The Note

" … the greatest asset for Clark may be the way in which he most directly echoes McClellan. No one should underestimate how much Democrats will like hearing criticisms of the war with Iraq come from the mouth not of a politician, but a general. Imagine a liberal derided at work as a wimp for denouncing the war. It's one thing to tell your co-workers that Howard Dean also considers the war a mistake. It's another to say that's the verdict of a retired four-star general with a Silver Star and Bronze Star at home." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Paul Richter takes a must-read look at The General's reputation in the military and among the diplomatic corps — popular in the Executive Branch, but at the Pentagon, not so much. LINK

" … Clark's military past is not an unalloyed asset. In fact, critics say, the Army's reluctance to back him for promotion illustrates misgivings that a number of his peers had about Clark despite his distinguished 37-year career."

Intelligent, a problem solver and opposing the Post -Vietnam philosophy that military force used in combat scenarios should be overwhelming, "Clark's accomplishments as a hustling problem solver again and again drew the attention of top civilian policymakers, from Gen. Alexander M. Haig Jr. during the Nixon administration to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and national security adviser Samuel R. Berger during the Clinton administration."

It also got him a reputation for having smartest-kid-in-the-class syndrome.

Evan Thomas looks at the "real" Wes Clark. An "elite soldier-scholar who's made as many enemies as he's defeated in battle." LINK

Novak today on the 1994 meeting between Wes Clark and indicted war criminal and Serb commander Radko Mladic and the birth of the "Clark Rule." LINK

Paron — it's the new Hot Springs. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette focuses its pen on The General's central Arkansas hometown, Noting that Clark listed his Paron "red cabinlike house near the Walnut Bottom Cemetery and Church as his home" during the "last half of the 1990s when he voted in the 1996 and 2000 general elections." LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: The Boston Herald's David Guarino reports, "Just four months from key first tests in New Hampshire and Iowa, activists, even those now committed to candidates this week showed a wandering eye as fresh Clinton rumors swirled and Clark joined the fray." LINK

The State's Lee Bandy, as he is apt to do, writes about the importance of South Carolina and Notes that the "Democrats' choice may hinge" on the Palmetto State. LINK

The Washington Times looks at the Southern vote through the lens of Clark's entry. LINK

Senator Biden is most inclined to support Kerry or Clark. LINK

Reuters also has Biden's comments on Kerry and Clark. LINK

Robin Toner in Sunday's New York Times looked at the Democrats search for a nominee who can inspire them and win a general election, and asked if that man is named "Clark." LINK

Adam Nagourney in Sunday's Week in Review looked at the veep prospects of Graham, Clark, and Edwards, with Jim Jordan trashing Clark (shocking!) and defending his words as not "excessive." LINK

Sunday's Boston Globe had Brian Mooney setting the "who will finish second to Dean in the 3rd quarter?" table, with no news and no surprises, except Lord help John Kerry if he doesn't break $5 million. LINK

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