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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Crazy Times in Democrat-Land

It looks like I'll be watching another Democrat announce for president tomorrow when Wesley Clark officially throws his hat into the ring after months of speculation. I like what I've seen of Clark so far from TV interviews. He speaks with passion and clarity and I think he has the demeanor to be a powerful campaigner. We'll see if the Clinton-Gore people he has assembled can throw together a domestic agenda for him and somehow make up for lost time on the fundraising.

I'm a bit wary of my liking Clark, though, because I've been through the initial liking of a candidate with Edwards and Dean too. Both of them come across very well as speakers too, which I must have a bias for. My last post explains why I've soured on Edwards, and Dean is down a bit in my view too. A lot of the excitement to me about Dean was the energy he was generating so early on, which seemed unprecedented. Lately he's said some things that have rubbed me the wrong way, though (the foolish attacks by Kerry, Gephardt and Lieberman aren't among those things). The line about being the only white candidate to talk about race to white audiences was stupid and arrogant (Tom Oliphant had a good Sunday column on Dean's verbal goofs). I also switched over from the Dick Cheney lie-a-rama to see some of Dean's appearance on This Week Sunday morning, and I was afraid he was going to punch George Stephanopoulos over the question about NAFTA (see this NYT piece too).

On a happier note, John Kerry's campaign is going down the toilet with communications chief Chris Lehane resigning amid bickering with the campaign and Clark about to steal Kerry's thunder on the national security/Vietnam veteran angle. Brian McGrory and Joan Vennochi both kick Kerry around in the Globe columns today. I promise not to link to another Globe article for a while.