuskerDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
101. I think that's the ENTIRE reason right there - late start
produced every other problem he had. He's an AMAZING campaigner now and he truly was/is the right man to sit in the White House right now imho.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. Clark also got a late start, late funding.
I think he would have done much better if he'd started earlier, gotten more funding, and gotten some campaigning experience earlier.
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
71. Agreed. Got into the race too late. By the time time he did...
He and Kerry were sort of working the same side of the street (ex-military), even though Clark had the rank and the more recent (and extensive) service. Clark had to spend many of his first campaign-days explaining precisely why he was a Democrat.

The primaries seemed to move the presumptive winner forward very quickly this year -- perhaps too quickly.
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. He's not a politician -
didn't speak in soundbytes and catchy phrases; it's all in the marketing and Wes was too green. Missing Iowa in the primary really hurt too.

In my opinion, he was the best qualified.



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Claire Beth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
129. I agree....
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 02:31 PM by Claire_beth
I met him when he was in Nashville when he was campaigning here. I was very impressed with him and I think he is very much qualified, too. A lot of people didn't know who he was is another reason I don't think he did very well in the primaries. I would vote for him all over again.
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. What really hurts
is that a repub acquaintance told me that she voted for Dubya because Wes Clark wasn't in the race.......

that smarts.......
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I don't know how
you resisted telling her to shut her piehole.

Lessee... I can't have the General, so I'll leap over the policy maven Lieutenant to pull the lever for the bellicose borderline-retarded deserter. Makes perfect sense.

As we accelerate our descent into the hellhole, I'd remind her weekly that she brought it on all of us.
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Sweet Freedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. He never received any media coverage either
I remember during the primaries people here noted that Clark was never mentioned or shown on TV, etc.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Don't you remember the lead up to his announcement?
He got a ton of press. Then in the next two weeks, he got a ton of negative press. And during the debates, he got a lot of time to talk. (But of course, they made him talk about Iraq, because they knew that that was going to help Bush in the long run.)
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. The Media Ignored Him In Jan/Early Feb When It Counted
The GOP plan was to kill Clark off in the primaries by having the media ignore him and by labeling him a Republican. They knew he would be hard to smear in the GE.

He was also fairly green as a campaigner at first, but seemed to gain his legs at the end.

Not running in Iowa was the big mistake. It allowed the media to frame him as a fringe candidate.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. Clark was chasing down Dean in late Dec and early Jan. He was the focus
of the discussion. The media wasn't totally ignoring him (but, honestly, there wasn't much room left from the intense coverage of Dean).

I think the truth is that no matter what the media tried to do, when it came down to the last four days of the campaign in each of the early primary states, the voters made decisions based on something other than what the media was telling them.

The media gave all their attention to Dean, and he didn't win Iowa, and they ignored Kerry and Edwards and they came in first and second.

So, Clark can't really blame the media, becuase others who got less did better than he did.
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #22
41. Clark Can't, But I Can
His name was rarely mentioned by the media during the horserace at the end. He was ignored.

Ah yes, I remember AP now from the primary battles. End of discussion.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #41
49. Here's a good study of media coverage:
http://www.command-post.org/2004/2_archives/010392.html

I can't find the original pdf, but this has the breakdown for January press coverage in html: http://216.239.57.104/search?q=cache:t3-7qkX9G_cJ:www.m...


Clark got positive coverage from everyone except the WSJ (p15). Edwards got nice coverage, but they never talked about his policies (and this was only after doing well in Iowa).
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. My feeling about this is:
Clark caught on because Bush created the feeling that the world is a frightening place and we need strong, forceful leadership. (Would Wes have been at all relevant but for Iraq?)

Now, this is a sense that is not totally compatible with the core reasons people are Democrats. Democrats thrive when people feel there is nothing to fear but fear. Clark thrives when people feel there is something to fear.

Now, maybe it's the case that FDR was wrong and that there is a great deal to fear and that we need people who offer the sort of symbolism of Wes Clark. But that doesn't change the fact that in appealing to Democrats, Clark has that huge hurdle to get over.

For example, even though he was, in the primaries, anti-war, to win, he still needed to convince people that he is relevant because war is the most important issue in America. Democrats don't win when people think war is the most important issue and I think a lot of Democrats had a problem resolving an acceptance that war is the most important issue with their instinct that the Democrats really are most concerned about fighting economic fascism, and making sure there is economic opportunity on a level playing field.

Voters in the primaries resolved these questions by going with the compromise candidate. John Edwards was the 100% "nothing to fear but fear/when you're economically powerful, America is strong" candidate. Clark was the 100% "war is the most important issue" candidate. The compromise was John Kerry, who had enough military experience to have that base covered, and enough of a concern for the experiences of the working man to have that base covered.

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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
52. And who won?
Who were we running against? Clark was the ideal candidate because he was the most able to flush B$$$ from his National Security blanket. The results of this election were quite forseeable and that is why so many of us supported Clark. Clark also had strong economic policies as he taught the subject at West Point. Listen even more importantly to his values message. He came out with that in the primary because he recognized that as the weak spot in the South. This is all now history and history is on Clark's side.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. I think there's enough evidence that the more people thought about
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 06:08 PM by AP
war the worse the Democrats did.

Stan Greenberg said that as media attention turned to missing explosives and the OBL videotape, Kerry's support weakened -- and these were negative stories for Bush, and furthermore, Kerry was not weak on national security.

Also, if the war were such a great issue and the economy such a bad one for the Democrats to run on, explain the study I have linked in both of these threads:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The media wanted to talk about war as much as possible and the economy as little as possible. The media was able to control the perception of the war regardless of the facts. And although they did try to control perception of the economy, if I were running for President I'd much rather try to talk about people's perceptions of what's going on with their job and their bank account and in their lives than what's going on on the other side of the globe (which is probably why the media never wanted to talk about the economy, and then lied to people about it at the end).

The more Democrats conceded the subject of the debate as being the war, the more opprotunity it gave the media to help Bush. The Democrats lost by so little and I think that a candidate who said more to voters about class and the economy could have removed the War-Goggles the media was forcing on all the voters.

I know that there's a feeling that we need to coopt the war issue totally, but I just don't see that happening with any Democratic candidate. I actually see this past election as trying to do that to the maximum possible degree for a Democrat. Very much of the debate was dominated by a discussion of the war to which Democrats conceded (which is fine), and I don't really think there was much more that could be done to make Kerry or any Democrat a better war candidate without beginning to lose the voters who vote Democratic for other reasons. I know people say Kerry was bad on the Iraq issue, but I think if you aske the average voter whose vote actually made a difference this year (white women in the suburbs) I'm sure they didn't think that Kerry's IWR vote was confusing or made him dangerous or that he wasn't sufficiently anti-war. I'm sure they were just scared by all the talk of war and thought that Bush was just marginally better on terror and war because he was a Republican. I don't think there's any Democrat you could really run -- not even Clark -- who could reverse that perception any more than Kery was able to this year.

But I do think there are some strategies you could try and Democrats you could run who could make those white women voters in the suburbs fear only fear and start thinking that there are issues that are not only more important than Iraq, but those issues put Iraq in a more logical context for them. I think that kind of candidate is not so much like Wesley Clark. It's going to be a candidate more like Bill Clinton.

(By the way, I'm not EE. I'm sure it'd be pretty easy to find many posts in the archives that I've written while she was talking or sitting in the audience at debates...but I'm flattered.)
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. And who thought the war wasn't the issue that would most affect people?
We had been attacked and unless you could make people feel more secure most other things would be secondary. Kerry was seen as inconsistent, and Edwards too, because they supported the War. As I pointed out to you and others before Kerry made his VP choice. Edwards could not effectively debate Cheney on the War because he had the same view. He told a lie in the debate when he claimed differently, but he was not challenged because it made no difference. This was another reason i supported Clark, because he wasn't just another politician and I believe that would have brought more crossover votes. Kerry was the nominee and Edwards was his pick and I supported them wholeheartedly but i was not surprised by the outcome. I will concede it may have been stolen since there was definitely fraud involved but it should never have been that close. There is no doubt the swift boat liars hurt Kerry and this was predictable. Why wasn't kerry prepared for this? Even some of the MSM which was basically impartial carried the meme that kerry was not committed to the war on terror and his choice of Edwards only helped to confirm it. Kery tied to deflect much of this criticism during the campaign by using Clark as a surrogate on these issues, But since Clark was nit the candidate it didn't have the same effect. You targued throughout that debating security was meeting B$$$ on his terms. Who did you think was going to define the debate?
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #58
65. According to the study in that link, more people cared about jobs...
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 06:57 PM by AP
...healthcare and the economy and this was DESPITE the fact that the war was getting LITERALLY ten times the coverage. It just seems to me that in there is a huge untapped reservoir of Democratically-inclined voters if only the Democrats can figure out a smart and effective way to reach out to those people. I don't think running a general is the best way to tap into that reservoir.

