Tuesday, August 12, 2008
A Brilliant Chess Move by the Obama Campaign?
Yesterday’s announcement that the theme for the VP speech during the Democratic National Convention, “Securing America’s Future,” is also the name of Wesley Clark’s PAC led to a flurry of speculation that Clark will be Obama’s choice as a running mate.
I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I will say that if Obama selects Clark, I’ll be convinced that Clark’s supposed blunder in stating that he didn’t think “riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president” was one of the most brilliant chess moves ever!
Think about it:
Immediately after Obama clinched the nomination, Clark was probably the most obvious pick as the perfect running mate against John McCain, because he would undercut McCain’s ability to score political points with claims like “I know how to win wars!” In addition, he has name recognition, a devoted support base, and he wouldn’t have to vacate a post currently held by the Democrats.
But it’s hard to keep building excitement and momentum when you pick they guy everyone was suggesting from day one. So what do you do to get him off the short list?
Have him state the obvious about McCain, and then stand by his statement while the corporate media goes apoplectic about how he “has just taken himself off of the short list!” In other words, play the media and their eagerness to seize any reason to keep their heads firmly planted in John McCain’s ass!
Suddenly, the obvious, predictable, pick is a surprisingly stunning reach from outside the conventional wisdom short list!
The earlier comments by Clark are unlikely to hurt him with any of Obama’s targeted voter base. Progressives, activists, and the Netroots probably respect Clark even more for his “straight talk” about McCain’s qualifications. And he still has the military credentials to appeal to Independents and moderate Republicans who are primarily concerned about national security. In fact, it’s possible that the only vote Obama would lose directly from Clark’s comments might be that of Bob Scheiffer!
When Clark made his original “blunder,” I suspected that it was actually a purposeful remark, in order to get the idea out that McCain’s vaunted military experience was no more adequate preparation for Commander in Chief, than Bush’s business experience was at making him “The First CEO President!”
We’ll never know for sure, but if Obama selects Wesley Clark, I’ll consider it reasonable proof that the Obama team played the corporate media like the suckers they are!