I was a staunch Clark supporter in 2004, was hoping he would run this time, and (when he did not), was very much wishing for a Clinton/Clark ticket in November. This is someone who was right about Iraq from the start, who has intelligent and unique things to say about foreign policy, and who is a workhorse for the Democrats. When Joe Lieberman lost the primary to Ned Lamont, Clark was one of the first to immediately throw his support behind Lamont and to warn Lieberman to respect the will of the voters. He later condemned Holy Joe in unequivocal terms for runningas an independent. He has thrown himself into fundraising and coalition building for the party, raising Democratic credibility with armed services members, and recruiting former service men and women into running as Democrats to blunt the perennial Republican claim that Democrats don't "support our troops."
Obama to General Wesley Clark: Your Services Not Needed
General Wesley Clark is not attending the Democratic National Convention. I was told by General Clark's personal office in Little Rock that he would not be attending.
Clark was informed by Barack Obama's people that there was no reason to come.
General Clark has been given no role of any kind at the convention. Rubbing salt in the wound even more, the "theme" of Wednesday's Democratic convention agenda is "Securing America."Wesley Clark's PAC also happens to be called SECURING AMERICA.
This is a mistake in my view. There are a lot of perspectives and competing agendas about how to direct America's next national security posture -- and General Wesley Clark should be one of the top tier names and personalities at the table.
Clark is loved by the netroots -- and I'm sure that they would hope that the Obama campaign will revisit this decision to exclude General Wesley Clark from the entire Democratic National Convention ageda.
-- Steve Clemons
Update: I have reconfirmed with General Wesley Clark's office that he has not been asked to play a role at the Democratic National Convention. His staff have told me that while his schedule remains tight, he would rearrange his schedule to help play any constructive role on any days of the convention if asked.
Steve's point about the Obama campaign stealing Clark's signature line, just as they stole Big Dog's "Hope" theme, points up the insufferable arrogance of this crew. We'll take your slogan but you, the person who put substance behind it, we have no use for you. And, no, Clark's critical remark about McCain does not justify leaving him out of the convention, particularly as it was a comment that went to the heart of McCain's claims about his capacity for leadership, a comparison that is doing Obama damage. Are you honestly telling me we have time for Bob Casey Jr. to maunder on about the unborn in prime time, but we don't have time for Wes to deliver a speech about how the Democrats will deliver on national security?
Purging the party of the people who do the hard work and are respected at home and abroad is not the way to unity. How does the party benefit by treating a major league asset like Wes Clark like a second tier political enemy?