Retired General Wesley Clark joined Senate Democrats in Philadelphia over the weekend -- after raising money in New York Friday night for his PAC -- to counsel the largely xenophobic crew on international relations.
The retreat was to take up how the party could face down Republicans on international issues, including military actions and global security. On some points, according to sources present at the meetings, Clark was clear that his party has to move past the inward-looking philosophical undercurrents that drive the party's obstructionism in Congress.
"But it was the same old, same old," says an attendee. "He talked about using the United Nations, about using international law, about doing everything before limited military action. It was Clintonian and we don't need Clinton right now, at least not Bill Clinton."
Many inside the party view Clark's advice as dubious at best, particularly given his performance in the 2004 election cycle, as well as because of his close ties to billionaire George Soros. Clark has bent over backwards to distance himself from Soros, but that was hard to do on Saturday, particularly since Soros was one of Clark's biggest financial backers in New York on Friday.
"Soros is one of the biggest albatrosses we have around our necks right now," says a Democrat fundraiser based in the Midwest. "Republicans fundraise well off of his name, and he represents everything that has gone wrong for the Democrats in the past two election cycles. It would be best if he just sat in the background, but he doesn't seem to feel that is necessary any longer. A lot of us think it is."
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