Think of what happened during the August swift boat fiesta (which is essentially an argument about who is the better soldier, Bush or Kerry). Kerry sent out his daughters to say that talking about swift boats was a distraction from the issues that really mattered -- whether people had jobs and opportunities. On the one hand, you have to wonder why the candidate himself couldn't have stepped out and been a living breathing symbol of what the debate should be about (which isn't meant as a criticism of Kerry -- he did a great job notwithstanding). On the other hand, it's obvious what the antidote to the soldier talk is: get a couple of women trying to establish themselves professionally to go out and tell people what really matters to Americans. It's too bad that anyone had to be reminded, however.

I honestly don't think you can say that voters who didnt' vote for Kerrry who could have voted for him (white women in the suburbs) needed to hear more of an anti-war message or were confused by Kerry's stand on the war. I think they needed to be hit harder with the truth that the Kerry daughters were trying to drop on them.

I don't think Clark would have meant anything more to them than Kerry meant in terms of security. Perhaps Clark might have had a little more upside thanks to being a general. But the downside was much greater. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he could have raised the issues of class better than Kerry did. But I think that he would have been more easy to lead down the path of talking about the war all the time, which just would have consolidated in people's minds that the Republican's world view is right: the world is a dangerous place, so we'll vote for the person who fights wars rather than the person who criticizes them. I think what could have made a bigger difference is what the Kerry daughters were trying to argue. And it would have helped if the candidate were a better conduit for that message.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #65
82. I'm not sure how much you followed Clark's campaign.
Maybe not at all. Clark went to the South with a tour that stressed family values and how those are represented by the Democrat Party. If you heard him today with Al Franken you will know what I mean. He had a strong economic message, including an income tax package that would exempt families earning less than $50,000 from even filing a return. He had one of the most progressive agendas. He proposed health care that would have covered all children in America. A number of Kerry's campaign policies were derived from Clark's. Of course most of the candidates were similar and there ideas belonged to the nominee as part of the process. The votes we would have lost from people turned off by a military man would have been compensated for by the votes taken from B$$$. These votes are two-fers since they add to our number and also subtract from B$$$. If B$$$ led by 3 million votes you would only need to take just over 1.5 million to beat him. I don't know how accurate some reports are but I read on DU that there were gays voting for B$$$ in the same % as 2000. They reportedly cited National Security as there reason. This makes no sense but I have a neighbor with a "Remember 9-11" flag flying beneath his US flag and stuck in the ground beneath is a Bush/Cheney sign. If one remembers 9-11, one remembers B/C because they were in charge when it happened. The majority of people do not think logically about this issue, they think emotionally. The main point about a person who fights wars is that they know the cost in both money and humanity and prefer to avoid them at all cost, at least someone with the moral integrity of Wes Clark.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #82
83. During the primaries people would often say in defense of their candidates
"look it up on their website."

I know what Clark did during the campaign, but what is really important is what he was perceived as being. Clark may have had a good chat on lots of core liberal issues, but 95% of his campaign was a response to Iraq. If you look at the arguments by Clark enthusiasts this is what you see most often as the reason they think Clark is relevant. They say the war means we need someone with military credentials.

The thing that I'm trying to separate out is whether people were voting for Bush because they thought Kerry was a risk -- that he wasn't good on national security -- and the people who are just listening to the candidates present the issues they think are most important and at the end of it saying, "well, if jobs, education and health care are the most important issue, I'm voting for Democrats, but if the war is the most important issue I'm voting for the Republicans."

I think there are a lot of people out there who think that way. How else can you reconcile the fact that people KNOW Bush is bad on the war, but voted for him over Kerry when the talk turned to OBL and missing explosives. It makes no sense that you'd want Bush after hearing that he couldn't even secure explosives that US soldiers were looking at. But guess what? If there are terrorists out there with explosives, I guess voters want the guy with the itchy trigger finger, rather than the nuanced theorist and critic of people with itchy trigger fingers.

I grant that Clark might have gotten some people to think that maybe the democrats are better on war issues, but I think for every one person he converted that way there would have been five who said, "well, if the Democrats think the war is so important that they're running a general, than I'm voting for the party that is better on war...the Republicans."

I really think that sort of happened this year. I think that a lot of voters who voted for Bush realize that he's incompetent on the war issue (and what more was Clark going to say to these people other than Bush is incompetent?) but they were convinced that because war was the issue that occupied the most time in the political discussion over the last four years that it's better to stay the course, not change horses, and stick with the Republican TEAM (which includes Powell, Rumsfield and all those other serious war mongers) who are willing to prosecuted this war without being critical or distracted by things like right and wrong.

Fear rarely works to convince people to vote for liberals. I can't think of one time when a liberal won with fear. I believe even Hugo Chvez who tried a coup and failed decided to form a political party which focused on hope and building wealth among the poor. I don't see how Democrats can win in 2008 by saying "yes, the world is scary, so vote for the best soldier." I think they still won't trust the Democratic team and they will still think that -- people like Bush notwithstanding -- the Republicans are the team for fighting wars.

Yes, the democrats need to chip away at the perception that the Republicans are the party of safety, but I don't see how they'll do that by running Clark on the top of a ticket that ends up convincing voters that the Republican world view of fear is reality.

(Hey, what a nice discussion this is, by the way? We're both making our points. I hope you realize that this is a smart debate to have over the next four years (if Kerry doesn't win the recount). This is an important argument the party needs to have.)
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #83
87. If Clark were only a General, he would be limited.
He was actually not accepted by a number of Generals like Schwartzkoff because he was active on the debate team and first in his class. He was picked out early because of his problem solving abilities. He was first in a program to project 100 years ahead. His ability to think outside and come up with unique solutions made him an early pick as a future leader. At the level he was serving this country he had real life experience beyond killing the enemy. He led in modernizing the Army. he led in obtaining education for his personel and their families. He won an Audobon award for protecting an endangered species of bird during an expansion of a base he was in charge of. As a General he risked his life to help wounded French troops and American personel. The most important thing beyond his acedemic brilliance is his common sense. He is not on an ego trip, he seeks to serve his country based on ideals he developed in the 50's and 60's and this would eneable him to connect with the average person that this Party is accused of losing touch with. He may not even want this but just as he was drafted in 2003 he may be willing to answer his countries call in 2005. Hopefully the countries problems will be different by then but with the group in charge now it is likely to be worse.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #87
88. Many Democrats have run for office and have downplayed their military...
...service. Kennedy, McGovern (was he the bomber crewmember?), Gore, Carter. Some of them were winners. Do you wonder why they didn't run on their military service. I really don't know. But I suspect that it's because, for example, Carter wanted people to see him as small businessman with small-town values, rather than someone with an intimate relationship with nuclear weapons. I think during the cold war Carter thought it would not help Dems to be arguing that the guy who knew more about nukes should be president. He wanted to appeal to people's sense of hope, and not fear.

Now, I don't see Clark as running on much else besides his military service. I know that he has done all sorts of wonderful liberal things within the context of his military service, but this man's person almost entirely comes from his military service. It is what he would run on. It's was the frame for his entire campaign in '04.

