Clark avoids the easy pander to Dems angry over the war by supporting the views of most of his congressional opponents. Well, it's honest.
He also mentions having voted for Nixon and Reagan. Many Dems will blanch at that, but the truth is you don't really know how anyone has voted over the years. You know what they tell you. And alot of people, including Dems, voted for Reagan. (not me)
The Dems need the people who have gotten increasingly disgusted with the Repugs over the last several years if we truly want to realign the electorate. Merely convincing the Greens not to nominate Nader doesn't get us there. Clark came up in a military culture and over 10 years ago appeared to diverge from most of those around him by voting for Clinton. Now, he looks at the political landscape, appears to be genuinely disgusted with how the Repugs have tried to co-opt patriotism and now identifies with the Democratic Party. This journey is the result of an openmind. It reflects personal growth. You know, two of the things some us say we value until we see them.
If he gets through the primaries, this honest evolution of his views and affiliation will be powerful with the general electorate and the parties will start early on election night.
Clark 'Probably' Would Have Backed War
On First Campaign Stop, Democrat Lacks Specifics but Rallies Crowd
By Jim VandeHei
Friday, September 19, 2003
HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Sept. 18 -- Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark said today that he "probably" would have voted for the congressional resolution last fall authorizing war, as he charged out into the presidential campaign field with vague plans to fix the economy and the situation in Iraq.
Clark said his views on the war resemble those of Democratic Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) and John F. Kerry (Mass.), both of whom voted for the war but now question President Bush's stewardship of the Iraqi occupation. "That having been said, I was against the war as it emerged because there was no reason to start it when we did. We could have waited," Clark said during a 75-minute session with four reporters.
En route to his first campaign stop as a candidate, a high-energy rally at a local restaurant, Clark said he has few specific policy ideas to offer voters right now and offered a few thoughts that might surprise Democrats flocking to his campaign. As recently as Sunday night, he was unsure if he should run for president, so Clark said voters need to give him time to think things through.
Clark's statement on the war resolution put him at odds with former Vermont governor Howard Dean, whose stock has soared among Democratic activists in recent months on the strength of his antiwar position. It could make it difficult for Clark to differentiate himself from the other nine candidates in the field on policy, other than by touting his résumé as a former Army general and commander of NATO forces in Kosovo.