How stupid is Wesley Clark? Update: Joe Repya responds

posted at 8:31 am on June 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

After decades in the news business, Bob Schieffer may have thought he’d heard it all — until yesterday on Face the Nation, when he interviewed Wesley Clark. Clark came as a surrogate for the Barack Obama campaign and attacked John McCain’s military service, saying that he was “untested and untried”. After Schieffer pointed out that McCain commanded the largest naval air squadron, had honorably endured over five years of torture as a POW in Vietnam, and had been on the Senate Armed Services committee since Obama was in college, Schieffer asked how Clark could claim that McCain was “untested and untried”. Clark stunned him with this answer:

Because in the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk, it’s a matter of gauging your opponents and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the armed forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded wasn’t a wartime squadron. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, `I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it publicly?

At which point, Schieffer — after a stunned moment — pointed this out to Clark:

SCHIEFFER: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean…

Let’s point out a few things about Barack Obama:

  •  In “the matter of national security policy making.” Barack Obama hasn’t ever done anything.
  • In the matter of gauging your “opponents”, Obama wants to meet with them without preconditions despite having no national-security, military, or diplomatic experience.
  • Barack Obama hasn’t been on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
  • Barack Obama hasn’t had any executive experience.
  • Barack Obama hasn’t commanded anything, in wartime or not.
  • Barack Obama hasn’t dealt with diplomats in any capacity at all.
  • Barack Obama hasn’t ordered the bombs to fall, although to be fair, he has associated himself with someone who has — William Ayers.

Not only can every argument Clark made get applied more to Obama than to McCain, he has now made it clear that the Obama strategy is to demean and belittle McCain’s military service — and by extension, military service in general.  This will undoubtedly play very well among Obama’s nutcase fringe supporters as well as idiotic fired commanders of NATO, but that’s a mighty thin list of voters.  The rest of the nation will hear these attacks and stand aghast at the dishonorable and outrageously stupid disparagement of a lifetime of service to this nation and understand with crystal clarity the radical nature of Barack Obama and his team.

Nor is this the first such attack on McCain’s service.  Democrats have belittled it on several occasions now.  In May, it was Bill Gillespie, another Obama backer in Georgia and a candidate for the House.  In the same month, Senator Tom Harkin questioned McCain’s mental state for having willingly served in the military.  In April, Jay Rockefeller accused McCain of being more or less a coward for being a military pilot, and again in May the New York Times quoted unnamed Senate colleagues of McCain suggesting that he didn’t understand the Vietnam War because he didn’t fight on the ground and spent most of it lounging around Hanoi in a POW camp.

John McCain put his life on the line for his country.  Barack Obama has not.  While I have never thought that military service was a prerequisite to public office, it certainly gives one a lot more experience and is an asset for the presidency.  And as a bottom line, a candidate whose campaign denigrates military service shows himself as unfit for the role of Commander in Chief.

Wes Clark has done Barack Obama no favors, and as the record shows, it’s not just Wes Clark.  The Democrats plan on attacking the military throughout this campaign.  Obama cannot expect anyone to buy his claims of “a new kind of politics”, unless Obama means that he plans to plumb new lows in class and intelligence in 2008.

Update: The legendary Lt. Col. Joe Repya (ret.) of the 101st Airborne — a man I’m proud to have as a friend — responds in his new Eagle’s Nest blog:

Barack Obama and the National Democratic Party should immediately denounce and dismiss General Clark from any future campaigning in this election year, but he and the Democrats will not! As Ed Morrissey points out, this is a planned attack on John McCain’s character.

The Obama Campaign, using their surrogates, have attacked McCain’s age, mental state, bravery and honesty. Is this the “change” that everyone wants in Washington? A ambitious young politician bent on personal destruction of an opponents record and accomplishments? How dare Obama and his minions attack the military record of John McCain. Where and when did Obama serve? What sacrifice has he or his family made on the battlefield? ….

Listen people, I have met General Wes Clark and I can tell you he is no General David Petraeus, anymore then Barack Obama is the quality of John McCain!

Col. Repya is not one to mince words.  Expect to hear more about this from Joe, and keep an eye on his new blog as he gets settled into the (obsessive) routine of blogging.  (And yes, I warned him about the obsession ….)

Related Posts:

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Gen. Tool!

sMack on June 30, 2008 at 11:55 PM

Obama is an arrogant phoney. His candidacy has been bought and paid for by the far left. He is completely inexperienced, and totally unqualified for the job of president.

Remarks such as the ones made by this idiot Clark do the difficult. Make McCain more likeable.

waterfall on July 1, 2008 at 12:03 AM

Who died and made Ashley Wilkes judge of military experience?

We might want to point to Gen. Clark that Presidents have been elected with a lot less military experience than he demands. In fact, good ole’ Bill, the man who gave him the chance to start WWIII in Bosnia and Kosovo, was elected (twice!) with absolutely zero experience.

