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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Wednesday, July 23, 2003


Wesley Clark

posted by Ezra at Wednesday, July 23, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
This is the follow-up to yesterday's post on the ramifications of a Biden candidacy. I've taken what's below from the middle of my post so that what's on here is Dean-centric. Enjoy.

Clark's likelihood of entering the race is inversely proportional to Dean's likelihood of winning it. Clark is looking at the same base, the same grassroots activists, and the same campaign as Dean - he needs people dissatisfied with Bush and with the "traditional" Democratic establishment. People who are loyal to Democratic politicians are going with Kerry, Gephardt, Lieberman, etc. People loyal to Democratic ideals and tired of our politicians are going with Dean. If Dean is looking weak as September rolls around (a situation that looks increasingly unlikely), Clark is more likely to get in. More of Dean's base will be nervous that they're backing the wrong horse and he has less of a chance of being picked as VP by Kerry or Gephardt. If Dean is strong, Clark can't get his base and is highly likely to be picked as VP, so why dirty himself and weaken his chances + run the risk of pissing Dean off?

A Clark candidacy would badly hurt Dean and Kerry, strengthen Gephardt, and create a 3 way race. Clark could run strong in the South - but he needs more of a message or platform before his appeal nationwide can be predicted. Dean has grassroots Clark needs and is the only other anti-war candidate, Clark is a viable anti-war candidate and takes Kerry's resume advantage away. So everyone's hurt and they stand a chance of killing each other and handing Gephardt the nomination - I just can't see Clark winning due to his disadvantages and late start. Clark would, however, be a good choice for Gephardt's VP slot.

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.