Wesley Clark on the Campaign Trail

"Got your coin on ya?" they asked Clark. Every American military service member has a coin they carry around with them at all times — a tradition explained by one veteran as a practice that started after World War II when an Army Air Force pilot was "shot down and the only thing he had was a coin that separated him from the enemy. And everyone who saw it knew that he was American."

From that point on, it became a tradition to carry the coin "at all times." Seems General Clark forgot that tradition or perhaps he just forgot his coin. Either way, as the custom goes, if challenged to show your coin and you are without it, you buy a round of drinks.

Sam Adams for all — Clark dished out $30 for 10 beers and passed them around. One veteran made the toast: "To the best beer in America, to the best General in the world."

But The General made his own toast: "What I learned from the Russians was the third toast is always the special toast. They always toast to their fallen comrades and I'd like to propose that toast, to our fallen comrades." Klink.

And while Clark seemed to endorse Sam Adams (the beer, not the patriot) he was also careful to amend his statement about it being his favorite: "I also like Corona."

GEPHARDT

From ABC News' Gephardt campaign reporter Sally Hawkins:

Congressman Gephardt campaign is broadening his punching bag horizons, adding Senator Kerry to the attack list. Those rumors that the Gephardt and Kerry camps were joining forces to attack Dean may now be squashed forever. Gephardt campaign manager Steve Murphy took jabs at the Dean and Kerry camps on Tuesday when he spoke to ABC News about the new playing field since Kerry's behind-the-scenes turmoil became public.

On a cable program, Murphy declared that Kerry would be the next candidate to drop out of the race. Not Moseley Braun, not Kucinich, or perhaps Sharpton, but Kerry? Later he told ABC News, "the Clark campaign, the Lieberman campaign, and the Edwards campaign are not working, but they all have some sort of plausible scenario for February 3. We totally disagree with that strategy since nobody's ever been able to wait that long and win. History is prologue here."

"John Kerry is an example of this. Dean is way ahead in New Hampshire, Dick has a significant lead in Iowa, but Kerry is way behind in both states. Kerry's put a lot of money and staff in those early states, but there's no support base. Kerry is far from the support among labor households and support of African American voters that we have. His message, or lack thereof, isn't working better in any of those states. He's got no February 3rd backup plan."

On Howard Dean, Murphy drew a similar conclusion that Dean could also be a one trick pony. "Howard Dean is a candidate who is demonstratively ahead in one early state. That February 3rd lineup in states like Oklahoma, Missouri, North Dakota, Missouri, and South Carolina is a bad lineup for Dean. He runs the risk of winning in New Hampshire and having nowhere to go."

And while we're talking about February 3rd, the Gephardt office announced today the opening of their offices in Oklahoma, one of which is housed in their friends, the Teamsters', office. They also received their fourth endorsement from a local trade council today, getting the nod from the 10,000 member Oklahoma Building and Construction Trades Council.

Clark strategizes military experience

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