The Poorman Speaks:
Predictions: Clark wrecks the other nominees upon announcing, because there's too many of them, nobody likes most of them very much, and nobody can think of any bad things to say about him, other than that he won't give anyone their presents early. Patience, my children, there will be ample time to write bad things about Clark after he's been running for a while, and the whole Democratic messiah thing has faded, and people start coming out of the woodwork with stories about how he's hard to get along with, and his support drops, and we have a real campaign. I expect him to win the real primary campaign, and I expect him to win while maintaining good relations with the other Democratic candidates, which are two of my very favorite things for primary candidates to do. And I expect him to win a tough national race in 2004. And if you'll excuse me, I have to pre-program my VCR to record the first Clark-Bush debate, which promises to be 18-karat comedy gold.
Aaron Benson at GeckoBlue, via Matthew Yglesias's comment section:
I agree that Clark has some campaign hoops to jump through, just to convince skeptics he's the real thing.
But there is already a litany of information out there about Clark, his positions and his ideas. He's been out there talking up his views for several months now, and I like what I see.
There are three main reasons why I'm supporting Clark.
1) Like Bill Clinton, Clark is capable of winning largely on his own, without Iraq blowing up or the economy going further south. Anyone who's seen him talk can see he's the safest bet -- a brilliant, inspiring candidate who will run circles around Bush in the general election.
2) Clark's coattails give the Democrats a chance in the South. Much as Dean's supporters think their candidates guns and New York brusqueness will carry the day, sorry, Southerners aren't going to go for him. And it's important that the next Democratic president have a chance of working with a Democratic congress.
3) Clark will unify the Democratic Party, not divide it. There are a few Goldwater-like candidates currently running against the very people they'll have to govern with, and that doesn't bode well for after the election. That matters, too.
I would say "ditto" to what both gentelmen have said here, but that word has been tainted forever.