Clark Is Toast?
Well I think that if Clark and Edwards come in a relative tie for third with between 10% and 15% of the vote, or even if Clark comes in fourth with a double digit percentage, he's far from toast. I think anything Clark achieves north of single digits in New Hampshire, a place very far from his base in the south, will be impressive.
To bastardize an Al Sharpton quote, "If I got 18% of the vote, I'd still be in Iowa hooting and hollering". If you look at the total vote count and not on the expectations that the spin masters focus on, you see a different picture.
For one thing, this guy just started his campaign four months ago and had to skip Iowa because he couldn't mount an effective campaign in both Iowa and New Hampshire. And he's missed out on the post Iowa bounce that Edwards got that could have been his.
And, this guy is still a rookie. He hasn't been able to spend years developing a nuanced position on abortion or gun control or whether Bush indeed was AWOL or not. He just jumped into the race and became easy fodder for guys like Tim Russerts and Peter Jennings who love to take apart these guys every chance they get. I point to Dave Winer for more on this thought.
So if the Democrats want to send their talented rookie back to the minors just because he gave up some homers to Tim and Peter last week, that is their perogative. But I think sending out the old guys with tired arms may be a mistake too. Let's at least let the rookie pitch a few more games before we start calling him "toast".