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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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Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Clark to announce tomorrow

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, September 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
No, it isn't official yet, but it will be tomorrow. Clark will make his announcement in Little Rock on Wednesday. It's being reported by most sources as "Clark will enter the race" but until he gets up there and actually says so, hold your breath.

Intriguingly, the spin on this from the conservative wingnuts is that Clark is Clinton's proxy against Dean:

Dean is too shrewd a pol to think that he could win in '04 with "hate Bush" as his only claim to office. That's why he is pushing the former NATO commander to run for president. In Dean's mind, Clark would be a perfect balance to him as a #2 on the Dean ticket. But Dean should know where the General's loyalties lie, and they're not with him. Clark is, above all else, a member in good standing of Team Clinton. Which means Dean is toast if Clark can have any say in it. And he will.
Clark wants the presidential nomination and the Clinton team -- who never act without clear orders from Billy and Hilly -- are lining up to get it for him, or at least use him to deny it to Dean. According to U.S. News & World Report's "Washington Whispers" by Paul Bedard, "Many of Clark's team in waiting are Clintonistas, like the former president's handyman Bruce Lindsey, scandal spokesman Mark Fabiani, and maybe even ex-Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, who's close to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton." With a team like that behind him, Clark isn't aiming to play second banana. (Unless Hillary runs in '04, which is pretty unlikely. A Clinton-Clark ticket? I wonder how many ashtrays the general has had tossed at his head?)

As I said a couple of weeks ago, the Clintons are fighting against the Dean candidacy because they recognize that if Dean is nominated -- and goes down like McGovern did -- it will take a decade or more for America to again take the Dems seriously. That would mean Hillary would never make it back to Pennsylvania Avenue. Clark's job is to keep the Dems from following Dean off the McGovernik cliff. But how will he do that, given his positions?
Clark won't want to run as anyone's Number Two Boy, far less any likely loser such as Dean. But that's the catch. After gaining credibility in a primary run, Clark would be established as a national political figure in a way he will never be otherwise. Simply to keep his prominence, he might take a #2 slot at the Demo convention, especially if they make a big publicity splash drafting him. And if he is someone's #2, and they lose, it leaves him in competition with Miz Hillary in '08.

it's amazing how it always comes back to Hillary.


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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.