This has proven, beyond any doubt in my mind, that military guys have every reason not to trust any word that comes from the mouth of him. Even the American people had enough sense to see the kind of weasel he is. How come Ole’ Bill was President and GWB is, but Ashley Wilkes is not? Now that is a testament to the smarts of the American people not to have trusted that pompous ass when he ran for control of the Presidential football.

newton on July 1, 2008 at 12:06 AM

The only two things that are infinite are the Universe and Wes Clark’s stupidity and I’m not certain about the Universe.

Murphy9 on June 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM

Borrowed from Einstein, right?

Entelechy on June 30, 2008 at 11:02 PM

That rings a bell, but he won’t mind.

Murphy9 on July 1, 2008 at 2:09 AM

This makes me wonder if our Marshall plan after WWII was Nazi complient?

MB4 on July 1, 2008 at 4:13 AM

This POS really wants to be V.P.

nosliwelyk on July 1, 2008 at 4:32 AM

How stupid is Wesley Clark?

Well not as stupid as John McCain. But then who is?

We all know John McCain is terrible on immigration. For years he held America’s sovereignty and security hostage to amnesty and increased immigration, and his newfound support for “enforcement first” is so insubstantial and transparently insincere that it insults our intelligence. He’s so bad that Americans for Better Immigration ranks his performance in office as the worst of all the presidential candidates — including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (See the GOP grid here and the Democratic one here.) And as Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, passage of McCain’s bill “would represent the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years.”

But his support for de facto open borders is merely one manifestation of a larger problem — John McCain is a multiculturalist.

Take bilingual education. McCain has been an enthusiastic proponent of this divisive and discredited program for years.

McCain’s ideological multiculturalism is also apparent from his longstanding opposition to official status for the English language; as he boasted on Hardball in 2000, “I have fought against English-only ballot initiatives.”

Rick Santorum, in his recent interview with Hugh Hewitt, describes how McCain racialized the immigration issue to his fellow Republican senators:

[McCain] lectured us repeatedly about how xenophobic we were, lectured us, us being the Republican conference, about how wrong we were on this, how we were on the wrong side of history, and that you know, this is important for his . . . because having come from Arizona, knowing the strength of the Hispanic community, that we were going to be seen as racists, and he wasn’t going be part of that, that he was not a racist, and that if we were for tougher borders, it was a racist thing.

– Mark Krikorian

Ronald Reagan = Republican rebirth

John McCain = Republican suicide

MB4 on July 1, 2008 at 4:35 AM

Obama is starting to physically make me sick.

Low-rent shinola salesman.

spmat on June 30, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Pssst. That’s not shinola.

soundingboard on July 1, 2008 at 4:43 AM

Obama dedicates this week to showcasing his patriotism while Weaselly attacks McCain’s credentials. Coincidental or coordinated campaigning?

Obama’s denunciation of Weaselly’s crack was weak. If Obama were serious about it, he’d reel in Weaselly (or fire him). If they weren’t complicit, Weaselly would never have reiterated his Sunday remarks on Monday. It’s just another Mutt and Jeff routine. Simple as that.

petefrt on July 1, 2008 at 8:40 AM

“A not-so-public man, the private character of John McCain” by Abraham Katsman from the Jerusalem Post, Jun 29th.

I waited until today to follow the link, thinking it was going to be a smear posted on Drudge.

If you haven’t read it yet, do. It came out simultaneously with Clark’s rampage. Talk about both sides of the spectrum and only the LEFT gets the limelight.

CHARACTER and experience matter in choosing to hope in something that we can believe in. Turn bobama’s linguistics on its ear and place MEANING where it’s applicable rather than where there is no substance.

maverick muse on July 1, 2008 at 8:43 AM

MB4 on July 1, 2008 at 4:35 AM

Don’t forget that McCain drove a red truck…

right2bright on July 1, 2008 at 8:43 AM

Poor Obama.

This is what happens when you pull your bus into Unity, then let Hillary’s folks jump on board.

Gen Clark is looking to be Hillary’s VP in 2012.

faraway on July 1, 2008 at 9:07 AM

General Clark is extremely stupid but John McAmnesty isn’t much smarter than either he or Obama…

sabbott on July 1, 2008 at 9:09 AM

To borrow a former judgement from Admiral Joe Richardson:

Obama has unleashed this dastardly unprovoked attack, a perfidious piece of chicanery, inappropriately diverting attention toward McCain to cover his own ass.

maverick muse on July 1, 2008 at 9:39 AM


maverick muse on July 1, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Sorry if I haven’t read all of the comments, but have been traveling for 3 days. Another blog that you might enjoy reading about this nut:

When he is on fox I have to turn the station. And yet, I haven’t seen him for a while, so maybe they got smart and ditched him. Now if they would just get rid of jeraldo and beckel my paying for cable would be worth it.

Bambi on July 1, 2008 at 10:01 AM

uhhh, Why was this imbecile touting Kerry’s war experience (3 months) as being important, when Kerry was running? Clark is a stupid and transparent man.

marklmail on July 1, 2008 at 10:27 AM

“A ambitious young politician bent on personal destruction of an opponents record and accomplishments?”

