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)


  • minuteman 76

    For all those who think Gen. Wesley Clark was demeaning McCain by stating that McCain was only “riding” in a fighter plane, notice how Bob Schieffer of Face the Nation used the word “ridden” before Clark’s direct response.

    Bob Schieffer: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean-

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.

    Clark may have mistaken by using the same verb Schieffer did in responding to Schieffer’s assertment about Obama’s lack of military service. Yet, if we are going to argue over semantics here, let’s put the blame over the choice of verb with Schieffer for using it first.

    Clark was directly responding by using the same word Schieffer did.

    Let’s not exaggerate Clark’s statements- after all, Clark has been a champion of veterans’ benefits and supported the recently signed G.I. Bill from the beginning…….

    Haven’t you checked whether McCain supported or signed the G.I. Bill?

  • Justin Jackson

    This is the kind of attack the Dems need someone to do. I have often put Clark as my pick for Obama VP and maybe this is a test run. It is still early andnot everyone is paying attention. Or maybe denial is no longer just a… I would say that their is a reason McCain has so many ads that talk about his military service. More than just to hilight a bullet point on his resume, it is a way to add a qualification his rivals cannot meet. To think otherwise seems odd to me. The military service is good politics. This ain’t golf…

  • Brian H

    Just got finished readung the Byron York article “The Orgainzer” in National Review…WOW! I had no idea. Obama’s resume is lighter than a feather.

    Here is the “experience” Obama has.

    1. Community Orgaziner – 3 years…please read the article to see what that is.

    2. Illinois State Senate – 8 years

    3. US Senate – 144 days before running for President.

    We are gonna be in for a LOOONNNGG 4 years.

  • East-of-Eden

    Ok, so I agree with Clark in that one thing you’ve done in your life does not qualify you to be the president, neither does hope and change, but that’s another point….However, I think that J-Mac talks about his military service and his time as a POW to say, “Look, I’ve had some very meaningful and life chaning experiences, they shaped who I am today, they have given me the credibility when it comes to the military.” No ammount of community organizing or service can compare with what John McCain went thru, end of story. Wes Clark proved he is a total idiot with this one….hopefully, this was his swan song.

  • Lazlo

    just kidding

  • Lazlo

    I like Clark. He started, didnt he?


  • kristen

    Completely shameful. I don’t even recall McCain ever touting his veteran status as a qualification for presidency; merely an experience that shaped him and changed his life.

    And, what experience does Obama have in the realm of military service? Oh that’s right…..NOTHING!! I think Clark is smoking crack. (I also think eddio makes a good point).

    Also? That didn’t look like much of an apology. Maybe I skimmed that article too fast, but Obama didn’t seem to say something like: Clark–you’re an idiot and I completely disagree.

  • Pdiddy

    we joke, but absolutely knocked him off the list, if he was even on it

    there’s little margin for error and you can’t take a chance with a guy like this, good grief, he makes Hillary look politically astute

    • BrianH

      Very true diddy….One good thing from all of this is we have seen the last of West Clark.

      THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yeszir

    Wesley Clark, take your place with Rev. Wright, Jim Johnson and public financing under the Obama bus this week. Countdown to resignation….

  • RedstateEddio

    So somehow character and judgment forged in the fire of POW suffering counts less than character and judgment forged behind the desk of community organizer? Huh? Is he popping 1 too many Viagras?

    Clark is trying to earn his chips & get on the Obama VP Express if he’s willing to go on TV and say what he said with a straight face. That was a big cul-de-sac for him to get stuck in. Kudos to the Obama team for convincing him to go out and say it. You know that if Obama himself said those things, there’d be a massive pile-on (on top of him) from every corner.

    Either Wesley wants that VP slot in a bad way, or he’s a colossal jerk – or both…

    • Eric

      VP spot? Sounds to me like he’s looking for a spot under the bus.

      • RedstateEddio

        Yes, that’s where he will end up, but I still wonder if some BHO staffer advised (or coaxed) him into doing it. To me, he was trying to look like the VP attack dog, since it’s his/her job to go after the other candidate and make one’s candidate seem, well, presidential.

        Maybe it’s Camp Obama’s vetting process: “Here, say this really stupid thing, and let’s see what the media and public reaction is. If you survive it, you’re on the short list!”

  • Eric

    Unfortunately, there are always a lot of true statements that should remain unstated. It’s true that simply being a POW does not qualify anybody to be president (or VP, remember a certain Veep candidate named Stockdale?). But America knows that, and Clark cannot say it without sounding DUMB. You can’t disparage the POW experience. Just say “thank you” and change the subject.

    The issue was never that he was simply a POW, but that that experience is a part of the candidate’s life story and background. Those things matter to us.

    More interesting are the facts that he passed up a chance to leave earlier than protocol, and that he earned the endorsement of his captor. Those don’t qualify him to be pres either, but they’re in the list of things that matter.

    After all the flip-flopping these guys will do before November, America will consider issues of respect, honor, and loyalty when we go to the polls. They are not the only things that matter, duh, but they do matter.

  • Cordeiro

    I’ve never held Wes Clark in very high esteem despite the four stars on his shoulder. He’s the personification of the Peter Principle.

    NRO’s Jim Geraghty found an interesting quote which I think sums up Clark’s own street cred:

    Interviews with a wide variety of current and retired military officials reveal that Clark was disliked by only three groups: Those whom ranked above him in the chain of command whom he ignored, his peers at the same rank whom he lied to, and those serving beneath him whom he micromanaged. Other than that, everyone liked him.

    ’nuff said.

  • BrianH

    Clark’s remarks are examples that gives us all a glimpse to the mind of the liberal mind. Dont be fooled for 1 second, they lack respect for honored service and have no sense of what it means to be an American HERO. This is why they have to manufature themselves as people who “support the troops”. This is why they thought nominating a liberal vet, John Kerry, would somehow give them street-cred with the military and their families. Of course, they had no idea what to do after the Swift-Boat Veterans exposed Kerry as a fraud.

    I for one cant wait for General Zods upcoming trip to Iraq. HAHAHAHAHAHA How fun it will be to watch him ramble incoherantly to the faces of those whose service to their nation is a far step higher than that of a “community organizer”.