Let’s face it.
General Wesley Clark is the only Vice Presidential Candidate with Presidential campaign experience, who has military, foreign policy, diplomatic, and executive experience, with southern roots, appeal to Latinos and Hillary Clinton supporters, an existing national grassroots organization, an Oxford degree in economics, and who will not cause the Democrats to lose a Senate seat or a Governorship with his selection.
Well...that about says it.
There is a new website up called www.ObamaClark.com which is a grassroots site where activists can go and sign a petition in support of General Wesley Clark for VP. It lays out the case why he is the best candidate, and also includes recent relevant news stories regarding Clark. It’s a well put together site with the slogan, "Securing Change for America" – a play off of Clark’s "Securing America" and Obama’s "Change." Barack has said that word 45,495,122 times since his campaign started, so it makes sense.
After Clark made his comments about McCain’s military experience, the conventional wisdom in the news media shifted from Clark as a frontrunner to Clark as OFF the VP shortlist. It may be far-fetched, but there are still extremely strong arguments for why Obama SHOULD pick the General, and I think even strong arguments for why Obama MIGHT pick the General.
First of all, as has been said before, Obama’s legacy as a President is dependent on support from Democratic Senators and Democratic Governors. It will hurt him badly to lose them.
If Kaine is picked, a Republican Governor will take over Virginia. If Reed is picked, a Republican Senator will take over in Rhode Island. If Schweitzer is picked, a Republican Governor will take over Montana. If Dodd is picked, a Republican Senator will take over in Connecticut. If Bayh is picked, a Republican Senator will take over in Indiana.
Then there are the others. If Richardson is picked, he will flounder in the VP debate (like he did in every primary debate) with 70 million people watching. If Sebelius is picked, the Hillary supporters will all cry foul, "If he was going to pick a woman, how could he NOT pick the one who just got 18 million votes!?"
That leaves Joe Biden, Sam Nunn, and Wesley Clark. Biden would be a great candidate from a foreign policy, "no BS" standpoint. He does not, however, help Obama geographically. I don’t know much about Sam Nunn except he looks a lot like Dick Cheney, so I’ll leave it at that.
Clark does not look like Cheney, and he is from the south. With the potential for massive black turnout in the south, Obama could use some additional appeal to southern white voters to push him over the top in North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, and even Virginia. Clark is a southern, white, male, Christian, 4 Star General. It doesn’t get much better than that when you’re talking about appealing to moderate southern whites. He does help Obama geographically and has more extensive military and foreign policy credentials than Biden.
Here’s really the most important thing in my mind, however. I was talking to my uncle (a republican leaning independent) several days ago about the election. He told me that, "McCain is awful. I don’t think McCain is the answer at all. Obama though, is a HUGE question mark. I just don’t know if I can vote for him."
Obama has a chance to capture a lot of moderates who voted for Bush in 2004 who don’t like how things are going – but those people need to be REASSURED. They need to feel comfortable with Obama. They are worried about his lack of experience, and putting a Kaine or Sebelius on the ticket doesn’t seem to me a move that will ease their fears. Clark would be a reassuring force for moderates who aren’t sure about Obama. As I said before, he’s the only VP candidate with military, foreign policy, diplomatic, and executive experience. Voters will know that he is prepared to lead the country at a moment’s notice.
Clark did make a comment about McCain that probably hurt his chances at a VP selection – not because it was untrue, but because the media distorted and ran wild with it. McCain, in the last couple weeks has said that Obama would rather win a campaign than win a war, he has flat out lied about Obama’s tax and energy proposals and compared him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The gloves are starting to come off, the polls are getting too tight for comfort (44-44% in today’s gallup tracking), and Obama needs to pick a running mate who can throw a punch and who has the credentials to reassure voters that a skinny, half African man from Hawaii named Barack is exactly who America needs to lead us in a time of uncertainty. They're a perfect fit.
UPDATE: Please consider digging the ObamaClark.com website here...