The only significant potential candidate on the Democratic side who has not announced his intentions (unlike Al Gore, who has repeatedly said he does not plan to run) is retired four-star Gen. Wesley Clark, the former supreme commander of NATO. So what exactly is Wes waiting for? That’s what all of his supporters would like to find out. How do I know that? Because when you compare real-world polls to Democratic blogs and Internet straw polls — for example — it appears that every single one of Clark’s supporters is online, is a true believer, and is starting to get twitchy.

Clark is a rare breed among potential 2008 candidates: He’s not a politician, has never won an election, never held a political office, and in the 2004 primary campaign that was quite painfully obvious. Clark was essentially “drafted” to run very late in the game — some say it was the Clintons’ effort to stop the Howard Dean machine, but after Dean managed to implode (with help from the all-too-happy-to-oblige media) Clark became more of a speed bump for John Kerry. The presidential campaign trail is a rough way to learn the ropes, as Clark discovered — one clear example was when he said that he probably would have voted for the Iraq War Resolution, and then the very next day reversed course, saying that he would not have voted for it.

After he essentially finished third in the primary race behind Kerry and John Edwards, Clark took a gig as an analyst for Fox News. From there, the general has offered valuable insights on geopolitical issues, including of course the ongoing debacle in Iraq, but it’s doubtful how many Democrats are being won over — or are even watching that network. At this late hour, it’s not clear that Clark could assemble a credible political operation and hope to compete, raise money and break out of polling purgatory. Clark is supposedly going to announce something within the next week or so. With the Big Three scooping up the political talent, the money and the media, it’s looking more and more like the general is going to decide that discretion is the better part of valor and stand down for 2008.


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