I went to see Wes on Friday here in NH where he hosted a fundraiser for Carol Shea-Porter in Portsmouth.[...] After working the rooms thoroughly, Wes was introduced and proceeded to talk about the state of the world, Iran, nuclear threats, global warming, alternative energy, the pros and cons of withdrawing troops quickly from Iraq, etc. He was brillant. He was the old Wes that I had heard on CNN and instantly I knew why I had worked my butt off encouraging him to run and then on his campaign. And those in the room, many who supported Kerry or Edwards in 04, were dazzled by his knowledge and the ease with which he discussed world issues. He got everybody's attention there.
Just before he concluded his talk, he said, "I'm not a candidate for President, but I haven't said I won't run". He asked for questions and I couldn't help but be the first to ask, "Wes, is there any chance during the next 3 months you will declare your candidacy?" Everybody chuckled knowing I had supported Wes in 2004. He said no. He told the room that when you're a candidate, they discount your views on everything. He was very happy to discuss policy with high level people because they took him seriously. He knew that would change the minute he declared. ...
Susan is a Clark fan, but she is also an opportunist. As a founding member of Mass4Clark and of the Draft Wesley Clark movement in general, I know. Susan and a few others got upset that the DraftWesleyClark.com people were getting lots of media attention and decided to start their own website and effort. Some like myself, urged the group not to fracture like this. I said there would be plenty of campaign jobs and jobs in the Clark White House for all of us.
In Boston, we organized a service project day in New Hampshire and tried to get press coverage of it. Yet Susan took all the credit for the effort, despite delivering only herself to volunteer day. We got to see the office she bought for Clark in the sea coast region. It was as nice as any of the other campaign offices, which were right next door (literally). She also took credit for our first 1,000 petitions for him to enter the race, even though she was a mere courier.
But she is loyal and a trustworthy source on this. However, I am with Chris Bowers on this one. I doubt that Clark can be successful if he waits 3 more months to enter. Vilsack's staff will be snapped up. Unless a real contender folds up shop or has a big scandal , I don't see the advantage in waiting. To me, this is like John Kerry's wait-for-it-I-am-not-running announcement. Clark is going to enter the Veepstakes and the high cabinet level-stakes it seems to me. I wish it weren't so, but logic tells me that is what is happening.
So assuming this is true, I am an Obama man. Even my wife, a Wellesley alum and big Hillary fan, is leaning Obama's direction and is annoyed with Hillary's caution. I will still wait for Wes, but I won't hold my breath.