I agree that the nation will be worse in 2008, but I think it will be because there will be an even greater stratification of society, and fewer opportunities, and wage slavery, and corporate power. That's why I hope that the candidate in 2008 speaks directly to those issues and not about the military.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #88
96. I think he will make the determination based on the situation.
As I said, he has common sense. I do not think this is something he seeks. That is one reason he got in late this last time. He even stated when he dropped out that he had supported Kerry and only got involved because Kerry was falling and people asked him to fill the void. I think if there is a strong viable candidate who is standing up for the things he stands for, he will support them. He has learned much about the process and may be inclined to enter earlier knowing what he now knows. He may feel that no one else is properly positioned and that it is his duty. He stated the last time that his son told him he and his wife were expecting a child and that with the uncertainty and misdirection of this aministration he must think of his grandchild's future. Those of us that feel there is a void in leadership in our Party will petition him again and the decision will be his. Kennedy's(JFK) service was played up big time. There were book and movie based on PT109. This is reportedly Kerry's inspiration to play up the swift boat. McGovern service was downplayed to some degree because he ran as a peace candidate. Gore should have fought for his service experience against B$$$. Gore I feel made many mistakes. I wonder if they did not take B$$$ serious enough. Carter really had no need and since it was not wartime service it was not a large part of the campaign. Clark has impressive communication skills and besides natural leadership abilities it woul be nice to have a President who communicated with the people again. As I said he taught economics which you, as I, believe to be key. B$$$ has dfined a number of countries that he feels need regime change. With Rice and other idealogues taking charge of State we might well have four more years of war, especially with B$$$ helping the terrorists recruitment effort. If you pay attention to what is going on right now you see the likelihood of a more deadly attack on our soil is increasing with time. At least that seeems to be the judgement of people being run off by this administration.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
11. He was more sincere
Because he's not a pol, & tells the truth.

In today's world, that's considered "not ready for primetime."
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Which democratic candidates do you think told lies?
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Do you want me to name names?
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Why don't you name names AND lies, and we'll discuss.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. John Kerry said he would
"pick the most "qualified person" to be his Veep. Sorry, but that was a lie; I can think of many, many people more qualified.

When Kerry, at the Grand Canyon, was asked if he knew when he voted for Iraq, if he would vote yes again, with current facts. And he answered yes.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Just as a I thought.
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 02:19 PM by AP
That first one is an opinion wrapped in an insult, and the second one isn't even remotely a lie.

So, I don't think you can say that people could not deal with Clark's honesty, unless you want to say they couldn't deal with any of the Democrats' honesty. And either way, it doesn't explain what happened in the primaries.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. It is not an insult
Can you say with a straight face that Joe Biden or Bob Graham or Richard Gebhart were NOT more qualified that Edwards?

Now if you want to talk about the REAL reasons for picking a Veep, it is not always experience.

As for the second, I believe Kerry voted aye for political reasons. He opposed Gulf War I which had a true coalition, was paid by others, & had a real reason: to secure the Kuwaiti oil, which the world needed.

Therefore, why would he vote against a war that SATISFIED all his requirements for the Iraq War?

Face it, many people couldn't vote for Kerry because they couldn't buy his tortured logic, therefore, did not trust him.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. I think that Edwards's experience of life in America makes him more...
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 02:48 PM by AP
...qualified to be president or VP than Biden, Graham, and Gep.

Regardless, presuming Kerry didn't swear on a bible that he was picking the person with the most experience as a politician as measured by years in public service compromising and accepting PAC donations, or whatever, then Kerry didn't lie.

And if you want criticize Kerry's war vote as a reason he did not contrast well to Clark, I think you're going to have to talk about Clark's newspaper editorializing and CNN commentating during which he was similary, well, ambiguous in telling us what he thought of Iraq.

For any candidate running for president in 2004, they had to prove that they would keep America safe while criticizing Bush's execution of the war when they had the opportunity to make that point clearly. The IWR was not that opportunity. Every candidate who was forced to make votes on those issues made the right votes, provided they seriously wanted to be president and stop future Iraqs. Clark wasn't even elected to any office and he had to make the same calculations in the media. If you think Americans were confused by what Kerry said about the IWR, imagine what it would have been like for him or Clark if they had voted against the IWR. Voters would be confused about whether they weren't French spies.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. Look, I don't want to keep arguing.
You think Edwards is the greatest thing since sliced bread; I think Clark is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

But Kerry did not distinguish himself when it comes to clarity, & EVERYBODY knows it.

And you admit that the Iraq vote was a political decision. Well, I think it should have been a vote of conscience.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. I didn't bring Edwards into this. You did with your evidence of other
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 03:18 PM by AP
candidates lying.

And if clarity on Iraq is your sin qua non for being a good candidate, I think you're ignoring a problem Clark had. And Clark had that problem for the same reason Kerry did. It's part of the reason we have Iraq at all (Bush knew it would put Democrats between a rock and a hard place).

I think I summarize Clark's problems pretty accurately in post #8, by the way. And I should note, I don't make my view of the world conform to John Edwards. Edwards happens to confrom to my view of the world. If there were no John Edwards, I would still say what I said in post #8.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. Long before the votes were cast Clark testified against
going to war in Iraq.

Plenty of people have tried blur that, but it remains the truth.

And I don't make my view of the world conform to Wes Clark.

Maybe you should get off your high horse!

You're still here, popping in on every Clark thread, praising Edwards as some sort of miracle man.

Obviously, the voters did not agree.

I have tried to be polite, but you just can't quit, can you? You are like a dog with a bone, & that bone is Edwards.

Well, stop shoving it in my face, cause I'm sick & tired of it.

Edwards turned out to be an EMPTY SUIT! People all over were LAUGHING at him. The phoney thumb in the air was pathetic.

Now, I am going to do a 1st. I am putting you on ignore. I am tired of you & your lectures, as if you had the wisdom of the ages.

I have tried to be diplomatic, but you just won't let it go, so I will!

Goodbye!!!!!
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. Whatever.
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 04:49 PM by AP
I have some firmly held ideas about how to win elections and about what's going on in America. I sum them up in post 8.

Nobody replied to that post. I was hoping that that would be the route for talking about what I think are some pretty important issues. Instead it got dragged out in these other threads until you turned the discussion into personal insutls. And like I said, I didnt' drag Edwards into this thread. To borrow an analogy from you, that was a "bone" you dragged out and rubbed in my face.

If someone posts a thread "Why Clark..." and I have an opinoin, I think I'm entiteld to resond to the post.

Post 8 isn't advocating Edwards. It's just an argument about how in many ways they're antithesis and Kerry was the sythesis. But I guess if all people want to do is prop up their own candidates and tear down others, posts like #8 will get ignored and we'll end things up with posts like the one to which I'm responding.
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Sleepless In NY Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #31
44. Then why didn't Americans buy Edwards?
Edwards couldnt carry his own state, let alone any southern state. I like Edwards, but Clark certainly had more military & foreign affair experience. For those truly worried about national security, Clark certainly had the qualifications to dispell any fears.
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DjTj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #44
91. How many times did Edwards visit Southern states?
The Kerry campaign chose not to run ads nor make appearances in the South. A VP candidate has not made a difference in a Presidential election since Lyndon Johnson and I don't think Clark, Vilsack, Gephardt, or anyone could have made the difference in this election. The Kerry v. Bush contrast was so clear that the bottom of the ticket was largely irrelevant to the average voter.
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #30
114. A man changes from 1992 to 2003
After studying the man for a while, and putting things in context, I can see why he voted for certain things at certain times, not because he was playing politics but because it's what he believed at the time.

His military voting changed somewhere around 1997 or so. After studying terrorism and its mechanisms he realized that although the Cold War was over, a new war was being waged. He could see after dealing with BCCI and the Iran/Contra affair, how organized modern terrorist groups were getting. And so he started voting for a military buildup.

I believe he voted in 92 while still looking through his Vietnam, anti-war goggles. And both he and Cheney (the lying sack) voted against the same military programs in the interest of cutting back on government spending (a Dem who's more fiscally conservative than our current Repub prez. What a weird state of affairs).

And dagnabit, he voted for the authority to go to war, believing misguidedly that the President would do all the things he said he would beforehand: use war as a last resort, forming a proper coalition and going in force to get the job done quickly. His speech right after the vote makes it clear that he believed the President would do these things and that he hadn't just voted for automatic war. I think that terrorism was an issue Kerry cared about deeply, considering he'd been making speeches on the Senate floor about it since 97, and indeed just before 9/11 in May. While Bush and Co. were all hot for Missle Defense, Kerry's eyes were on the real threat.

I think Kerry was hoping against hope that the President would do what he had promised and not create the biggest fubar in history. When Bush went to war, Kerry in the speech he gave in the Senate sounds like he's till hoping that Bush wasn't bullshitting about the existence of WMDs. He said he'd be the first to speak up if none were found. (without looking back on his speeches, I think I have the order of events correct. Hopefully pretty close at least.)

