I originally believed that Wesley Clark's ambiguous Democratic credentials would be an asset in the general election. I thought he stood a good chance of attracting swing voters, moderate, sane Republicans, and voters turned off by partisan bickering.
However, Clark's had to campaign harder as a Democrat to overcome doubts in the primaries, and I believe all that crossover and swing appeal is now more wishful thinking than anything else.
Wesley Clark has no better chance than any other Dem candidate to pull swing/crossover votes, except for the ones who will vote for the uniform. We know how Karl Rove will battle General Clark's uniform, up to and including a bin Laden capture in October.
But there's more in Rove's little notebook. Read on for a random sampling.
Clark on why he's running as a Democrat:
Because he's "pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, pro-environment, pro-health care, and pro-labor". Link
Clark on ADA:
"For all the progress that has been made, the sad fact is that today we are no longer moving forward, we are falling behind. George W. Bush has tried to dismantle the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has appointed anti-ADA judges, tried to turn Medicaid into block grants for states, under-funded IDEA and tried to cut benefits for 1.5 million disabled veterans. These issues are not just disability issues, they're family issues and they're American issues. As long as one person in this country can't get a job, or live in their community, and access our public facilities, we all lose out."
I've bolded what Karl will cut and use. Chamber of Commerce types hate the ADA.
Clark on equal pay for women:
"In my Administration, the rule will be simple: you discriminate, you pay," Clark said. His plan will increase penalties on employers who discriminate. He will help women vindicate themselves in court by making it easier to sue discriminators and recover compensatory and punitive damages against them. Link
Clark on abortion:
McQuaid: Let's take an issue. Abortion. Are there any limits on it in your mind?
Clark: I don't think you should get the law involved in abortion--
McQuaid: At all?
McQuaid: At all?
Clark: It's between a woman, her doctor, her friends and her family.
McQuaid: Late term abortion? No limits?
McQuaid: Anything up to delivery?
Clark: Nope, nope.
McQuaid: Anything up to the head coming out of the womb?
Clark: I say that it's up to the woman and her doctor, her conscience, and law -- not the law. You don't put the law in there. Yesterday, Simmons said "Republicans and conservatives want to pin you down in debates about timing, but this isn't about timing, it's about whether we trust a woman and her doctor to make medical decisions that are in the best interest about her and her life."
"The issue here is whether or not we're going to try to inject politics and government into a medical decision by a woman and her doctor and his answer is `No, we're not going to do that.'" Link
Here's where Clark allowed himself to be sandbagged, and you can bet that his last response will be conveniently left out of the discussion.
And let's not forget the endorsement by Michael Moore, former Naderite and raving radical liberal in the minds of middle America.
I know, I know. All Dem candidates will be subject to the gentle ministrations of the Rove machine.
I know, I know. This doesn't mean he can't beat Bush; however, my point is that now his game plan won't be any different than the other candidates'.
Wesley Clark is now on the record on many issues, some hot-button and others less so. It's an article of faith with the Clarkies that he will pull large numbers of non-traditional Dem voters in the general election. I don't have that much faith. Do you?