There has been movement between the Obama campaign and General Wesley Clark’s team on the issue of his playing some kind of role at the Democratic National Convention.
The Obama campaign did reach out to Clark in the last several days to try and find some accommodation. Wesley Clark also communicated privately to the campaign as well as through his staff to The Washington Note that his commitment to the Democratic Party and to the success of Barack Obama’s presidential bid was as strong as ever and that he would play whatever role they asked him to if it would be of value. He made clear through his staff that he would work around a tight schedule of board of directors meetings that week to appear at the Convention if asked.
It seems that the Obama campaign has moved its agenda around a bit to try and accommodate Clark to some degree. I can’t go into details yet until the Obama campaign makes the announcement itself — but Clark said today that he would get to the Convention on Thursday.
While the nature of Clark’s role has not been fully specified — he may appear in an event originally scheduled for Wednesday and moved to Thursday. It is not clear whether he will speak or not.
In any case, kudos to Wes Clark for being “big” in this case. In my view, to solve this problem of a gaping void that would have been created between Clark and the Democratic Party had he not appeared, Clark is agreeing to be there — at the request of the Democratic Party.
My instinct tells me Clark deserves a far better role than he’s going to be offered — but it’s a good thing that the Obama campaign staff moved a notch or two as this blog and others called on them to do. And Clark deserves applause for not letting the DNC and Obama Land get away with exclusion of him at the convention.
He needs to be on stage — and frankly in my view — he needs to be speaking. For Wesley Clark not to have been there would have caused a wound that would have taken much time from which to recover.
— Steve Clemons