Too smart and honest to be a good candidate?

Digby [*] reviews some Congressional testimony by Wesley Clark from late 2002 [*] and finds it both coherent (though he doesn’t agree with it) and consistent with Clark’s later statements.

It was a given by then that we were going in to Iraq; the only question was whether we were going in as a lonesome cowboy or as part of a posse. Clark strongly preferred the “posse” option and thought it was available, so he wouldn’t have voted for the “cowboy” option and would have tried to craft a resolution pushing for multilaterialism.

I think that the United States always has the option of acting unilaterally. But I’d say in this case it’s a question of what’s the sense of urgency here, and how soon would we need to act unilaterally? And so I think it’s very important that we recognize that so far as any of the information has been presented, as General Hoar said, there is nothing that indicates that in the immediate, next hours, next days, that there’s going to be nuclear-tipped missiles put on launch pads to go against our forces or our allies in the region. And so I think there is, based on all of the evidence available, sufficient time to work through the diplomacy of this.

Digby suggests that Clark is going to have to learn to dumb it down in order to win. I’m not so sure.

Reporters like it dumb, but lots of voters can handle complexity if someone makes it real and says it as if he means it. Remember how the reporters always complained about what they found to be interminable speeches by Clinton filled with policy detail? The viewers didn’t seem to mind.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com