Lost in the tempest in a teapot cable news (non)scandal let’s forget about the real issues and continue to reduce the most important poliitical election to sideshow f–kuperry o’ the Week (Wes Clark v. McCain) is an important piece of information that undercuts McCain’s whole defensive manueverings.
Clark’s thesis recall is that military experience does not automatically grant claims to executive leadership skills. Which is not remember a shot against McCain’s military record or service. It’s honorable; it just doesn’t translate into automatically being a better President. It’s neither here nor there to the issue at hand–whether he is the more qualified for the job.
Turns out, if you can believe elections, the American populace happens to agree. A point McCain is no doubt highly sensitive about which is why they are hitting back so forcefully–i.e. Clark hit a sore spot/vulnerability.
Think of say the last four US prez elections:
Bush beat Kerry and Gore (both Vietnam Vets) while himself not serving.
Clinton beat Dole and HW Bush (both WWII Vets) while himself not having served.
If Obama wins, this pattern will continue yet again (which as of today he is comfortably ahead of his opponent in the polls). So looks like for “real” Americans military service does not automatically equal would be better president in the minds of the majority.
In fact if you listened to what Clark actually said, the only way someone could claim military experience as executive authority credentials would be if they were high level commanders (like Clark was)–i.e. they had to draw up overall strategy, were responsible if men died because of their poor planning, ran military bureaucracy/staff etc. Like again Clark had to as Supreme NATO Commander in Europe during the Balkans Conflicts. [Which btw according to most estimates, he did a helluva job on].
By that standard, the only president in the last century who qualifies is Dwight Eisenhower. And again McCain’s service is to be respected, but I don’t think even he would compare it to the level of Ike.
Which in a rational universe would return the debate on foreign policy to I don’t know the 2 wars we are currently in, the candidates policies on the matter, Iran, China, judgment about the wars we are currently engaged in. On all fronts, Obama (imo) not without some quibbles but light years ahead of McCain.
But sadly we do not live in a rational universe. Though by the logic of the US pol. universe we do inhabit, John Cole in ’12:
I not only rode in and fired an M1A1 Abrams in the Army, but I drove the bitch, too.
Please donate to my Presidential Exploratory Committe via the paypal link, as I clearly have the right stuff.
By the positive link, it should be clear to readers, I’m angling for the Veep slot on the Cole Ticket. [Bonus: I would put Ohio in play!!!]