Friday, January 16, 2004

Wrapped Up Like An (Early) Endorsement
I saw this headline—"Bush Wacked"—on the Examiner this morning and got excited, until I realized that no, the Prez had not been taken out by Tony Soprano. (Note to Feds: this is a joke. I want the Prez to lose his job by election.) Speaking of which, some long-time readers may remember that the WULAD Endorsement Caravan had a lot of early interest in Wes Clark, but had allowed the gradual trickling-in of Republican tendencies and quotes (many of them via Drudge’s endless harping) to lead us to believe that perhaps the good General was putting on the Democratic coat suspiciously late in life. Combined with some early missteps in PR, such as skipping debates due to “scheduling conflicts”, this was enough to turn our interest to who might be the next most electable candidate.

Sure, Dean is likeable—in a Dukakis or Mondale sort of way—but it amazes me that he’s gone as far as he has in an unofficial “front-runner” position, mainly because he seems to represent everything about the left that is anathema to centrist voters. He’s from Vermont; he has no military experience; he’s often cantankerous and scolding; and his smile is just slightly more charming than Dick Cheney’s. It’s difficult to even put into words exactly what makes me think he’d lose spectacularly; I just feel his appeal to “Red Staters,” independents, and disenchanted minority groups will be slim to none. And it’s hard to imagine him winning any of the so-called swing states that have become so pivotal. I can’t even see him winning California, not with Gov. Ah-nold leading the charge for the Dubyites.

Kerry, on the other hand, is a war hero, he seems to have an appreciation for consensus-building, and he understands that the time isn’t right to be tackling all issues at once (he’s opposed to gay marriage, for example, although he supports civil unions). And I really believe that in the post-9/11 climate, credibility in national security and defense issues—which has become unfortunately but inextricably linked with military service—is essential to winning over mainstream voters. But he’s from “Taxachussetts,” he’s fairly low on charisma, and he’s been a Washington insider for so long that he won’t do much to invigorate the voters looking for new ideas. Which brings us back to Clark.

Michael Moore endorsed Clark Wednesday (leftpedal via M Tobey); and while that in itself doesn’t hold a lot of weight (I consider Moore to be something of a demagogue and don’t really feel he can sway public opinion any more than the Dixie Chicks) he makes a very good case for getting behind the most electable candidate now. This isn’t the time to be tilting at windmills—four more years of the current cabal could be permanently disastrous. And aside from the element of supporting him out of desperation, Clark seems to deserve attention on the basis that he genuinely has a lot going for him. He’s smart, well-spoken, not overly belligerent, and good on TV; he’s a gun owner but not a gun nut; and his Arkansas background could appeal to voters who would never support a New Englander.

So with the view that it gets late early, we are jumping on the Clark bandwagon. It’s well known that WULAD has no readers in Iowa; but if any Hawkeyes happen by this little shack by the internet tracks, we encourage you to vote early and often for Gen. Clark so that we can get on with the larger strategy of firing President Action Figure.

Addendum: I've just noticed that Gen. Clark is not competing in Iowa. So vote for anyone other than Dean to counter his press-anointed front-runner status. Then move to New Hampshire and vote for Clark.

And Lastly...
I just heard “Werewolves of London” on one of those classic rock internet radio stations, and if there’s anything for which the late Warren Zevon deserves credit, it’s that he can make the phrase “little old lady got mutilated last night” sound as sweet and mellifluous as a babbling brook. Good weekends, kids!