The Corner

A Clarke Theory


“Rich, I think I have this Clarke guy figured out. If you look at everything he has said, as well as the facts that everyone agrees on, he believes that Clinton “cared more” about Al Queda but did nothing about it, whereas Bush “cared less” about it but appointed Clarke to develop a more comprehensive strategy to eliminate rather than contain it. What he have is the confluence of Clinton’s charisma and Clarke’s ego. I have heard an awful lot of people say that Bill Clinton makes each person he spoke with believe he agrees with them. He was also a micro manager who avoided tough decisions. Clarke reported directly to Clinton and briefed him personally on security matters, whereas Bush got his briefings directly from the source–the CIA director. So when Clarke briefed Clinton, he (Clarke) “felt” Clinton was engaged and interested, and of course Clarke felt terribly important as the guy who was briefing the President. But Bush delegates, he doesn’t “feel people’s pain” the same way as Clinton. It’s all about Clarke’s “feelings,” not about actually doing anything about terrorism. Clinton made Clarke “feel” good–even though he avoided all of those undecided issues left for the Bush camp from 1998–while Bush made Clarke feel left out, like a little kid who didn’t get invited to someone’s birthday party, even though Bush was actually doing more about terrorism. Because, you know, like, I mean, it’s all about “feelings” man, don’ t you know?”


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