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DEMOCRACY: Government & Politics | September 21, 2003



An E-Mail Delivered to an Influential Democratic Newsgroup

This is one of my published replies to one of many responses to my e-mail published in an influential Democratic Newsgroup about the formal entry of General Clark into the Presidential Race.

At the risk of sounding like a politician (Heaven forbid!), this is why I love being a Democrat -- unlike our philosophically straight-jacketed opponents, we pull together the best ideas from across the political spectrum and forge consensus for the common good -- sounds downright American to me!

Karen's absolutely right that General Clark must demonstrate skills in the rough and tumble of the political arena, not just in the corridors of power (where he has succeeded far more than most, despite some powerful foes, as Mark pointed out) but also in the public eye -- the "conventional wisdom" amongst pundits is that he got off to a bit of a rocky start; but as in most of this, the debates should be key in helping us sort through the candidates, vs. each other and vs. Bush -- just as Wayne says.

As John said, the key will be passion -- inspired in the electorate by that within the candidate -- that's something that no amount of money can buy.  However, it can be channeled, focused, and polished; and I believe that is going on "behind the scenes" in the Clark campaign, notably with help from former campaign advisors to his fellow Arkansan moderate Bill Clinton...

But it is still too early for many of us, such as Eric (or even Mr. Clinton), to endorse any one candidate -- for one thing, in debates, feet have a nasty habit of finding their ways into mouths (For example, Lieberman tripped up Dean on the Palestinian issue); and with increasing scrutiny, skeletons can and do come out of closets (ask Gary Hart).

Really, though, like John, I feel this is now a "two horse" race, between Dean and Clark.  Then again, I'm not the best person to ask -- I'd vote for the proverbial "yellow dog" instead of Bush.

As long as our candidates, and we supporters, don't carve each other up too bad in the primary process, this is democracy at its very best -- those who would represent us trying their best to listen to the citizenry and express our needs and wants, hopes and fears.

People "vote their pocketbook" and "vote the (wo)man".  As I think we've all said, we Democrats should be able to win on the first point; now to just find the candidate who can sway the most voters on the second -- like Obi Wan Kenobi told Luke Skywalker, "trust your instincts".

My two cents' worth,


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