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Shop Talk III

December 29th, 2003 - 3:20 pm

Anyone doubt the Democratic primary is really about whether the Clinton or Gore faction will control the party? Read this:

Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark’s new television commercial includes a clip of him and Bill Clinton. It’s the first ad of the 2004 campaign to include an image of the former president, arguably America’s most popular Democrat.

The clip is only a few seconds and shows Clinton walking from a podium at the White House to place the Presidential Medal of Freedom over Clark’s head, honoring his fellow Arkansan for his work in Kosovo as NATO supreme allied commander.

It is one of several scenes in the 30-second ad that was to start running Monday night in New Hampshire, where Clark is trailing Howard Dean and John Kerry in polls. The commercial includes footage of Clark with a short-order cook, a solider and schoolchildren in a classroom.

Campaign advisers say the ad is meant to illustrate that Clark would be the kind of leader who not only has seen ordinary people do extraordinary things in their lifetimes, but who has been honored for such accomplishments.

As the Clinton clip is shown, an announcer in the ad says that Clark is a leader who has been “decorated for valor and for service in our country.”

Of course, an argument could be made that there’s a third faction: Dick Gephardt represents the last of the old New Deal coalition. But that’s a spent force, unlikely to return, and with no major players left in the DNC hierarchy.

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