Interesting. I just
watched Wes Clark on Aaron Brown. This was his first appearance on the show as a candidate. So Brown made a point of throwing a few policy questions
at him and, conspicuously, switching to a more distant tone than the one they had when Clark was there as a CNN analyst.
He asked a question about Medicare, which Supreme Court justice he admired most, partial birth abortion. Clark's discomfort was evident, as, to be frank, was mine.
I won't mince words: it was a pretty awkward exchange. Not pretty.
Then after a few questions Brown moved to foreign policy and some more general questions that didn't turn directly on domestic policy issues. And Clark was smooth, articulate, polished, etc. For that matter, his pre-announcement to 'draft clark' supporters which ran online Wednesday morning (and which you can see here) was really good -- unrehearsed, not overly polished, but in a good way.
I know that one of Clark's concerns about getting into this race was not being up to speed on various domestic policy issues. And I suspect the issue here with these answers -- the awkwardness -- was not so much a lack of knowledge -- after all, most pols punch through those sorts of questions with a couple one-liners -- but an evident concern that someone's going to catch him out on some issue.
Now, it was day one. And I can imagine it's jarring if you've been going on TV a lot talking about subjects in which you have great expertise and then suddenly being asked questions on subjects in which you don't much expertise.
But it was a problem.