He may have been blinded by his passion and his anger at being attacked as a country on 9/11. It is reported that he was absolutely furious right after 9/11, saying it was an act of war. The Bush administration took up an issue that Kerry was very passionate about, and then twisted it into a pretzel. He indeed wanted us to go after terrorists, and he knows if he had the power, he could have done it correctly.

He wasn't pretending to be a hawk, he is one. Perhaps that was his downfall. That stance made him look like a Republican-lite candidate. But he came to that position honestly. And domestically, he was relatively progressive.

Don't make the Republican mistake of comparing votes that were made 11 years apart. Things change; people change. That's one of the things I like about Kerry. He will look at things as they are NOW, and make decisions based on that.

Some of what I just said came from factcheck.org. Some came from old profile interviews I've read from 2001 and 2002, plus exerpts from various Senate speeches and his book, "A New War."

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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
73. Yes, I expressly remember
Kerry making a statement that his VP pick would have very strong foreign policy and national security credentials. I felt extremely betrayed when he anounced his actual pick, not because it wasn't Wes, although that disappointed me, but because he had lied about his criteria for a running mate.

There were alot of potential choices out there that had strong FP and NS credentials that Kerry could have picked, but he ended up going with someone who had virtually nothing in that department. He shouldn't have said it if he didn't mean it. Is it any wonder that some voters percieved him as not being trustworthy?
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #73
80. That's not a lie.
It's a way of saying that you consider the experience the person did have (cmmtee work) as having value, and it's like saying that the work done on that cmmttee was quality work that conformed with what a liberal considers good frgn policy.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #80
90. You and I just have different definitions...
either of the word "lie", or of "highly qualified in FP and NS".
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #90
124. When you find the definition of "highly qualified in FP and NS"
let me know, because even in the context Kerry is alleged to have used it, it sounds like it's more opinion than a defined term.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #124
130. It's obvious that in the context of this debate
those definitions are completely subjective. Maybe serving on one committee during a single, largely absentee Senate term really does mean that one has excellent FP and NS credentials. Maybe Kermit the Frog would make an ideal Secretary of State. Who knows? :shrug:
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. In other words, Yes. Please name names.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
15. The media dissed him. Dean, Kerry and Lieberman all ridiculed him.
nt
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. When did Kerry ridicule Clark? I thought they got along well, except when
Clark ill-advisedly pointed out the difference in their ranks.
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. I think it was Bob Dole who did that
in an exchange that was over-the-line snarky on Dole's part, imho.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. Kerry criticized Clark for being a "freshly minted Democrat." and also..
took advantage of Clark's IWR gaffe. Kerry supporters would attend Clark rallies carrying flip flops and put flip flop fliers on the cars at Clark rallies.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. That's not exactly "ridicule" and were certainly things that would have
to be addressed by Clark had Clark been the nominee.

Ridicule, to me, is like claiming your opponent parented an illgitimate child or is gay or mentally unstable.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #28
102. Your definition of ridicule is ridiculous. No offense.
nt
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #102
111. I'm not offended in the least.
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HoosierClarkie Donating Member (504 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I remember that. n/t
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #19
75. I could post a picture of one of Kerry's
campaign flyers, but I think I won't. It would just dredge up more bad feelings.

Kerry was perfectly happy to have Clark "walking point" for him and campaigning his ass off for him once he had won the nomination, but he was equally happy to call Clark a Republican when he was still the competition.

I realize it's just politics, but it still hurt.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #75
79. How do you know the walking point was something Kerry's campaign
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 08:06 PM by AP
wrote up? It could have been something some overzealous volunteer wrote. And lord knows that if you start holding against the candidate what overzealous volunteers say about the competion, nobody has clean hands. You just have to look at the DU archives...
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #79
85. I can't even tell what you're talking about
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 09:12 PM by crunchyfrog
in your post, so I won't even bother trying to answer you. Sorry. :shrug:

Edit, I don't think you know what I was referring to in my post. No point in trying to debate under those circumstances.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #85
86. OK. I'll try to make it simpler:
You are blaming Kerry for a "walking point" you saw. I presume you mean that some volunteer going door to door showed you her sheet of talking points.

If you're going to blame those talking points on Kerry, it sort of would make sense if they were something the campaign aproved.

So I'm just asking, how do you know the campaign approved them?

It's one thing to crticize a candidate for something done with his or her authority.

It's another to hold the candidate responsible for the actions of overzealous volunteers acting without the campaign's authority.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #86
95. You excel in the art of inference AP.
You managed to construct an entire complex narrative out of a few words of mine whose meaning you did not understand. I think I am beginning to understand you a little better.

As for what I was actually talking about; I was angry at Kerry and his campaign for a flyer in which he essentially called Kerry a Republican. That is the flyer I referred to in my previous post. I can assure you that I had no run ins with anyone from the Kerry campaign. That flyer was in New Hampshire, I live in Colorado. The nomination was already long since decided by the time our state had its caucuses. We didnt even HAVE a Kerry campaign here until after Clark left the race.

As for my use of the term walking point, it is a term used in the military. I have no military background so I can only give you an approximate definition, but it basically refers to a soldiers walking out ahead of another soldier thereby putting himself in the line of fire in order to protect the first soldier.

This term was used in the first joint Kerry/Clark rally in Wisconsin, two days after Clark dropped out of the race. I'm not sure which of them actually used the term, but it was used to describe the role that Clark would be playing for Kerry in his campaign.

Far from being an insult, it was the highest complement that Kerry could possibly have paid to Wes. It implies an extremely high degree of trust on the part of Kerry towards Clark and in my opinion, that trust proved to be extremely well placed.

This is why I refer to all the campaigning and all the appearances that Clark did on Kerry's behalf as "walking point".

I hope you find this new information to be helpful, or at least informative.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #95
112. "Talking Point" is something walkers are given on campaigns and I thought
you had combined "talking point" and "walkers"...a reasonable inference, I believe. And it sounds like that's pretty much exactly what it was.

The rest of your post is confusing. I still don't know if the flyer was something Kerry's campaign produced or what it was exactly that offended you so much.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #112
125. I don't know what in my post you would find confusing
but please let me know so I can clarify. I told you exactly what the term "walking point" meant in the context in which I used it. Can I clarify it any more?

The flyer was officially produced by the Kerry campaign. It viscously attacked both Clark and Dean. It essentially called Clark a Republican. I don't understand what is confusing about that. I don't wish to post it here because it's offensive and will open fresh wounds, but if you insist on seeing it, I will.

I made it very clear that there were no "talking points" and no "walkers". I don't know how I can make it any more clear. Please tell me.

If you absolutely refuse to understand what I'm saying, no matter how much I spell it out in minute detail, there isn't much more that I can do, and there is little point in trying to debate.

The problem with "reasonable inferences" from little data is that they so often prove to be wrong.
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Sleepless In NY Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #15
45. You're right, all the candidates kept bringing up Clark's "switch"
I remember during the primaries, how the democratic candidates kept making references to Clark's switch in parties. He wasnt a "real democrat", instead of praising him for coming to our side because he was disappointed with bush's leadership. They turned his postives into a negative and screwed themselves. I still feel Clark would have won against bush.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #45
78. Actually, there never was any "switch"
and Clark did not come over to our side because he was disappointed with Bush.

Clark had never belonged to any political party before becoming a Democrat, but he had been on "our side" ie, voting for Democrats, for at least the past dozen years.

He was disappointed with Bush, but not because he had ever supported him for president. Most people were surprised by just how horrible Bush turned out to be, and Clark was giving him the benefit of the doubt and hoping for the best, even though he had voted for Gore.

The nice things that Clark said about Bush in spring of 2001 have been blown way up. The truth is that most Democrats were finding some good things to say about Bush during his "honeymoon" period, it's just that their remarks didn't get dredged up to be used as political weapons against them.

