Gore endorses Dean
I don't think this is a necessarily a big negative for Clark. I don't think this endorsement spells "guaranteed nomination" for Dean. I actually think this bodes pretty well for Clark, in the big picture. How? Over the last decade, the Democratic Party has become more centrist while the GOP has lurched to the far, radical right. Understandably, those further left in the Dem Party spectrum have become somewhat disillusioned with the party heirarchy. (see Ralph Nader 2000 -ed.) Although Kucinich thought he would be the one chosen by the left wing, they have instead flocked to Dean. Let's face it - Dean has run a great campaign. I just don't think he's the best candidate. So, the left wing of the Democratic Party has found this folksy, straight-talking Vermont Governor around whom to rally. Gore, who purposefully shunned his ties with Clinton during the 2000 election, has merely staked his claim in the left wing of the party via this endorsement. The more mainstream, center of the party is still up for grabs. After all, if Dean is at 42% in New Hampshire, that means that "someone else" is at 58%. The problem now is that there are eight "someones" dividing that 58%. That's where the good General comes in. The centrist and conservative wings of the Democratic Party have yet to rally around a candidate. Lieberman - as conservative a Democrat as they come - is slipping, and this Gore endorsement hurts him the worst. Kerry's campaign is in heavy self-destruct mode. Sharpton and Moseley-Braun are barely making the cut in recent polls. Kucinich still has the Greens and Socialists locked up. Gephardt's numbers are slipping despite his Union endorsements, and his campaign is on a collision course to nowhere. The only ones with any traction right now are Clark and Edwards, with Clark out ahead. If Clark polls a respectable 2nd in New Hampshire, the primary turns to South Carolina and Arizona in early February. Clark has a real shot against both Edwards and Dean in South Carolina. The goal right now of all of us involved in the Clark effort is to make sure our candidate becomes the sole alternative to Dean. I think Gore's endorsement of Dean might actually help that process along.