Senior staffers told ABC News that Dean plays to the hearts of only partisan Democrats and, in the end, Dean's essentially "negative" and "a disaster waiting to happen." While Dean has the popularity in the North, Clark plays well in the South — the Clark campaign's peace of mind comes in thinking that if Dean wins New Hampshire and even Iowa, Clark could come in first in the February 3 states, making this a two-man, Dean/Clark, race to the finish.
On a charter flight from Atlanta to Columbia, South Carolina on Friday, General Clark told a small group of reporters that he didn't know how the endorsements by SEIU and AFSCME for Dean would affect his campaign, saying that "the real impact is on other people, not me." Two Clark staffers said on background that while the campaign never thought Clark had a chance of winning the SEIU endorsement, they can say that their decision to pull out of Iowa lost them the AFSCME nod.
At the end of the day, it comes down to plenty of money. Something Howard Dean has, and Wes Clark wants. With almost daily fundraising events, the Clark staffers seem assured they will raise over $6 million at the end of the fourth quarter. A campaign source said the campaign could "live in New York and never do fundraisers" — a sign that the Clark campaign is feeling a'o.k. about their fundraising situation. And one Clark staffer told ABC News a decision about whether or not Clark will take matching funds could come as early as this week …
The campaign is also often quick to note that they have not spent money on advertising yet — although, presumably, the money is being teed up as we write. Last week in New Hampshire Joe Slade White was on the road with a photographer and staffers getting together the first ad for the Clark campaign. White was also in Little Rock this weekend — ABC News has been told to watch New Hampshire as the first market.
The Clark campaign will announce on a conference call today their newest Internet endeavor, The Clark Community Network, that will assign personal 'forclark.com' blogs to every registered user
A success strategy proposal
Nov. 6 — General Clark is set to deliver a policy speech this afternoon in South Carolina outlining his plan to protect American troops and bring peace to Iraq. He appeared live today on "Good Morning America," to preview the address, in which he'll say that the reconstruction of Iraq should be turned over to a non-American. ABC's Charlie Gibson asked, Do you want Paul Bremer fired? "Yes," Clark said, "he should come home."
An excerpt: "Every American should understand: early exit means retreat or defeat. There can be neither. We need a 'Success Strategy' — for it is only success that can honor the sacrifice of so many American men and women; it is only success that will allow Iraq to stand on its own; and it is only success that will allow our soldiers to come home."
Clark outlines his four-point "Success Strategy":
1) End sole American responsibility for the country by, among other ideas, creating an Iraqi Reconstruction Council to replace the Coalition Provisional Authority.
2) Provide better border protection, more intelligence sources, formidable Iraqi security forces, and secure ammunition.
3) Give Iraqis a stake in the country's success by transferring authority on an ongoing basis and by naming an interim Iraqi government with a constitution written by Iraqis.