I don't know that Clark would have won against Bush, but he was clearly the candidate that they least wanted him to run against. He would have neutralized Bush on his only "strong" suit, national security.
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. He had no democratic record
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 02:10 PM by Cheswick2.0
just a year previously he was praising bush and raising money for republicans. Democrats were not in the mood for that and most of us are clearly unimpressed by military credentials. That is really all he had besides a fair amount of personal charm.
Since his candidacy was mainly encouraged to take some of the grassroots momentum from Dean I would say his mission was accomplished, though I do believe he sincerely meant to win the nomination.
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Sleepless In NY Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
48. if Lincoln Chaffee switched tomorrow would democrats complain?
I dont think so. They sure don't mind caucusing with Senator James Jeffords when he left the republican party. Clark's "defection" was his unhappiness with the bush administration. That was a plus for us, not a negative. John Kerry's military credentials dont hold a candle to Clarks, sorry, but thats true. Clark has alot more than charm, I have yet to see him back off or allow himself to be bullied by any republican. Wish I could say that about some of our "real" democrats. The difference with Clark is that he is not only articulate, but he comes across in a confident, assured matter, yet not arrogant. He defended liberals, one of the reasons Mike Moore backed him. Unlike some of the "real" democrats in our party who run like hell from the "liberal" label. I really hope Clark makes a run for it again.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
81. That is a very inaccurate statement you're making.
I wish that you would do some real fact checking before making such statements.

As much as you may not want to believe it, the world does not revolve around Dean, and Clark had a genuine grassroots movement of his own.

Clark's mission was not to take out Dean. Dean took out Dean before he even had a chance to go up against Clark in a primary. If that had been Clark's mission, he would have quietly faded back into the woodwork once it was clear that Dean would not get the nomination. He did not do that, not even after his own race was over, because his number one mission was to get Bush out of the whitehouse, not to get the nomination for himself, or to keep anyone else from getting the nomination. You may have missed it because you weren't paying attention, but Clark worked his ass off campaigning for Kerry's ticket, as well as campaigning for Democratic congressional candidates all accross the country.

I do appreciate your acknowledgement of Clark's charm. He does have quite alot of it doesn't he? :pals:
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. The media ignored him.
They wanted a Kerry/Edwards ticket and that is what they got. Clark was lucky to get any air time and when he did he was defending himself against the Shelton smear (bastard :grr:) or something else the media wanted to make an issue of, but most of the time he was completely ignored. There's a group who monitored how much coverage each candidate got. Clark had a fraction of the coverage Kerry and Edwards got. That's a fact.

Not only is Wes someone who can relate and is sincere, he is BRILLIANT. He has all the military experience one could ask for, a Masters in Economics, a TON of foreign policy experience and would have been a wonderful president. Now look what we're stuck with. Hitler II.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. They ignored Kerry and Edwards and they came in first and second.
The media wrote off Kerry in October. There were studies that showed that Edwards, Kucinich and M-Braun got the least media coverage.

Here at DU we timed the debates. For the first round of debates, Edwards, K, and M-B routinely got 5 minutes or less while Dean was racking up 13 minutes of time and Gep, Clark and Kerry all got over 11 minutes.

And that's a fact. (OK, well it's from memory, but it's in the archives for anyone to check.)
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HoosierClarkie Donating Member (504 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
27. Some Democrats
thought he was a republican. He proved himself, and then the media blacked him out.
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samtob Donating Member (253 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
32. He is just too
gorgeous to be president. Too good looking for his own good. This country is not ready to have a stud in the highest office. etc.

pardon me, let myself get carried away for a moment.

:crazy:
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Ronnie Donating Member (674 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. He is gorgeous...
But also, I think he's too good for us. We don't deserve him. Bart Cop has a wonderful quote today: "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely,
the inner soul of the people. On some great and
glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach
their heart's desire at last and the White House
will be adorned by a downright moron."
-- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
33. I think it was mostly a matter of logistics
Entering late and not campaigning in Iowa really hurt him. I think if Dean had won Iowa, Clark would have overcome him in the early February southern states; but the momentum Kerry got coming out of Iowa was just insurmountable. That's my theory, anyway.

Clark was rising fast in New Hampshire, he raised more money than anybody but Dean (and at a faster rate since he had less time), he had a great organization and he was a great candidate, especially in townhall settings where he interacted directly with voters.

I don't think debates were his best venue, because he tended to debate like a West Point cadet (following the rules, answering the actual question and stopping as soon as the timer went off) rather than a politician (skirting the rules, answering the question you wanted instead of the one you got, and going past the timer a bit). He also got confrontations more than questions (remember the one where he got TWO questions consisting of "Are you really a Democrat, har har?" -- that was the same one where he was asked to denounce Michael Moore's remarks).

Anyway, I think he's only grown as a candidate since then; I doubt anybody could mistake him for anything other than a strong Democrat now; he's become a great public speaker; and the issues facing the country and of importance to a wide range of voters are still ones where he can excel. So I'm hoping he'll run again for 2008.
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Killarney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
35. I was a Clarkie until he dropped out. I think what hurt him
was that he never held an elected office before.

He was the best candidate for defense and homeland security.

He was most-likely the smartest candidate (Rhodes Scholar).

But I think he remained a mystery to many people because he didn't have an elected office where people could look at his record to see what they thought of him. I also think that's the main reason the media overlooked him oftentimes.

I really wish he would run for Governor or Senate. After one term in office, he would really be the perfect candidate for us.
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. I don't think he needs to run for Senate or Governor
He's had a long career, is 4-star rank, and as head of NATO (a political position) he had head-of-state status. I think Senate or Governor would be a step down from that, and from there he couldn't do the job if he were campaigning for pres; and if he served a full term, he'd be getting old for president.

I think he should just go for it. (Think of President Eisenhower!) But I agree that he'd need maximum exposure from here on out. I'm hoping his WesPAC will give him that, and provide a platform to launch another run if he wants it.
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teevee99 Donating Member (170 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. i hope he runs again in 08
he's going to trounce * as he goes for a constitutional ammendment proclaiming himself dictator for life.
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Nordic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
42. you didn't hear? He was a "perfumed prince" who "almost started WWIII"
:eyes:
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
43. 2 words: man titties! (Hawai)
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 03:39 PM by robbedvoter
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MinnesotaMike31 Donating Member (314 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. Would have loved to see Bush & Clark in a debate on Iraq!
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #47
68. Words would have been useless: a killer look would have done it
maybe a question about attending funerals too...
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
51. I really never figured out how Kerry came on top.
Then Frontline gave me the answer. Kerry's campaign was able to market the issues important to each specific region so that Kerry got elected in the primaries. The rest of the candidates spoke to the electorate in broader, generic democratic terms. So gun issues important to a certain region were targeted to them and pro-choice issues in another region were targeted to those voters and so on.
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m berst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
53. dug back into the archives
My last post before Clark dropped out-

We may be in the final hours of the Clark campaign tonight, and I have been thinking about the future. I have been contemplating several seemingly unrelated ideas as I watched the campaign unfold, and they finally coalesced in my mind. What have we learned from the Clark campaign? What is the common thread?

At the Kucinich forum there is a Wesley Clark thread, and naturally I posted there. Charges were being made against Clark, but rather than defend him I posted a positive statement of support.

Whom do I want to win?

In the Clark campaign we saw the professional campaign people cut the legs out from under the grass roots groups. Then we saw the grass roots groups controlled by people who seemed determined to stomp out spontaneity, creativity and motivation. We saw Clark struggle, and fail to get his message across in the various media outlets. We saw the Democratic core voters rally around a tried and true Democrat. Whom do I want to win? The American people.

What is the common thread?

It is this: the people who seized control of the Clark campaign and the Democratic party are upper middle class white college educated liberals, with a distinct East and West coast bias. These are the same people who dominate the media that isn't controlled by the neo-cons. These are the same people rallying around Kerry.

I believe that there is a liberal elite, and that they are driving the Democratic party away from it's roots as a progressive working class party. Who is left out? Most of the potential Democratic voters. The minority communities, the working people, those who don't embrace the looking down their noses more organic and politically sophisticated than thou crowd.

The people aren't too stupid to get the message. The message is dumbed down by the professional liberals and by the media elites, because they are protecting their perks and privileges.

The future for me is to work with the forgotten, the ignored, the disenfranchised, the hurting, the marginalized... the majority. Those are the people who could have put Clark in the White House. The beautiful people didn't want them at the party.

It is hard for me to imagine a scenario that could so thoroughly destroy the possibilities that LFA and General Clark's vision promised than the events we have watched unfold over the last few months. That destruction, in my view, is the result of the failures of the organization, both official and unofficial.

The organization always seemed to me to be working against the General's vision. We warned of this here very early in the campaign, and the response was pretty unambiguous - "go away!"

Many have expressed
the unique qualities that Clark brought to the race, and why it is so difficult for so many to get on the DNC orchestrated Kerry bandwagon.

