The word from the Washington Post today is that Howard Dean has asked Wesley Clark to come aboard his ticket as his running mate, if Clark doesn’t make the race himself.
Dean however is generating flack for his recent statements on race and the Middle East. The question surrounds whether or not Dean is being careless in what he says, is being attacked now for things because he is the front-runner, or is he the target of a media doing a “Gore-ing”?
As for Kerry, with the news that Dean may opt out of public financing during the campaign season due to his recent success at fundraising, Kerry himself muses about doing the same, while whining lamely about Dean changing his mind on the subject. But worse yet for Kerry, there is now talk of the obvious: his fundraising has stalled because of Dean:
A Kerry adviser who admits his man's fund-raising efforts have "pretty much stalled" in the face of Dean's surge, says Dean's strong support among Democratic activists means "none of us have figured a surefire way to rough him up without hurting ourselves. We'd better think of something pretty fast, though, or it'll be Bush who ends up roughing him up next year."
But the news from Iowa is no better for Kerry, who has lost a little ground in the state since April, and now sees Dean lead him and Gephardt. Again, it is early and a loss in Iowa is not the killer for Kerry as it is for Gephardt. A loss in Iowa and a loss in New Hampshire would be very difficult for Kerry, especially if Clark is in the race by then and gradually picking up support. How to counteract and make progress in New Hampshire and the Northeast? How about running a solid hard-hitting TV campaign attacking Bush’s environmental rollbacks, Senator?
Also, as good news for Dean and John Edwards, and bad news for John Kerry and Dick Gephardt, the Service Employees International Union delayed its endorsement this week. Observers feel that after SEIU’s presidential candidate’s conference this week that Dean and Edwards made the best presentations. Gephardt, who also apparently gave a good performance, was hoping to have the endorsement sewn up this week so that he could pursue the bigger prize: the AFL-CIO’s endorsement.