Saturday, February 7, 2004

Clark Posts

The Washington Post has an interesting read this morning based upon certain papers shared by Gen. Clark.

Anything of a historical nature offered by a floundering candidate for the presidency needs to be viewed as presumptuously self-serving. So let's go beyond the things that seem to serve Clark and consider the things that give insights elsewhere.

Regardless of back-door conversations, the eventual record will establish the veracity of Clinton's dictate to approve each and every bombing target. How pitiful. Shades of Carter setting the WH Tennis Court schedule.

There are several back-and-forths about ending the war before the presidential campaign. Clinton wanted the war ended at any cost - just ended. Sandy Berger says that was just not true.

And then this unattributed statement is fun - "A former senior administration official, however, said Clark might have been referring to a Washington meeting of top policymakers in late spring at which Gore allegedly expressed concern that the war might interfere with his campaign."

Gore did not respond directly, but one of his people said that politics were not discussed at White House national security meetings, and that while Gore opposed preparing for a ground war, he supported continuing the bombing as long as necessary to win. Gore "was prepared to take a political hit."

First, a "Washington meeting of top policymakers" is not a "White House national security meeting." Second, stating that Gore was willing to take a political hit is too general to be useful. The allegation stands.

Vice President Gore was concerned that an on-going war would negatively impact his campaign? That makes little sense. A war is a time of national unity. The electorate accepts an argument of continued leadership. Was Mr. Gore concerned that the war would not stand up to scrutiny? I do not recall the war being an election issue - why was it avoided? Could it have been to avoid comparing a National Guard pilot to an in-theatre combat reporter who was a Senator's son? Makes little sense. I suspect Gore was watching the polls of his anticipated base too closely. Too concerned about earth-tone clothes and not enough about genocide in eastern Europe.

Presidential Futures Market

Not sure yet if this commodity-market approach to viewing the election is well-designed or just novel.

The game started on January 19, 2004. Each player was given $2,500, and can buy and sell long and short positions. The top player is presently at $264K. You just know he sold Dean short before Iowa. He must have loved The Scream.

I put all of my money into selling Edwards short. I don't think he'll be out of it after Michigan and Washington - I am presuming that this market will behave emotionally just like the real markets. And I have a lot of ground to make up ...

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