Monday, September 17, 2007

Wes Clark endorses... Hillary?

Got this in my inbox:
Dear el ranchero,

Today, I am proud to announce my endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton as President of the United States.

Senator Hillary Clinton has earned the support of millions of Americans in her campaign for president -- and today I am pleased to count myself among them. The world has reached a critical point, and we need a leader in the White House with the courage, intelligence and humility to navigate through many troubling challenges to our security at home and abroad. I believe Senator Clinton is that leader, and I whole-heartedly endorse her for President of the United States. Senator Clinton and I share a worldview in which diplomacy is the best first-strike tool in our arsenal; in today's complicated global system, the United States should be making more friends than enemies.

Never before have so many Americans had our well-being so closely tied to world events. Our economic and national security has become more complicated than ever before, and we deserve a leader who draws on wisdom, compassion, intelligence and moral courage -- in short, we need Hillary Clinton. She is tough but fair, a rock-solid leader equal to the many weighty challenges ahead of us.

As I make this endorsement today, I realize this may disappoint many of you who hoped that I would run for President myself in 2008. But rest assured: I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to continue to speak out on issues I care about, to work with you to support good Democratic candidates who will help restore the kind of leadership we need in America, to make sure our nation is as secure at home and abroad as it possibly can be.

Your support has been absolutely essential -- to our country, to our Democratic candidates, and to me personally. I would never have run for President in 2003 without your support -- after all, you drafted me into the race! I can't tell you how much it means to me that you've been standing with me since my campaign for President and right up until now. And we still have so much work to do.

Together, we made a huge difference in the 2006 elections. We helped 42 candidates win their races across America, including 25 candidates who flipped their seats from Republican to Democratic seats. Our Clark community raised more than $1 million for candidates, not to mention the millions of hours of volunteer time members of the Clark community provided to campaigns in every corner of our nation. And I am most proud of the fact we helped elect a number of veterans to the House and Senate. What a tremendous victory for America -- and it wouldn't have been possible without the hard work that you and I and tens of thousands of us put in over those 24 months.

The fight is just beginning for the future of America. Through WesPAC, you and I and thousands of other Americans will continue to play a very active role throughout this entire upcoming campaign -- to support strong candidates, to get them into office, and to get our country back on the right track.

Your continued participation in the political process is absolutely critical. I hope you'll join me in supporting Hillary Clinton's campaign for President. And I hope you'll continue to be active here at WesPAC as we support many candidates up and down the ballot in 2008, and continue to speak out on the issues.

I'm proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. But I'm not going anywhere, and I hope you're not either. We have a lot of work to do in the months and years ahead to get America moving forward again -- and I need you with me.

I'll stop by at 4:00pm ET on Sunday to the Clark Community Network to liveblog. I hope you'll join me.

Thanks so much for everything you've done -- and everything I know you'll continue to do -- for me, for Democrats, and for our country.


Wes Clark

I have to say, I was genuinely surprised by this move. Even more surprisingly, I've found hardly any reaction around tha Internets about it. What little I have has been along the lines of "Clark sold out for Veep/SecDef/SecState nod," which, while it may be true, still says nothing of the impact on the race.

On the other hand. the Clintons did support Clark's candidacy in '04, so I guess this shouldn't have been so surprising to me.

Wes Clark has a pretty massive fanbase, especially among liberals, but I can't help but think that liberals and progressives have made up their minds by now on Hillary. All Clark is managing to do is alienate his fans (unless, of course, the cynics are right and he's angling for the Veep nod or a cabinet-level position).

I guess what all this boils down to is I expected more of Wes Clark. Hillary Clinton is not the candidate most likely to pull out of Iraq, and the most we know of her foreign policy is that she thought Barack Obama was "naive and inexperienced" or some such for saying that, if we knew of a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and we warned Musharraf about it, and he did nothing, we'd strike it ourselves, but we wouldn't use nukes. Obama wasn't just right, but this statement should go without saying; it should be a given that all the leading candidates for president think this way.

I had thought that Clark would join a progressive insurrection to upend the establishment anointment of the more-of-the-same candidate, or that he'd at least stay out of it instead of throwing his support to the candidate that voted for the war, did so without reading the NIE on it, isn't the slightest bit contrite about the fact that she voted for it, and, like Edwards and Obama, has no plans to pull all the troops out, despite all her talk about "bringing the troops home" and "ending the war."

Obama and Edwards are better on other issues, at least, and wouldn't actually galvanize conservatives to go vote or undermine our down-ticket candidates, but my hope for a successful Obama/Edwards/Dodd/Gore comeback is fading fast.

I'm starting to think, even after 8 years of George Wanker Bush, this will end up being one of my saddest political memories: seeing the country given a unique opportunity to have a progressive candidate with big ideas on healthcare and ready to act decisively to curtail climate change here at the 11th hour, able to choose between some of the best candidates I've seen in a long time, like Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Chris Dodd, and the Democrats line up in overwhelming numbers behind... Hillary Clinton.

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