If Obama decides it would be helpful to have someone running with him who could play bad cop to his good cop in dealing with the septegenarian juvenile delinquent McCain I think Clark would be right for the role.
new: Idea gains traction with new website, A.P. story, Daily Kos and other blogs.
See update at end on column.
General Wesley Clark supposedly ruined his chances for the Veep selection with his remarks about McCain’s fighter jock experience and POW years not qualifying him to be president. Apparently a tendency to bluntly tell the unvarnished truth was deemed a trait not suitable to make the “short list”. But now McCain is playing dirty, so maybe the ever polite Obama could use the sometimes hard-edged Clark on his flank.
UPDATE: With the McCain campaign now being run by members of Bush’s dirtier than dirt re-election team, it’s no wonder we’re seeing a shift to GOP gutter politics. Here’s what today’s New York Times had to say:
The moves are the McCain campaign’s most full-throttled effort to define Mr. Obama negatively, on its own terms, by creating a narrative intended to turn the public off to an opponent.
Central to the latest McCain drive is an attempt to use against Mr. Obama the huge crowds and excitement he has drawn, including on his foreign trip last week, by promoting a view of him as more interested in attention and adulation than in solving the problems facing American families.
The intensity of the recent drive — which has included some assertions from the McCain campaign that have been widely dismissed as misleading — has surprised even some allies of Mr. McCain, who has frequently spoken about the need for civility in politics. Read article.
Before Al Gore and Dick Cheney demonstrated that a vice president can be more than a president in waiting, there were two criteria for selecting a running mate. The vice presidential candidate had to be seen has to be readily able to assume the presidency and ideally would be likely to help win one or more swing states.
This election we see the V.P. candidate as possibly making up for perceived deficits in the presidential candidates resume.
Voting irregularities and the fear factor of 9-11 aside, two things are generally agreed on as important factors in George W. Bush’s 2004 victory over John Kerry. One was the Christian evangelical vote and the other was Karl Rove and the advertising coming from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
The later was so effective that Swift Boating became a readily understood term.
The man who promised a dignified and truthful campaign is now running a campaign that belongs in the sewage running in gutter of a third world road. The New York Times doesn’t exactly say this in the title of their main editorial today but with “The Low Road Express” (LINK) comes close enough.
I won’t list the recent examples of how McCain has tried to portray Obama as unpatriotic, even a traitor. The Times editorial describes some of them but more come out every day.
John Edwards was ill suited to take on the role of attack dog in 2004 fighting back against the Swift Boating while John Kerry remained above the fray.
Maybe West Point valedictorian, Rhodes Scholar and wounded combat veteran General Wesley Clark would be the perfect person to return fire for Obama.
UPDATE: (On the other hand, Hillary Clinton proved herself to be adept as she took occasional side trips on the low role towards the end of the primary campaign. See previous column. )
Watch Obama’s response ad, “The Low Road”. Will ads like this and Obama’s sound bites be enough to counter McCain’s crap assault?
UPDATE AUG. 2
Gaining traction –
This idea is getting some attention, including an Associated Press story about a new website, ObamaClark.com which was posted on Huffington Post:
Web site pulls for Clark as Obama running mate
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark is getting an online push for presidential running mate.
A new Web site, http://www.obamaclark.com, offers readers a chance to sign a petition supporting Clark’s placement on the ticket with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Clark, a Vietnam veteran and former supreme commander of NATO under President Clinton, had been serving as a national security surrogate for Obama until he belittled McCain’s qualifications to be president during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” last month.
McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot, was shot down over Hanoi and held prisoner during the Vietnam War.
“I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president,” Clark said.