How hard do you think Wes Clark was spanked by Obama’s advisers after his boneheaded exchange with Bob Schieffer? IHT reports:

McCain frequently points out that he led “the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy,” but Clark said on CBS television that that was not enough to support a claim to the presidency.

“He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall” as a wartime commander, the general said on CBS. Clark is mentioned as a possible Obama running mate, although he originally supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

When the interviewer, Bob Schieffer, noted to Clark that McCain had been shot down over Hanoi, Clark replied, “I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

When Schieffer then asked what executive responsibility Obama had held – the Democrat’s résumé includes work as a community organizer in Chicago and eight years in the Illinois legislature – Clark said that Obama was running on the strength of his character and good judgment.

Um, what?

PD regulars know I’m not a J-Mac Man, but he obviously has vastly more military experience than our two most recent presidents. (Some might argue he still has more experience than W, since Cheney’s reportedly been running the war.)

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Obama has oodles of experience from playing Halo 3 on the weekends with his kids. But I sorta kinda doubt that. This is a guy who’s probably uncomfortable carrying a loaded cap gun.

Why in the name of Community Organizers would Wes Clark want to assail McCain on this issue? Hit him where he’s weak, of course, but McCain’s service, sacrifice and back story are the things Americans like most about him.

If Obama thinks he can win by minimizing McCain’s military background, then he’s gone back to smoking more than just cigarettes.

UPDATE: Obama formally rejects Clark’s comments (and informally calls him a big fat doofus with no shot of ever being on a national ticket)