1. Is it really so bad to use surrogates to articulate the arguments that wouldn't sound too pretty coming from the candidate's mouth?
2. Is every supporter who makes an argument a "surrogate" for the candidate? I think that "surrogate" implies that the campaign authorized the person to say something on behalf of the candidate and that it should not cover supporters who happen to say things, even when they say things that make you want to ask the candidate whether he would adopt the supporter's statement as his own.
3. Was Wesley Clark sent by the Obama campaign to say that John McCain's military experience — "riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down" — is not the kind of executive decisionmaking that a President needs to do and is therefore not much of a qualification for President? Clark was responding to a question about Barack Obama's lack of equivalent experience, and the point was to minimize McCain's service — which would be stupid — but to defend Obama's qualifications.
4. Wasn't Clark correct on the precise point that he made about executive experience?
5. Wasn't Clark a fool not to see how the other side would be able to use his remark?
6. How should Obama respond now? He has to say something today, and I feel as though I could type out the appropriately Obaman professorial distinctions and explanations that I expect to hear, but this post is too long already.
7. Wesley Clark can't be the VP pick now, right? Or does the uproar over his remarks show that McCain supporters think Clark is a formidable opponent?
UPDATE: The Obama campaign sends a spokesman — one Bill Burton — to say:
"As he's said many times before, Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain's service, and of course he rejects yesterday's statement by General Clark."Obama needs to say something himself, something with some passion and less... Dukakitude.