September 10, 2003

Gen. Clark Reportedly Is Asked to Join Dean

The _resident, as astute observers have noted, acted
like a raging dry drunk. The "US mainstream news
media," as you all can plainly see, is a hopeless
co-dependent enabler. The family intervention (i.e.,
the emerging Popular Front of generals, ex-generals,
intel officers, ex-intel officers, State dept.
officials, ex-State dept, officials, EPA officials,
ex-EPA officials, Democrats, Independents and yes,
*real* Republicans -- as opposed to reich0wing
"Republicans")has to act forcefully, and
speedily...Because the Bush cabal is a wounded animal
right now, and as any ASPCA worker can tell you,
handling a wounded animal can be dangerous...Howard
Dean (D-Jeffords) and Wesley Clark (D-NATO) both have
shown courage and principle in these last few
difficult months...If they were to break with
"coventional wisdom" and run together as this story
suggestsm they could ignite an electoral fire that
could burn out of control. Remember, they are the
darlings of the Internetm AND the Internet is what has
driven the Information Rebellion against the Orwellian
view of SeeNotNews, NotBeSeen and the lot...They
should spin it like so, "We know this move is
unprecedented, but we are facing a national state of
emergency and business as usual, i.e. a traditional
campaign, is inappropriate."
Gen. Clark Reportedly Is Asked to Join Dean

By Jim VandeHei and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 11, 2003; Page A01

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has
asked retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark to join his
campaign, if the former NATO commander does not jump
into the race himself next week, and the two men
discussed the vice presidency at a weekend meeting in
California, sources familiar with the discussions

Clark, in a telephone interview yesterday, said he did
not want to comment about the private meeting. Asked
about reports that the two men had discussed a wide
range of issues, including endorsing Dean, joining the
campaign, possible roles in a Dean administration and
the vice presidency, he said only, "It was a complete
tour of the horizon."

Later, an adviser quoted Clark as saying, "I have only
one decision to make: Will I seek the presidency?"

It was the fourth time Dean and Clark have met
face-to-face to discuss the campaign. No decisions
were made at the California meeting because Clark is
still considering a run for president. Clark is
scheduled to make a speech Sept.19 at the University
of Iowa, when many political insiders expect him to
announce his intentions.

"Most of our conversations have been around my getting
advice on defense, and sometime he asks me about
domestic issues," Dean said in an interview yesterday.
"This is a guy I like a lot. I think he's certainly
going to be on everybody's list if he's not the
presidential nominee himself." Dean declined to
discuss their private conversations.

While it would represent a gamble for both men to team
up so early in the campaign, such a move would rattle
an already unpredictable nomination campaign. Dean and
Clark have two things in common that if combined could
prove formidable among Democratic voters: They both
opposed the war in Iraq, and both are generating
excitement on the Internet and with grass-roots

But a Dean-Clark alliance would also underscore the
relative inexperience that both men have in national
campaigns. Clark has never run for political office,
and Dean has created controversy for his off-the-cuff
remarks last week on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last week, Dean said the United States should not
"take sides" in the Middle East conflict and said that
an "enormous" number of Israeli settlements would have
to be dismantled as part of a peace agreement.
Yesterday, Dean shifted course, saying the settlements
should be left to negotiators.

The governor's original comments angered a number of
Jewish leaders and drew rebukes from two rivals, Sen.
Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Sen. John F. Kerry
(D-Mass.). Dean came under fire yesterday from a group
of House Democrats for his comments on the Middle
East. "This is not a time to be sending mixed
messages," the Democrats, including Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.),
wrote to Dean.

Dean has increasingly talked up Clark as a possible
running mate or as a presidential candidate, pointing
to the general's 33-year military record, which
included a victory in Kosovo as commander of NATO
forces in Europe. Dean's laudatory comments have
fueled speculation among top Democrats that the two
men might join forces soon on a Dean-Clark 2004

Dean's campaign played down the significance of the
talks. "I am certain along the way we have made it
clear we would welcome General Clark's support in the
campaign, but I am assuming other Democratic campaigns
have done the same," said Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign
manager. Trippi refused to discuss the meeting in

Other Democratic candidates have reached out to Clark,
too, with Kerry talking to him by phone during the
last week. But none apparently has courted the general
as aggressively as Dean, a Clark adviser said. Rep.
Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said he has not talked to
Clark in weeks and would welcome him into the race. "I
never worry about who's in the race," Gephardt said.

Clark has been making the rounds of Democratic donors
and Washington insiders for months as part of his
exploration of a presidential campaign. More recently,
he has been meeting with Democratic strategists who
have expertise in managing presidential campaigns.
Among those to whom he has reached out are Mark
Fabiani, who ran the communications operation for Al
Gore's 2000 campaign and worked in the Clinton White

If Clark joins the presidential race, which some
prominent Democrats predict he will do, he would
become the 10th candidate. Still other Democrats think
Clark will not run, partly because he would enter well
behind Dean in both fundraising and grass-roots
support. Clark has sent mixed signals in recent days,
leaving some Democrats he has talked to with the
impression that he is in, others with a suspicion that
he is out.

Recent polls show nearly two-thirds of voters cannot
name even one of the nine candidates, so there is room
for a new candidate to move, some strategists think.
But recent polls show Clark is not widely known and
would enter near the back of the pack.

He would not enter empty-handed.
officials said they have generated pledges of more
than $1 million for a Clark campaign. Dean's campaign
has said it will raise at least $10 million this
quarter and other campaign strategists expect that
number to be significantly higher.

The Draft Clark organization has begun running
60-second commercial spots in Iowa, New Hampshire and
Clark's home state of Arkansas, prodding Clark to run.
Another Clark organization reports having grass-roots
groups in numerous states.

2003 The Washington Post Company

Posted by richard at September 10, 2003 02:01 PM