- Clark showed us that progressive ideas could be expressed in a way that did not threaten or offend the sensibilities of the more conservative people.

- His incredible record of service and achievement would have served to further legitimize those progressive ideas.

- Clark could have actually ended the "Republican Revolution" rather than just slow it down a little.

- Clark could have been a President for all of us, not just half of us.

- Clark gave people hope.

If someone can explain to me how Kerry could do those 5 things, or convince me that the times call for less, or explain to me why we need to give them up and settle for something less, then I will consider jumping on the bandwagon.

After 35 years of voting straight Democratic party ticket in every election, I will not be doing that automatically this time. I enrolled many, many conservatives in the Clark campaign, and they are saddened today about the future of the country. They did not sign on only to be told to support whomever the DNC annointed, and neither did I.

I don't agree that the campaign was ever solely about taking back the White House, nor do I recall it being about "Clark or whomever as long as it isn't Bush."

Whether this means working within the party to overturn the elitist leadership, or forming a third party, it is too soon to tell. It is bait and switch, however, for people to now say that removing Bush was the only or even the main objective all along. I cringed the first time I heard a Clark supporter say "eyes on the prize" because I feared it would lead to this.

Many Clark supporters are not Democrats, and to suggest that they should now embrace Kerry insults their intelligence and does a disservice to Wes Clark's original vision that called us to service. So many new people were brought into the process by the Clark campaign. They weren't enrolling in DNC politics as usual.

If our enthusiasm and hope is so easily and instantly transferrable to Kerry, then I have to question just what it was we were hopeful and enthusiastic about. Removing Bush? I think not. Many of us want to change the conditions that allowed the crisis we are in, not just swap out occupants of offices. The DNC has stood by and made compromise after compromise with the RNC. Leaders in the Democratic party have been up to their eyeballs in political corruption and "go along to get along" strategies. If not for that, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in.

There was a revealing exchange between Clark supporters today. Many who are saying "ok I am ready to go to work for Kerry" are discovering that there IS no Kerry campaign that they can find. We have seen from many of the communications to us from staffers that our suspicions that Kerry is the hand-picked candidate of the DNC leadership, and that we were cheated out of having a voice in the process are true. But I guess I should keep my "eyes on the prize" and be quiet about this.

People are having difficulty connecting up with the Kerry campaign because there WAS no Kerry campaign. It was a DNC campaign. The emperor is wearing no clothes.

But..... it is ok to pull the shenanigans that the DNC pulled, because we need to stop the shenanigans of the Bush adminstration? I came aboard the Clark campaign to stop ALL of the anti-democratic shenanigans, not to swap one set for another. I, and many others, came on board the Clark campaign to save our constitution and to restore decency to the political arena, not to sign on for "getting rid of" Bush as the "prime mission." The problems are just a teensy bit bigger than that, wouldn't you say? Or if they aren't quite a bit bigger, why the scare tactics about Bush to get us into the Kerry camp as quickly as possible? I resent the bait-and-switch tactic that now tells us we signed up for a different mission then the one we thought we were signing on for. "Getting on the program" behind Kerry just means "shut up" in any case, it seems to me. I don't find that very persuasive. I will work for a campaign that allows me to retain my freedom of speech, thank you very much.

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m berst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
54. and then after Clark dropped out I wrote...
It has been sad watching the Dean and Edwards campaigns collapse. Talking to their supporters, I hear the same despair from them that so many Clark supporters have been feeling.

I have been hanging with the Kucinich people, but hope is starting to die there, too. I can't find a political organization to be involved with, and our attempts to keep the old LFA people together has not been very successful. The Kucinich people are facing the same challenges now, and are asking each other "what now?"

I am feeling like 3 strikes and you're out. The stampede to the official Clark campaign - strike one. The crushing of the grass roots people - strike two. The stampede to Kerry - strike three.

There is some talk among Kucinich supporters of third party efforts. While I do think that there is a good possibility that the two parties will break up and reform into new parties, I don't think it will happen before November. The usual arguments are going on about working within the party, the danger of splitting the progressive vote and thereby giving Bush the election, the importance of staying true to your convictions, etc.

I am amazed at how quickly and thoroughly the national debate has collapsed. It seems that people want to close their eyes, and open them again in November to discover that it was all just a bad dream. Kerry will be elected, and Kerry will turn the country around and save us and we won't have to worry anymore. I certainly hope they are right, but in any case the real loss will be that if they are not, there will be nothing to fall back on.

I have no problem in principle rallying behind opposition to Bush, but why did that have to also mean the breaking up of the grass roots organizations, the end of the national discussion, and the crushing of people's hope and enthusiasm? That makes me suspicious of the DNC and the Kerry campaign. They haven't really been telling us to pull the lever for Kerry - which is all we are good for to them - rather, we had to stop talking and organizing, as well. Be quiet now, or you are helping Bush!

We were privileged to be part of a moment in history when many people had great hope and were reaching out to each other. My only hope now is that things don't get too rough for everyone in the coming years.

I think we will now see a bitter partisan campaign and an even split in the electorate, as we did in the last national election. It will play out in the mass media, and we will be reduced to spectators. We will be hearing a lot about gay marriage, I am afraid.

I was politically active in 1968. That year Eugene McCarthy ran an insurgent campaign in the Democratic primaries, and then Robert Kennedy jumped into the race and was close to having the nomination won when he was murdered. The party met in Chicago for the convention, and in defiance of the people's will nominated the party's choice, Hubert Humphrey. The city was like a war zone throughout the convention with thousands of demonstrators in the streets. George Wallace then entered the race as a third party candidate and siphoned off a critical number of Democratic voters, and Nixon won the election by a tiny margin.

I tell this story for purposes of comparison. There was quite a bit of discouragement, sadness, and hopelessness over the events in 1968, and that created a pall that hung over the country for decades. Yet I am seeing more discouragement, sadness, and hopelessness now then I did then. That is stunning to me.

I believe we are, figuratively speaking, living in the eye of a hurricane. I hope I am wrong, but the signs are there. For decades, right wing xenophobes have been peddling the line that "they hate us" in other countries. The irony is that "they" - overwhelmingly - didn't hate us until the xenophobes grabbed control of the government. Now, more and more people around the world do fear and hate us, and I am not just talking about people in the Middle East. Thank God for the European press as a "reality check" for us here, or we might succumb to the comforting illusion that things are just fine and that we are a bunch of chicken littles.

I stumbled onto the Sean Hannity radio program accidentally the other day, and was preoccupied with something else and let it run for a few minutes. I heard that "liberals are traitors" that "liberals want the terrorists to win" that the teacher's union is a "terrorist organization" that "liberals hate America and American values" and on and on in that vein. This is a national radio show with a huge following, and the host was demonizing half of the people in the country. This is pure hate, and it won't just go away, it will continue to poison people's minds. Substitute the word "Jews" for the word "liberals" and it could have come right out of Joseph Goebbel's ministry. The Nazi analogies are way overused, but not in this case.

But there I go again - shooting my mouth off instead of rallying behind Kerry.

Reason, critical thinking, and discussion having failed, we will now be forced to live the truth rather than to talk about it. We are about to find out the hard way whether we have been right or not.

Perhaps things will be just fine. Perhaps we were all worried about nothing. Perhaps life will go on without any major disasters. Perhaps the lessons from history don't apply this time.

It is an enormous gamble.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #54
108. Shit, M Berst, I didn't need to read that right now. Thanks a lot.
I wish you weren't such a good writer.

Perhaps things will be just fine. Perhaps we were all worried about nothing. Perhaps life will go on without any major disasters. Perhaps the lessons from history don't apply this time.

It is an enormous gamble.


