What's With Wes?
Retired four star general Wesley Clark joined a small group of Bay Area supporters for breakfast on Thursday for a light, informal chat. For some reason they let me sneak in--what were they smoking? We all wanted to get the scoop on whether or not he would be running. I can't divulge all the details, but will discuss a major reason he hasn't announced one way or another.
If you hadn't noticed, Wes Clark has been pretty busy talking to Congress, military personnel, diplomats and many others involved in setting policy on Iraq. He has been a prominent advisor and spokesman for Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid--God, it's nice to be able to say that. He's been frantically working to push a reasonable, responsible and workable Iraq strategy that encompasses a much broader Middle Eastern strategy. A "Surge in Diplomacy", to use his words.
While the rest of the Dem presidential field is engaging in, to be frank, childish and irresponsible one-upmanship on dueling Iraq proposals, behind the scenes, Wes is very much involved in discussions with top Democrats (essentially on call for Pelosi). What he wants to avoid, as he mentioned previously, is the view that his work on Iraq is a political calculation. He stated that he does not want political ambition to be a factor in his advice and help on Iraq. Unlike any other candidate--Dem or GOP--he has directly worked with, or was in charge of many of the current military personnel. He wants what's best for them and the country, regardless of political calculations. He is postponing a decision while he works on getting a working Iraq strategy initiated. His concern, first hand knowledge of the situation, and clear headed proposals was refreshing and encouraging.
More on my impressions and what Wes had to say later.