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Reply #128: Current reality strengthens Clark's 08 hand [View All]

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #123
128. Current reality strengthens Clark's 08 hand
Edited on Tue May-09-06 11:35 AM by Tom Rinaldo
Had Cheney and Rumsfeld not been so arrogant, had the Pentagon been allowed to use the war plans for Iraq that had been prepared as a contingency during the preceding decade, had Bush committed the real number of troops needed to provide a semblance of security to Iraq post invasion, had Rumsfeld not ripped post invasion "nation building" away from Powell's State Department and given that task instead to Cheney and Rice's people, then maybe Clark's moment in the Presidential spot light might have passed with 2004.

But none of that happened, instead the world has become a more dangerous place for Americans than at any time since September 11th 2001. Current Iraq is obviously exhibit A, but even Afghanistan is showing signs of increasing instability, while North Korea has gotten Nukes, and a military confrontation is looming with Iran. Add to that the fact that Al Quada recruitment is up, and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has lost control of his government to Hamas. Anti-American sentiment is growing in South America, and Russia is increasingly refusing to cooperate with the United States. Both Russia and Venezuela are important Oil exporters to the United States, as hedges against our dependency on Middle Eastern Oil.

Meanwhile Clark's repeated testimony to Congress regarding the real international threats faced by the United States and how to manage them, stretching from 2002 through 2005, are increasingly widely recognized as having been prophetic. But perhaps more telling politically than Clark's congressional testimony, will be Clark's television commentary to America on the FOX network over the last year. Time and time again Clark has been right about the broad range of security issues facing America that he gave expert commentary on, even though the FOX jocks fought him tooth and nail over every inch of territory he covered. Each time the Republicans found an excuse to brag that the corner had been turned in Iraq, Clark was there to counter them, even when other Democrats were stepping lightly.

In the wake of every single "success" Iraq experienced while "moving toward" a "Democratic independent government"; the hand over of authority to an Iraq provisional authority, the first Iraq elections, the Constitutional referendum, the second Iraq elections, each time Clark stood his ground and pointed out the very real danger that Iraq still faced for coming apart at the seems. With each "corner turned" more Democrats were emboldened to join Clark in his relative pessimism, but can you remember the jubilant televised scenes of Iraqi's smiling while they waved their purple thumbs in the air after the first national elections? Republicans were all over the airwaves ready to jump on any Democrat who dared question the good news from Baghdad, and most Democrats were hesitant to say anything less than positive about those elections. Yet, even before that purple ink dried, Clark was calmly and unhesitatingly citing the dangers still present in Iraq, on FOX of all places, inside the Lion's Den.

Clark has earned some real credibility now with a public that largely was unaware of him in 2004, an unawareness that then gave Clark's opponents an opportunity to negatively define Clark before most people had much sense of who he really was. In specific, and important to his potential chances in 2008, Clark has earned some real credibility with members of the Democratic Party at all levels since 2004. He did it the old fashioned way, Clark worked hard for it, by continually busting his butt for the Democratic Party in every corner of the nation, and at every level of the Party. Clark is better known for who he is now, rather than for who he symbolized in 2004. Clark is recognized as being among our Party's current leaders. He was one of Kerry's top surrogates in 2004. He shared the spot light when Congressional Democrats unveiled their points of unity on National Security this year, and Clark delivered the National Democratic Party's Saturday radio addressee three times in the last year or so. Plus Clark has non stop been honing his media and campaigning "chops", something else he had little or no time to do prior to his entry into 2004's race. He is a much more formidable politician now than he was as a fresh rookie in 2004.

Unlike in 2004, when Clark had little or no time to prepare detailed policies on many issues until the race was well underway, Clark will campaign as a multi dimensional Democrat should he run again in 2008. Wes Clark and Al Gore are the two Democratic leaders who have consistently done the most to highlight the dangers of Global Warming over the past year, and that is an issue whose time will finally have come by 2008. Clark also spoke out this year on the need for the United States to move to a single payer health care system, another issue whose time has surely come. For all of those reasons and more, Wes Clark's time as a leading potential Presidential contender has far from passed. Check your schedule, it is arriving shortly on track number Eight. Meanwhile Clark isn't standing around waiting at that platform. You'll find General Clark still hard at work, his attention firmly fixed, on track number Six.
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