You bastard, you're trying to make me cry. No, you're succeeding.
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m berst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #108
113. oh no
Sorry Bucky! Now I am tearing up too.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
56. Because he decided to traipse into politics without a political background
Even dubya knew enough to be governor of texas for a while before going for the whitehouse. If you want to be the top banana, you have to start somewhere other than the top of the bunch.
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Sleepless In NY Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. tell that to Arnold Schwarzenegger! LOL!
hope Clark runs in 2008.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. I guess Arnold was lucky that he was popular enough to pull it off
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. Clarks experience was very relevant to doing the job
It just wasn't relevant to deal making with powerful party insiders. C'est la vie. But I have a feeling he'll take another shot.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. It wasn't relevant to getting elected. Which is very relevant to the job
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #61
66. too bad grassroots support don't mean shit, huh. -eom
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #56
62. Don't you remember? He was DRAFTED!!!!!!!
He had been planning on being a private citizen. He was doing a service for his country and the Democratic party (helping us to be strong on defense in a time of war)and like FOOLS we let him down.
We could have a Democratic president now if we had been smart. :cry:
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #62
110. THANK YOU for pointing that out
His late start, lack of campaign structure early on, etc all follow from the fact that he was drafted--he had never planned to run, but he did it because thousands and thousands of us asked him to, and once he entered the race he ran with his whole heart. I found that so inspiring.
He had a sweet private life in business humming along very nicely, and he and his wife gave it up to enter the race because they believe in public service. Patriots through and through.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #56
63. It's been pointed out, but you may have missed it.
Conducting the war in Kosovo with troops from 19 nations in your command, while each nation has veto power over you, and doing so successfully is a major political feat. On top of that he was under the command of a SOD who was a Republican with his own agenda. At the same time the Rethugs on the homefront, under command of the likes of DeLay, were trying to undermine the mission in an effort to embarass Clinton. The Presidency should be about leadership not politics. Clark would have given people the chance to break out of the tyranny of the backroom deals.
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zacho Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
64. A man of character
I went to the final debate before the NH primary (and got to interview Paul Begala!). When I was walking out of the Dana Center while all the other candidates had gone to their press zones, I saw Wes Clark talking to some audience members on the ramp out of the auditorium. It was not the type of campaigning that works the week before the primary, but it was the type of charaicteristic I'd want in my President.

Wes Clark did not do a good job of portraying himself as not a flip-flopper.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
67. I honestly think that it had most to do
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 07:11 PM by crunchyfrog
with getting into the race so late, and with his being completely new to political campaigning. This also relates to his not having the best of campaign teams.

Even with those things working against him, I think he still might have pulled it off if there hadn't been a concerted effort on the part of the corporate media to black him out and basically pretend that his campaign didn't exist, when they weren't directly involved in assassinating his character.

I absolutely do not think that he is missing any of the fundamental elements of a great candidate. Quite the contrary, I think he has the raw materials to be an absolutely fantastic candidate, and he will amply demonstrate that fact if he runs again.

I intend to do everything that I can to encourage him to run again, and this time he will have the requisite experience as well as the time to put together a really kick ass campaign team.

If he does run again, I will fight for him like a pitbull on steroids.

Edit, as far as the party apparatus goes, I don't think they ever wanted him. They don't trust people who aren't party hacks like themselves.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #67
70. I second that.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #67
76. "If he does run again, I will fight for him like a pitbull on steroids."
You and me both. Clark is the most impressive speaker of ALL the Dem candidates by a large margin.

He can handle the press, he can distill complex issues to intelligent bites, and he is the most clear and convincing proponent of progressive values and positions I have ever heard.

If Clark wants to run in 2008 I will be thrilled.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
72. He was Rove's worst nightmare - so they laid into him with all barrels
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 07:25 PM by robbedvoter
The only candidate who was attacked by the GOP in the primaries. As this tack didn't work (he got more support, raised the most money in December) they put in on "ignore".
Clark's take: they consider themselves the "gatekeepers" and you (the draft people) bypassed them. they paid you back by ignoring you.
TO THIS DAY - EVEN ON AIR AMERICA - no draft is ever mentioned.
:grr:
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TexasSissy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
74. I supported Wes, but soon realized that he's not an experienced
politician. Well, he wasn't a politician at all, experience or no experience.

I think he would make a great President. But the fact is that you have to get elected first, and to get elected to the highest office requires the nimble skills of an experienced politician.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #74
93. He's not inexperienced now
:-)
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TexasSissy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #93
127. True enough. But Kerry had over 20 years of political experience...
and the adroitness politically speaking was difficult for HIM at times.

So....I don't know. I still think Clark would make an excellent President. And I would certainly vote for him. But I think the Repubs would eat him alive, with his inexperience in politics. But I'm no strategist. What do I know? All I can do is vote.
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Cuban_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
77. Late entry into the game, skipped Iowa, BAD campaign organization.
Those are the big 3.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #77
104. That's basically it
He would've been much more competative had he entered earlier.
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m berst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #77
120. BAD campaign organization
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 04:11 AM by m berst
I agree, but do you realize that he hired the cream of the crop DNC operatives? They ran a standard normal centrist top-down Dem campaign, not unlike what the same types did with the Kerry campaign. The first thing they did was start "handling" him and ruthlessly dismantling and co-opting the grass roots groups.

Clark's failure was the failure of the DNC and the DNC campaign policies, not the failure of the man IMHO.

But here I am arguing about Clark, which I swore I would never do again as long as I lived after all of those brutal and mean-spirited fights with the Kerry people and the DNC big shots last winter.
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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
84. I think the wing of the party that is anti-military anything comes out
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 08:59 PM by Clarkie1
in the primary more.

And he was labeled a Republican by the Republicans.
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Donna Zen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #84
89. Actually the Dems called him a republican
With the help of the Rovians, a Dem candidate had focus grouped the strongest attack against Clark with Dem voters. Thus, the republican was born.

Sharpton was the only one who accepted Clark. Begala said terrible shit...ditto Carville.

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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #89
92. I was trying to be "polite"; Rangle was high profile and very Pro-Clark
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
97. Because he is a giant BORE...
with no political experience and just his military record to run on. Every joke he told was related in some way to the military, he seemed to "into it", stuck in that world.

He'll never be President.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #97
98. " Because he is a giant BORE..." BULL
If that was true how come he has sooooooo many supporters that just love him and every word out of his mouth? Can't get enough of him...would work out asses off for him in sub zero weather?
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. I disagree
Politician or Hero?
Comedian or Rhodes Scholar?

:shrug:

I'll take the latter in both cases.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #97
100.  Sorry, dupe
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 11:45 PM by Anti Bush
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exJW Donating Member (309 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #97
107. Weird. The man has lived a fascinating life and made history.
Not what most people would call a bore.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #97
118. Nah...I dont like him but he was far from boring
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #97
126. That was very constructive and helpful.
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 11:50 AM by crunchyfrog
It exhibited genuine respect for other people, their opinions and their feelings. Thank you for working to keep the dialogue so civil.
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ArkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #97
135. B I N G O
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NurseLefty Donating Member (489 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
103. I contributed to the Draft Clark Movement...
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 12:13 AM by NurseLefty
God, my heart has been breaking over this election, and I have barely been able to go back to the days of the summer of 2003, when people were forwarding a grassroots cause to get Clark to run...
There was a certain something about Wes Clark that grabbed me. Besides his stellar resume, he articulated his points about Iraq so well. I really believe that Gen. Clark could have bridged the chasms between what separates Americans. He has a true leadership quality about him. Strong military and foreign policy stance? Yes! Progressive domestic views, including being pro-gay marriage? Yes, really!
I was renewed with hope and idealism in supporting General Clark. Sadly, there was not a consensus among Dems to support him. And, here we are.
One final thought - our primary process BLOWS! It is too long of a process and engages in a patronage system (focusing on certain small states).

(Edited a typo.)
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
105. One thing that most people tend to forget about Clark...
Clark was somebody that both liberals and moderates could get behind enthusiastically. He had more or less support fromt he moderate/DLC wing of the party, but at the same time, he was endorsed by Michael Moore. Dean was popular with the progressive wing, Lieberman was popular with the DLC, Kerry was popular with those concerned about the national security issue, Edwards was popular with southerners. Clark had the ability to cover every single one of these bases.
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
115. In pure political terms, he dropped out of Iowa.
Clark was poised to do well in NH. Then Kerry surged in IA, and the momentum gave him a win in NH. If Clark had been in IA, he might have chipped off some of Kerry's momentum.

I became a proud Kerryite, but Wes will always have a special place in my political heart.
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #115
117. Yes indeedy
I too am a Kerryite, but obviously from my name you know where I entered the political fracas.

Entering late with Clark, I'm still confused about both their names coming up in regard to Clinton and "Dean spoiler" status.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:45 AM
Response to Original message
116. He entered late
and he was not experienced as a politician.

Those are the only two things I can think of.

In the end, we'll always wonder if Dean, Edwards, Clark, or even Gep or Lieberman coulda won this thing.

