The long delayed Wesley Clark for VP echo chamber has finally begun. On June 15, 2007, I made the first noise on the McLaughlin Group: "The Democratic presidential nominee, no matter who he or she may be, will choose General Wesley Clark as the vice presidential nominee." The first echo occurred today on Meet The Press when Bob Shrum said Barack Obama will pick someone with a military background "and I think Wes Clark might be it."
I'm not counting my own echo of myself in last week's New York Magazine where I laid out the rationale for Clark's inevitability -- Obama needs military experience on the ticket to counter McCain and, as a strong Hillary supporter, Clark provides something of a unity ticket for the Democrats.
The silly season of TV talk about Obama-Clinton, Clinton-Obama tickets is almost over. There was general agreement on Meet The Press today that Obama will consider military experience in choosing a VP. James Carville foolishly suggested Anthony Zinni and other politically untested generals. That will continue now that the conventional wisdom has settled on the military angle for VP. But no former general other than Wesley Clark will make it onto the short list in the end.
Yes, Clark was a bad campaigner in 2004. So was every other Democrat who lost the nomination to John Kerry. Clark has learned enough since then to survive a two-month, one-debate vice presidential campaign.
An Arkansas Democrat with a good smile, a great looking family, and career military experience -- that's what VP inevitability looks like. It seemed so obvious to me ten months ago that I rushed to get my prediction recorded before everyone else was saying it. Turns out I had more time than I thought.