The best description I've heard about Gen. Wesley Clark as a politician is "talented amateur." I forget who said it, but he was right on. Clark was obviously a very bright, talented person, a decorated soldier and Rhodes scholar. What he wasn't was a trained politician.
Of course, that's what attracted so many people to him, including me. And while Clark may have made a helluva president, he wasn't a helluva candidate. He was appealing and quirky, but he wasn't a practiced politician. That's what killed him in the end.
That and his late entry into the race and Kerry's unexpected surge. The more I think about it, Dean wasn't a polished politician either. He lacked the self-control and discipline needed to make it all the way. Edwards is a great politician. Kerry isn't great, but he is disciplined and looks a lot better as he zeroes in on the nomination. Presidential candidates always do.
I wish Clark had done better and I think he would have been a better candidate against Bush than Kerry, at least based on his resume. The Republican National Committee must have a file on Kerry that would reach to his outsized chin. The upside to Kerry: he'll definitely fight back.