Wesley Clark on the Campaign Trail

MANCHESTER, N.H., Jan. 14 - Clark is in the line of fire, but trying to ignore the graze of the bullets. His suit of armor? His curt giggle accompanied by the line, "it's conventional politics." But how will this so-called unconventional General deal with the continuing attacks while also soaking up the positive political trends in New Hampshire?

On Wednesday morning he spoke to ABC News about the other Democratic candidates' attacks, saying that it's "not the right way to run a primary election campaign for any of the candidates." But that doesn't mean he won't eventually fight back. "Obviously, you have to tell the truth," Clark said. "And if people say things about you that aren't true, you have to have an answer for it."

The press awaits the first attack. More literature is being distributed at Clark events by opposition candidates' campaigns; on Wednesday John Kerry's New Hampshire campaign office handed out literature boasting Kerry's "foreign policy vision," saying that he's the "best Democratic candidate to take on George Bush." Then Kerry supporters from the Nashua office stood out in the cold yelling, "JK All the Way"-neither negative attacks, but blatant plants to sway voters from Clark.

As for the Braun endorsement of Dean, Clark was not available for comment. Senior communications strategist Chris Lehane, played it down to ABC News last night saying, "Senator Braun is a great American but our focus is on getting the endorsements of everyday voters in NH - with each passing day it is clear for all the world to see that Wes Clark is the true outsider and the true non-politician." Gen. Clark has evoked Amb. Moseley Braun's name as one of the many women he would consider for his cabinet when posed with the question at a "Conversations with Clark" earlier this month.

Win or Lose. It's how you play the game…

Jan. 13 - Clark says his campaign is about looking forward to the future. And so, with some help from Clark's campaign chairman, Eli Segal…a look forward. A group of traveling vagabonds (a.k.a. "the press") had a rare forty minutes with Segal aboard a flight from Dallas. to Manchester, N,H, on Tuesday to probe, challenge, and ask Segal to quasi-predict the future of the Clark 2004 campaign.

It's apparent that Segal's thirty-something year-old friendship with Clinton is helping The General's campaign. President Clinton and Segal talk regularly; with Clinton giving advice to Segal and the campaign and Segal keeping Clinton "abreast of what is going on." "He knows the polling data, he knows where we're going and what we're planning to say," Segal said about Clinton. "And we ask for advice and he's prepared to give it."

In fact, it seems he's on the mind of Segal so much so that when asked about candidate attacks on Clark, Segal said, without flinching, "We're going to do something about it this weekend in New Hampshire with President Clinton." Clearly, he meant "Clinton associates" -- names like Mickey Kantor and Rahm Emanuel -- who are joining other politicians to canvas and campaign for Clark in New Hampshire on Saturday. But when asked to clarify whether or not Clinton himself would come out, Segal said emphatically, "no, no, no" and qualified that by saying that "many people from the Clinton administration and the campaign believe that Wes Clark is the best representation of the views, the substance and the style of President Clinton," but, again, no chance of Clinton in person.

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