WaPo reports that Gen. Wesley Clark is about to get off the fence and announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Well, probably.

Clark, 58, has not made a decision, but the Arkansas resident is aggressively recruiting campaign staff and plans to announce his intentions next week, friends and party officials said on condition of anonymity. His earliest allies would be from former President Clinton’s Arkansas-based political network.

Clark confirmed that he was putting a campaign plan together but chalked it up to the type of “parallel planning” common in the military. “If you want to find out whether you’re going to go ahead, you have to have financial resources and you have to have staff available,” he told The Associated Press.

Frankly, the fact that he can’t make a decision would seem to be sufficient evidence that he has no business running for, let alone being, President of the United States.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kevin Drum says:

    By definition, until someone has made a decision, they haven’t made a decision. There was a point at which George Bush hadn’t made a decision either. Does that make him unfit for office?

    Besides, you don’t believe this anyway, do you? Clark has obviously decided to run, but just isn’t saying so until announcement day. (September 19, apparently.)

  2. James Joyner says:

    You have a point. But Clark is already quite probably past the point of viability in this contest, just from a fund-raising standpoint. It’s not like the idea of him running is a new one. How long does it take?

    And it is certainly true that’s he’s merely lying when he says he hasn’t yet made a decision. At this point, I’m just taking him at his word.

  3. Brian A. says:

    Clark does seem to be dragging this out. But if you look at things in a historical context you’ll note that there have been a number of “reluctant” candidates who ended up serving the office well. And granted, the fundraising dynamic is far different than before, but by historical standards this really isn’t very late to announce a candidacy.

  4. Paul says:

    He is truly has not made a decision by now, he is an idiot.

    James, you had it right the first time.

    I find it hard to believe he has been doing media for 90 days, rounding up a campaign staff and still not made a decision. But what do I know…. I thought Saddam was a bad guy.

  5. Alex says:

    It looks to me like he’s waiting until he had a serious plan put together. So he doesn’t make decisions until he has analyzed the problem and thought out the consequences. And even then, he leaves himself an out until he is fully prepared.

    If this is a problem for you, you can always support the incumbent. He seems to be very fond of making decisions without giving much thought to the consequences or worrying about planning for the remote possibility that the consequences will be something other than the best possible case. Other than a half-trillion deficit, a disastrous job market, and a mess in Iraq, that’s been working out real well.

    Me, I’ll go for the guy who actually thinks ahead before he makes his decisions.