Why not…it worked in Chicago. You don’t expect Obama to CHANGE do you?

GarandFan on July 1, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Clark is stupid and smarmy enough to drive conservatives who don’t really like McCain back into his corner.

Think_b4_speaking on July 1, 2008 at 11:54 AM

John McCain put his life on the line for his country. Barack Obama has not. While I have never thought that military service was a prerequisite to public office, it certainly gives one a lot more experience and is an asset for the presidency

There is never one thing that qualifies someone for the office. But some unique experiences tell a lot about someones character. McCain’s is such a story. If he came back and told lies about his officers, it would tell a different story (ala Kerry), and if he stayed in longer to allow his brethren to be released first it tells another.
No, it is not the service, it is the circumstances of his service.
Many others never made it back to tell their story, I am thankful one great man did make it…in stark contrast to the Democrats who have no one, Kerry, who lied, is the closest. A liar vs. a hero, how interesting…

right2bright on July 1, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Weaselly Clark is mentally challenged. He confirms you can carry the rank of general and still be a piece of human trash. I wonder if Obama’s internet site, “Stop the Smears” was set up for McCain to deflect the trash the dims and their surrogates are going to pile on him.

volsense on July 1, 2008 at 2:21 PM

I shutter to think this bozo, could be Secretary of Defense or worse VP. He like most Democrats have no soul, it was sold to the highest bidder years ago.

Dasher on July 1, 2008 at 4:01 PM

Rush keeps pushing the limp response button.

Rethink what we DO know about what McCain is willing to say about McCain. Re-read June29 low personal profile article from the Jerusalem Post on McCain. McCain, a man with honor, declines to personally defend his record as it stands on its own merits, and EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD HONOR the fact that McCain stayed a POW when he could have been released leaving his prison mates behind but he chose to stay with them the duration of our Viet Nam War.

Bobama has determined McCain’s sense of honor is his achilles heel. Bobama thinks and behaves true to fascist form. His jackals and hyenas are loose. Bobama “won’t stand idly by” when he has his Hanuman gold plated IDOL infused with life from Indian priests to “stand idly by” for him while he leads the charge from the rear. Ever the “organizer”, getting others caught with his dirt.

maverick muse on July 1, 2008 at 4:19 PM

I gather Clark had 1 month Vietnam experience in the battlefield before he exposed himself, was shot, and left Vietnam going back to the USA. Clark was not popular amongst our US military generals because for all of his book smarts, he was a low down dirty snake in the grass.


Clark was valedictorian of his class at West Point. [In Vietnam, 1969 with 1st Infantry Division] He worked as a staff officer, collecting data and helping in operations planning, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his work with the staff. Clark was then given command of A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division in January 1970. In February, only one month into his command, he was shot four times by a Viet Cong soldier with an AK-47. [Then he went stateside for recuperation and further military school.] His next posting was to the office of the Army Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C., where he worked in the “Modern Volunteer Army” program from May to July 1971. He then served as a social studies instructor at West Point for three years from July 1971 to 1974.

Clark was, to some degree, involved in the Waco Siege, (Feb. 1993) where 74 Branch Davidian followers were killed during the final raid, including their leader David Koresh. Some military technology and personnel from Fort Hood, including two M1 Abrams tanks, were lent to the FBI for the operation. Some also suggest that, given the sensitive nature of the materials lent for the operation, Clark had some knowledge of and perhaps a hand in planning the Waco Siege. Clark’s next assignment was an appointment as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), from April 1994 to June 1996. Army regulations set a so-called “ticking clock” upon the promotion to a three-star general, essentially requiring that Clark be promoted to another post within 2 years from his initial promotion or retire. This deadline ended in 1996 and Clark said he was not optimistic about receiving such a promotion because rumors at the time suggested General Dennis Reimer did not want to promote him although “no specific reason was given”. Clark was named to the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) post despite these rumors. Congress approved his promotion to full general in June 1996, and General John M. Shalikashvili signed the order. Clark said he was not the original nominee, but the first officer chosen “hadn’t been accepted for some reason.” Clark began planning work for responses to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina upon his appointment in 1994 as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) on the JCS staff. While collecting information to outline military options for resolving the conflict, Clark met with Bosnian military leaders including Ratko Mladić, who was later accused of war crimes and genocide. Clark was photographed exchanging hats with Mladić.

maverick muse on July 1, 2008 at 5:00 PM


Your Obamamessiah has lost any chance he ever had at being President, he lost that about 2 weeks ago.

In fact at the rate the Democrats are going both Harry and Nancy will be nothing more then a senator and a congresscritter, too. Poor Nancy, she will have to pay for her own private jet to fly her back to San Francisco now.

Nahanni on July 2, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Don’t count your chickens before they roost.

RobCon on July 2, 2008 at 9:39 AM