I’ll say one thing for Clark
Friday June 20th 2003, 4:29 pm
Filed under: metrics
By the time you’re his age, you’re responsible for your face. As my father would say, he has a good face.
But why did his team pick such a small-time web design team for his personal site? His site is full of little typos and imperfections.
I’ll say one thing for Clark …
Drafting Clark for Prez
(10/18: There is now a separate Wesley Clark story for future updates)
I’m not particularly curious about most of the presidential candidates out there. Their motives are clear; their platforms and supporters and reasons for running, straightforward (and mostly uninteresting). I respect Dean; it’s natural for him to have a groundswell of support considering his great success in an explosively grass-roots state and his supporters’ avid blogging; I want him to succeed. But I’m not (yet) curious about him or his candidacy.
General Wesley Clark makes me very curious.
Recent Political History
Clark has certainly had politics on his mind since retiring from the military, and probably long before. He was a White House aide for a time in the ’70s, after his initial time in the Army. Last year he was asked by both parties about considering a run for Senate in Arkansas, and said (Feb 2002) he was considering it… I remember a friend suggesting him for president months ago, before fighting started in Iraq; I didn’t realize (nor did the friend) that Clark had been subtlely broadcasting his presidential suitability for a long while.
He was certainly considering a run in a national campaign last fall, when he started writing political columns (for the London Times, as early as last August) criticizing the administration’s foreign policy, meeting with DNC bigwigs and touring the Granite State, endorsing Katrina Swett before the midterm elections. Manchester Dem chairman Raymond Buckley put it well, after a dinner party with Clark: ”I’d say he is running, but I don’t know if he is running in 2004 or 2008 or beyond. I first met Clinton in 1979.“
Clark took a big step in February, leaving his two-year post as investor at Stephens, Inc. His decision to float a shadow campaign and become a serious political force in the coming election was made by then, as he moved to write political articles, promote his book [as he had done throughout his tenure at Stephens], and hit the lecture circuit full-time. See for instance his widely-quoted War Diary for the London Times (note his bio there explicitly states he is considering running against Bush in the coming election).
Clark was pulling out the stops by late April — consider his bio at WaveCrest Labs, where he was suddenly named Chairman of the Board on April 21: a great bio for a pres. candidate, but irrelevant to the company after the first sentence. They don’t mention his recent investment work in emerging technology, or his relevant board positions elsewhere — they don’t mention his investment work at all. Contrast this with the other management-team bios, or to Clark’s carefully-targeted bios for Stephens, Inc. and NATO.
Yet he’s been giving non-monotonic mixed signals — despite such clear “maybes” as his London Times bio, last week Wired wrote that he was still insisting he wasn’t running (a fine way to fire up support, as Hillary would be quick to agree; everyone needs to go watch Primary Colors again).
When did Hlinko start promoting Clark? Surely before April 9, when he launched draftwesleyclark, migrating it from its parent site. Did the Mar 16 UPI report coin it’s title phrase “Draft Wesley Clark“? Maybe someone should ask author Cliff Shechter. How long ago did an official Clark sub-campaign start up? How much of it was due to encouragement by the Clintons? How large is his staff now? And how often does an Arkansas Rhodes Scholar consider running for president? Oh, right.
For negative opinions of General Clark, and questions about his record, look elsewhere — cf. zealous reports of Clark’s association with Waco, or writing by David Hackworth, online.
For older opinions of him, try searching for SACEUR and Clark; it’s hard to find extended opinions of him from before 1997. Here’s a 1998 salute to him from Stuttgart with a historical angle.
For foreign opinions of him, well he has his Honorary Knighthood, and national awards from a double-handful of european countries. I don’t know what that means to current citizenry or administrations, however.
Privately, I’m curious about the hasty WaveCrest Chairman-appointment [I'm guessing Maslov, a founder, VP, and former VA-area investment analyst, was the link]; about the amateur quality of his official online presence; about whether Clark’s PR folks (part of someone else’s larger PR team?) or Hlinko moved first; about the General’s previous political history and connections within our government (might as well start with the Clinton administration) and military leadership, particularly leading up to his time as SACEUR; about what he privately cares for.
Books of recent note:
General Clark‘s Waging Modern War,
Ambassador Holbrooke‘s To End a War (Largely about the Dayton Peace Accords, for which Gen. Clark was the chief military negotiator. Chapter I has an amazing anecdote involving the Ambassador and the General.),
David Halberstam‘s War In A Time Of Peace
Speeches and Interviews online:
video from U.Arkansas [4/17],
transcripts from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs [6/5], testifying before Congress about expanding NATO[4/8]…
interviews with Meet the Press [6/15], Buchanan and Press [6/18], …