I don't know much about the New Mexico caucus, but perhaps the state is in reach.
Clark Wins Over SF Crowd With Help From Actor
SANTA FE — Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark told a tired but energized crowd Friday night that the race for the White House will be tough, but he has what it takes to win.
"We're a nation at war," the retired four-star general told about 700 people who were stuffed into a ballroom at one of Santa Fe's downtown hotels. "We need a candidate, a nominee who has the kind of experience and record to go toe-to-toe with George W. Bush on national security."
Pointing his finger and engaging the crowd, he continued: "We need a nominee from the heartland of America who can reach out and touch all four corners and every interest group all across this country and pull everybody together and help us move forward. And I am that person."
Clark, who was last to enter the race for Democratic presidential nomination, again tried to make a distinction between himself and his challengers. He pointed to his humble beginnings with his mother in Arkansas, his accomplished military background and lack of political experience.
"I'm not a professional politician," he said, getting shouts of "Good!" from the crowd. "If you like what's going on today in Washington . . . you should vote for someone who is a Washington insider. I'm not."
Friday marked Clark's second stop in New Mexico this week. He plans to hit other parts of the state before Tuesday's caucus along with the rest of the Democratic presidential field.
Clark, who was delayed about an hour because he had to switch to a smaller plane before heading to Santa Fe, was saved Friday by mariachis, a team of New Mexico politicos and actor Ted Danson.
Danson finally got the stage and warmed up the crowd with his thoughts on Clark, whom he called a "quiet hero."
"You want to wake up and look at your president every morning and go, ©ˆI see that he cares about me.' That's not something you can put on. It's not like kissing a baby. It's not like campaigning," Danson said. "This is something you either naturally and truly have — a sense of caring for everybody — or you don't. This man has a true sense of caring."
Santa Fe Mayor Larry Delgado, former Gov. Jerry Apodaca, former Lt. Gov. Roberto Mondragon, former Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca and state Sen. Mary Jane Garcia of Dona Ana were also on hand Friday night.
They stood behind Clark as he pitched his plans for helping more Americans get jobs, raising the minimum wage to $7 and undertaking the most significant income tax reform in 30 years.
He also touched on the environment — something dear to many New Mexico voters. He proposed a $2.2 billion plan that would use oil and gas royalties for a trust fund to protect historic places and public lands.