Wesley Clark is Right; Obama Camp Wrong

The Obama campaign is wrong to reject Wesley Clark’s comments made on Face the Nation yesterday morning, for several reasons: 1) Clark’s comments are accurate on their face; 2) they get to a larger narrative about McCain (his military service qualifies him to be president) that Obama must challenge and change; 3) Criticizing your own supporters for making accurate statements about the enemy lowers the bar in terms of acceptable campaign behavior.  Clark was not even close to swiftboating McCain; Obama’s criticism of Clark allows McCain to assume a self referenced “high road” response to Clark and respond indignantly to Clark’s comments (as he did this morning).  In other words, Obama just fell into a Rovian McCain trap. 

After watching Clark’s comments, here’s what I see Clark did and all he did.  He challenged the media narrative that says riding in a fighter plane and getting shot own qualifies John McCain to be president and commander in chief.  To which Bob Schieffer asks incredulously, “Really?”

Clark says McCain’s military has not prepared him with relevant executive experience, and he is correct. To which Schieffer says defensively “neither does your mother Obama.” Schieffer’s defensive retort misses the larger point that McCain is running on his military experience, and Obama is not. Obama, as Clark suggested, is running on his character, judgment and communication skills, his ability to persuade, which Clark suggests, according to historian Richard Neustadt is the most important tool for a successful president.

Quite frankly, Clark got it right; the Media and Obama camp got it wrong. And McCain shouldn’t still be running.

I wonder how many meals Bob Schieffer has eaten at McCain’s La Jolla (tax delinquent) condo.




4 responses to “Wesley Clark is Right; Obama Camp Wrong

  1. moniqueth3intern

    I enjoy every bite of your article. I think Clark is right to say these things about McCain and his comment is no way attacking McCain.


  2. Right on. This is exactly why it took me a year to support Obama in the primaries; I worry that he will too often legitimize the conservative storyline in an effort to seem reasonable and “take the high road”. He did the same thing during the Roberts confirmation in ’05, scolding the progressive netroots in a somewhat demeaning manner because they didn’t understand when to pick their battles.

    I still think he’s the best candidate we could have fielded (to me Edwards was never viable) and will likely win somewhat comfortably in November. But it’s an ominous omen for his potential effectiveness once in the Oval Office.

    I just hope he is able/willing to specify some sort of concrete agenda for progressive change, or else this election may be close after all.

  3. Marcel F. Williams

    Obama should have simply responded that he believes that both John McCain and Wesley Clark are war heroes and that he has respect for both men. But appeasing the right wing media is a bad bad bad idea.

    Obama is starting to follow the Al Gore play book that lost Mr. Gore the election in 2000.

  4. Clark is a war criminal for literally bombing the hell out of Sarajevo’s innocent civilian population.
    He boasts so much, he struts while sitting down. I may support Obama, but it won’t be because of the likes of Clark, full of himself forever.

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