Friday, September 19, 2003

Match up: John Kerry vs. Wesley Clark

When retired Gen. Wesley Clark announced his bid for the White House on Wednesday, speculation intensified about just what Clark entering the race would do to Senator John Kerry’s campaign. The conventional wisdom being that Clark weakens one of Kerry’s principal themes, that being his record as a Vietnam War hero.

The military issue is certainly important to this election in a post-9/11 world. Foreign policy and homeland security are brought to the forefront in voter’s minds. As both Clark and Kerry have this experience, I think that scores one for both of them over the rest of the field of candidates.

But let’s look further: Kristin Roberts reports that, "the retired general has yet to lay out an economic or domestic agenda and declined to do so on Thursday. But supporters said his military background was what made him an attractive alternative to other Democrats in the field, and to Bush." In a Washington Post article, Jim VandeHei reports that Clark admits to having few policy ideas to offer voters right now.

Score one for Kerry.

Clark’s criticism of the way the Bush administration has handled the war in Iraq is another aspect of his campaign that is attracting attention. This, coming from an experienced military man without being "saddled" for having to vote on the congressional resolution, purports to cause a problem for the Kerry campaign. But hold on a minute.

Clark says he “probably” would have voted for the resolution. (See Pam’s posting below) In the above referenced WP article, Clark states, “… I was against the war as it emerged because there was no reason to start it when we did. We could have waited.” Sounds a lot like something another candidate has said all along.

Score another one for Kerry.

The bottom line is that John Kerry is the whole package: a United States Senator with almost two decades of a proven record for intelligently dealing with domestic and foreign policy issues, and a Vietnam War hero who served his country and understands the sacrifice our military men and women endure. He will be able to handle all of the issues that our country faces in this most crucial time. He will make an excellent President of the United States.

If you agree or disagree with me, please feel free to comment!


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