Prometheus posted this comment:
I agree with your analysis regarding what his impact will be on the race, but now I’m the one getting irritated with delays. After repeatedly indicating he would announce around the end of August, if he now waits until mid-September, supposed indecisiveness likely becomes the meme. Why the most recently suggested delay, in your opinion?
I couldn’t agree more. There is no need for Wesley Clark to wait until after the financial reporting deadline. If that deadline is, in fact, in mid-September, Clark could announce immediately and simply file the official papers later.
Clark has until about three or four days after Labor Day to announce that he’s running. After that, his delays will begin to cause serious damage to his candidacy. Memes will spread that the general doesn’t know what he wants to do. That he’s timid, indecisive, or worse, afraid of the Howard Dean juggernaut.
When he does announce, the exasperated press will swoon no longer. “FINALLY,” the headlines will read. Rather than channeling his vision for America with McCain-like softballs, reporters will demand “what took you so long?”
The general perception will be that the general acquiesced to the Draft Clark movement rather than decisively rising to the challenge. The Deanies will sneer that their guy wants to be president while Clark had to be dragged into the race.
Wesley Clark has until the end of next week before the story mutates. If the rumored Hillary meeting takes place, the press will explode with speculation and Clark could be out of the spotlight for at least another week. If he still won’t even call himself a Democrat by that point, then the damage will be manyfold.
If he is, in fact, going to wait until the 19th, he must do two things. First, acknowledge that he would run as a Democrat. We know he’s nonpartisan, but he needs to at least acknowledge the practical course of events. Second, stop saying “I haven’t made a decision” and start saying “I’ve made my decision, and I will announce it on [date].”
We know Clark is brilliant. Now, it’s time to find out if he’s politically savvy.