When Weasel Clark got into the presidential race, I noted some of his bizarre statements and wondered if he was dealing from a full deck.
Now Matt Taibbi, writing for the hard-left Nation magazine, spent some time undercover with the Clark campaign and says there’s something distinctly off-kilter about Clark and his campaign. The piece is long; so here are some excerpts:
You can see something in the eyes of most all the Democratic candidates: the pugnacity of Howard Dean, the idealism of Dennis Kucinich, even (surprisingly) the elaborate sense of humor just under the surface of Joe Lieberman.
Not Wesley Clark. His eyes are blank. Like a turtle resting on a rock in the middle of a pond, he simply seems never to move, no matter how long you stare. But then, just as you’re about to pack up your picnic basket and go home, you catch him: His head pops out, and he slides off into the water…
At a Nashua bakery called Patisserie Bleu later that day, owner Jacqui Pressinger went through the motions of Clark’s appearance, walking from the door to the counter. “He came in, stood right here, and ordered an ‘Everything’ bar,” she said. “But then–he was whispering–he leaned over and told me and the girls that actually, his favorite dessert was a napoleon.”
“You’re kidding,” I said.
“Yup,” she said. “Then he started talking about West Point. He said something about eating a lot of napoleons at West Point.”
For the two weeks or so that I had been a volunteer [undercover with the campaign], I had tried, unsuccessfully, to get a rise out of my fellow Clark supporters. Just to see how they would react, I had introduced myself at the first meet-up as an adult-film director named Rondell Abrams. Massachusetts campaign staff member Dave Rubin, a skittish young Brandeis grad, gritted his teeth when I told him I’d just finished making Asian Ass Vixens 6.
“I also did the East St. Louis Street Hookers series,” I said.
He nodded. “Well, uh, we’re glad to have you.”
For this second meet-up, I’d upped the ante, showing up with a friend: She and I were both wearing cervical collars and walking with the stiff posture of personal-injury plaintiffs. I explained to Rubin that I’d been kicked by a donkey, while “Anne” had been thrown off by one. “Wow, that’s tough,” he said. “But thanks for coming, in that condition.”
The meeting wore on. It was an amazing experience. Here, ostensibly, were two porn-industry professionals, dressed in identically preposterous cervical collars, attending an organizational meeting for a straitlaced four-star general–and no one so much as blinked.
This is not so surprising, however, because paying close attention is not really what the Clark campaign is about. In fact, it’s very much about the opposite: squinting your eyes, blurring out the margins and focusing on the one main goal on the horizon–beating George Bush.
At a Clark press conference in Concord a few weeks ago, AP writer Ron Fournier literally threw up his hands when Clark, under repeated questioning, gave a two-faced answer to a question about why he had called the Bush Administration a “great team.” “Well,” Clark said, “like most Americans, I wanted them to succeed.”
(Did they, by the way? I didn’t.)
“Yeah, but why call them a ‘great team’ if you disagreed with them on Iraq?” Fournier asked.
“Because they were making the wrong decisions then,” Clark answered nonsensically.
A murmur shot through the crowd. “What the hell does that mean?” I heard someone say behind me.