Good post by Andrew Sabl on How I Became a Clark Supporter.
His basic points:
My support for Clark has not come naturally.......But I figured I owed the largely unknown candidate a chance. Being a professor, I decided to read his book, Winning Modern Wars.
1. Clark is an intensely patriotic internationalist.
2. Clark is essentially a pre-Sixties Democrat
Clark's main position on the culture wars is to find them (a) baffling and pointless and (b) a right-wing conspiracy to distract middle-class white guys from their declining living standards and an economic policy that gives everything to the wealthy.
3. Clark believes in fighting the war on terrorism -- hard, continually, smart, and to win. And he makes an excellent case that Bush's policies are guaranteed to fail at this.
4. Clark clearly casts himself as the person making policy, not one of the people debating it.
5. Clark doesn't think the personal is political.
6. Remember that the Army is Biosphere II: a piece of Sweden stuck inside a country that's becoming Brazil.
It's been said that Clark wants America to be strong at home so it can be strong abroad, not the other way around. It's true, and a bit jarring. But given Clark's clear conviction that Republican policies are undermining our economic security and the culture of opportunity that makes us so attractive abroad, this actually works better than I initially thought it could. (Look for Clark to do very well among Latinos, and immigrants generally -- or kids of immigrants, like me. He understands the American Dream, and how Republicans are running it off the rails.)
There's a reason Rove didn't return his calls.
Bottom line: Clark is a throwback, a Rip Van Winkle, a pluralistic, optimistic, Greatest Generation-style politician lost, like Howard the Duck, in a world he never made. He's further outside the mainstream political culture than can possibly be imagined. This is what makes him so striking, so hard to parse, and so clearly the best candidate.
Being a patriotic internationalist and a New Deal Democrat, looks like I'm gonna need to read that book.