The Obama Camp pussed out on this one and the selling of Clark down the river is pretty pathetic. For all this talk (a la the Economist) about how this election represents the best of America, right now it’s a race to the bottom between Obi and Mac to see who can look and sound like the bigger spoiled brat/weakling. Somebody grow a pair. Jesus.
It’s a “radical theory” that Clark was propounding. Namely that John McCain is a war hero and has worked hard in his Senate career to help the military, proper respect and gratitude to him for his efforts, but he was not say a General who lead a bunch of troops into battle nor was a Vice President or sat on a Security Council (like Joint Chiefs of something) and was therefore never in intense/high level security decisions. Hence his experience as a soldier and Senator are not sufficient grounds to run his campaign on the idea that he (McCain) is this tried and tested national security leader in a crisis president. And that such a critique (which is actually correct) is not a denigration of his military service.
The quick rejoinder is that all that would apply to Obama as well. He doesn’t possess such experience. Which is completely correct. But of course the rejoinder to the rejoinder is Obama isn’t running on such supposed experience. Clark was only critiquing the disconnect between McCain’s rhetoric and his record. Not the record or the service itself.
That should be pretty obvious but it’s American politics so of course it’s an attack on him as a person and his war record (a la Swiftboated Kerry). Which of course it wasn’t.
All that said, I think Clark should have known that this is how it would go, and better left not said, even though I think on the merits factually accurate. I think the Democrats shouldn’t be afraid of national security talk but this wasn’t the way to go about it to make up that is for there “security deficit” and the image of them in the media as pansies.