It's futile. It's like me wondering, if I had went to a different school, would I have been more successful up until now? Would I have gone to a top Law School? I will nevre know...and ultimately no one will.

I feel Clark was a good candidate and practically speaking, I'd still seriously consider him for the nomination in '08. We have a lot of time till then though.

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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:45 AM
Response to Original message
119. Wes Clark is a statesman
and a leader.....which is what this country needs desperately.

So why was he not able to capture the nomination?

By the time Clark got into the race, many Democrats had already chosen sides. Clark's daunting task to win voters over(harder when you are prying them from candidates they may have donated and worked for) was complicated by the RNC/Rove's work behind the scenes and competing Dem candidates' personal attacks. Many Democratic voters, who really were not familiar with Clark, were given enough doubts (he's a Republican, an opportunist, Clinton's Stealth candidate, a perfumed prince, not really against the war) to choose not to switch their original alliances. The undecided voters rode the media bandwagon...tuning late to the game. Many of them never got a chance to be exposed to Wes Clark at all......they heard they was a General in the race...and that was about it.

The media black out may have been partially due to the fact that Wes was counseled not to compete in Iowa which made him less serious of a challenger....as the party leaders "in the know" understood that Iowa would be the birth of a tornado that would swirl throughout the primary states until, quickly, only the nominee would be left standing.

I will admit that the Iowa voters really did pick our nominee, and not the media. The media wanted to give us Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt, but they were unable to manipulate the caucus voters. Kerry came in first in Iowa because he was deemed most "electable" based on his military service and his so-called political experience. Edwards came in second due to his populist message, his good looks and his southern roots. Clark, who was much more qualified as "electable" and who also had a populist message, good looks and southern roots was not in Iowa. Iowans, without realizing it, actually voted for a composite of Clark by choosing Kerry and Edwards.

New Hampshire was unable to help Wes (who came in a poor third), because it came too soon after Iowa....and the media wind was blowing so very hard in Kerry's and Edwards' direction.

Although the mainstream media did smear (starting right away) and then ignore Wes Clark for a great portion of the primaries (starting mid November), he still managed to do relatively well considering those circumstances. The fact that Wes Clark was able to win a state (that was not his home state) was somewhat remarkable. The fact that he took second in important states like New Mexico, Arizona and North Dakota was almost miraculous. Wes understands that it was his grassroots organization and his sheer personage that did that for him.

Wes received absolutely no media coverage once the votes were cast in Iowa....and in fact received very little media publicity prior to Iowa.....because the news media, when not covering Howard Dean....were covering the upcoming Iowa vote. The Dole setup on Larry King on the eve of the Iowa vote was also not helpful....but was an orchestrated planned attack coming from the right (with Dole as the delivery man). The RNC realized that for some reason....the smears were not working as well as they had hoped....and they needed the setup for good measure. I wouldn't be surprised if Dole contacted Kerry to give him the headsup....with Kerry taking full advantage...like a good politician would.

The media in all did the Democratic party a great disservice (as usual....and they continue). Instead of providing intelligent analysis of each candidate, and what they represented and what they offered..... they stuck to the "Howard Dean" perfect storm...and Gephardt as the possible anti-Dean all the way until the first week of January. Fearing that Dean would have too great of an edge....and there might be no horserace....they started dumping on Dean. The Iowa result along with the infamous scream tells the rest of the Howard Dean story.

Wes Clark coming in late, not participating in Iowa , and being the GOP's worst fear really did effect his candidacy profoundly.

That's what I saw...and I was watching closely.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #119
121. Frenchie, mon amie, you're right on the mark with this synopsis
The RNC and the media capitalized on the one mistake Clark made ...... not going to Iowa.

Had he, and if they hadn't, we'd not be where we are today. I am convinced.

("composite of Clark by choosing Kerry and Edwards" ...... again right on the money!)
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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #119
128. Wes Clark is the finest man to run for the Presidency in my lifetime...
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 02:18 PM by Totally Committed
Bar NONE.

His integrity, compassion, intelligence and honor have been unmatched. His greatness as a human being and as a statesman could have raised this country up at a time when it needed it badly.

I will follow him wherever the rest of his political journey leads me. Say what you will, he is the President we were all promised when we were children. If ever I have the pleasure of seeing his name on a ballot -- anywhere, anytime, he has my full support and my wholehearted vote.

I have never been prouder to support any candidate. He's a great, great man.

WES CLARK: A voice of reason in a world gone mad!

TC
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #128
136. I could Not have said it any better...
...when I first became of aware of Wesley Clark, I did some research, read some of his writings and interviews...and knew that this was the man we had to have as our President at this point in history.

I joined the Draft Clark movement immediately, gave money, talked him up with friends and acquaintances, and hoped against hope he'd be the nominee.

The decision not to run in Iowa was a major error; but the long-strung out and imbalanced primary season was no help either. In NJ we didn't get to vote until June, with nearly no impact on the nominee. So when Kerry got Clark's suppport, he got mine, too.

I will stand behind the General again if he chooses to run, and I certainly hope he does so.
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bklyncowgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
122. Clark's been a great asset not imho a great candidate
I was pretty much back and forth between Kerry and Dean myself but I did take a look at Clark and decided that while I'd be comfortable supporting him if he were the nominee, I wasn't that enthusiastic.

I thought he was great on foreign and military policy but there were alot of holes in his knowledge of domestic isssues.

I was also concerned about what the Republican attack machine could do with some of the more controversial aspects of his conduct of the Bosnian war. The fact that there's a picture out there of him goofing around with Ratcom Lladich (sorry too lazy to look up the spelling or even verify the name of the war criminal in question) and a whole line of Generals ready to come out and question his judgement and even his sanity was too much of a risk for me.

That being said, I really like the guy. I think he did a great job supporting Kerry and he's a terrific spokesman for our side. I'd like to see him keep a high profile and hey, if the recount shows that Kerry actually won Ohio, I'd love to see him get a high position in the administration.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #122
131. Had any of the other candidates entered as late as Clark did
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 04:24 PM by Tom Rinaldo
They would have done worse than Clark did. I firmly believe that. Clark was not a perfect candidate but he was a very good one. The only two candidates who took a lot of direct fire during the primaries were Clark and Dean. Everyone got their hits in early on both of those men. In my opinion Dean threatened the Democratic Establishment and Clark threatened the Republican Establishment, so efforts were made to thoroughly take down both of them ASAP. No one made Swift Boat Vet type ads against Kerry, or tried pinning the cost of health insurance on trial lawyers like Edwards, until after they became our ticket. The Republicans and their friends held their fire on Kerry Edwards until the general campaign. I won't overly worry about what the Rowe machine can do with tidbits of raw meat to bash our candidates, and Clark specifically, because they will always invent and run against scandals when no real ones exist. Ultimately it is the candidate who will have to stand up and fight back and explain his vision to the American People. I am much more confident of Wes Clark's ability to do that than I was of John Kerry's.

I keep thinking of the Bob Marley song, "I Shot the Sheriff", where that evil lawman is quoted as saying "Kill it before it grows". That was the Republican strategy regarding Wes Clark. He was new to politics, not well known by Democrats or the public, had a hastily hobbled together campaign staff, and never had the time to work out the kinks of any new campaign outside of the spotlight. Right out of the gate, they came at Clark with both guns blazing. For a candidate who received no Iowa momentum Clark still did very well, despite having to split the veteran/foreign affairs oriented vote with Kerry, and most of the anti Iraq War vote with Dean.

People forget that men like Al Gore, George Bush Sr., George McGovern, and Ronald Reagan all failed to win their Party's nomination for President the first time that they tried for it. Going through the paces once in an incredible learning experience, and Wes Clark is an incredibly fast learner. Unlike 2004, should he be interested in running in 2008 he now has all the time he needs to get out there and make himself known to party activists and the voters in the Primary states. Clark has demonstrated an ability to attract volunteers and money. And his message, in hindsight, was pitch perfect for these times. Now he has the time he could have used the first time to hone it. John Edwards spent over a year on the campaign trail boiling down his Two Americas Speech. Wes Clark has the potential of becoming a very formidable candidate for President in 2008.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #131
134. Great post, you make when want to place money on it. :)
Wes '08
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
132. The hearts he captured, he still has - no mean feat
It will show soon too
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democratreformed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #132
137. It is already showing, robbed, IMO. n/t
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bhunt70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
133. I agree, everything he said hit it for me.
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