Wednesday, February 11, 2004

On Traction

Why didn't Wes Clark get traction as a presidential candidate? I think there's a few reasons. First off, he was a first-time candidate (for anything), and he got a late start in the race. Clark's heyday came when John Kerry's campaign was at its low point - he was the "alternative military hero" that the Democrats appeared to need as a counterpoint to the then-inevitable Howard Dean. He showed a lack of polish at times, and got caught napping by the media on a couple of occasions, but was still the effective "un-Kerry". But then Kerry managed to take Iowa, and the whole thing changed. Mainly, it torpedoed Dean and put Kerry right back on top.

Once the air went out of Dean's candidacy, Clark's poll numbers in New Hampshire plummeted, and that was the ballgame. What's the point of having a candidate who's a "Kerry that can win" when the original Kerry seems to be winning just fine, thank you?

I still think highly of him as a future contender, and should the Dems fail to unseat Bush the Second, he'll probably be a top-tier candidate for 2008 (along with Edwards, if he manages to stay in the public eye).

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