The Dancing Democrat Wannabes' two hour debate last week (9/25/03) makes me think that the Wolfowitz-Ashcroft-Abrams [see below] coterie may be around for a while: the show wasn't all that impressive.
Kucinich, Braun, Sharpton simply aren't in it - they wouldn't beat Bush. [Though I'll bet Sharpton's reasoned performance surprised the hell out of Tucker Carlson, the Stepford-Republican on CNN's 'Crossfire'.]
Graham is probably out [I almost forgot to list him].
Lieberman keeps playing weak Bush positions, a "Baby W." with a "Democrat" sticker on his forehead [the real W. has already beaten him once so who needs a rematch?].
Leaving Gephart, Edwards, Kerry, Dean and Clark.
Gephart is the "Old Europe" of pols and overly-unctuous for my tastes.
Edwards: "nice hair" is about all I got out of the debate, but there may be more there there.
Kerry seems solid (in spite of a bit of waffling on support for invading Iraq), and has the potential to beat the incumbent. His anti-Dean-isms were a bit annoying, but it's only the run-up to the primaries so I can live with them as long as his main focus remains on policy and the country's problems.
Dean may not appear "presidential" to some but George W. certainly didn't before being elected, and Dean at least understands the major issues facing the country, proposes solutions.
Clark is the great unknown [and frankly, seems creepy to me, although I can't put my finger on why I feel that way]. He's still a novelty item so he's getting media mileage. It can go up or down from there, but here are a few factoids:
1. I did remember something about Clark since watching the debate: when he was in Kosovo, he ordered a British General to attack the Russians:
" ...when Russian paratroopers seized Pristina airfield in advance of Nato troops, General Clark told General Sir Mike Jackson, the K-For commander, to 'confront them'. General Jackson is said to have replied: 'Not unless you're prepared to see lots of Russian bodies'. The British general has also been reported as telling General Clark: 'I'm not going to start the third world war for you.' The Guardian/UK "
That may have contributed to Clark's later "retirement," but in the meantime:
" General Jackson was replaced after refusing to prevent Russian forces from taking Pristina airport..." BBC/UK
2. General Shelton of the Joint Chiefs of staff wouldn't get specific but last week said that Clark left Europe for reasons of "integrity and character". Los Altos Town Crier