Does This Rule Out Dean-Clark ’04?

Salon recently interviewed Wesley Clark, and asked him about the possible “dream team” Democratic ticket against Bush:

[J]ust 48 hours before before the capture of Saddam Hussein outside of Tikrit, Clark made his strongest statement to date about why a Dean-Clark ticket is a bad idea. Clark, who says that he’s uniquely qualified to go “toe-to-toe” with President Bush on security issues in 2004, said that whether he’s on the ticket or not, the Democrats can’t win with Dean as their presidential candidate.

“I don’t think the Democratic Party can win without carrying a heavy experience in national security affairs into the campaign,” he told Salon in a phone interview last week. “And that experience can’t be in a vice president.”

Asked if he was referring specifically to the much-discussed possibility of a Dean-Clark ticket, he said: “It’s no substitute. It won’t work, and it won’t carry the election for this party.”

Of course, when running for president one must not seem to be really running for vice-president. But if we take him at his word, Clark seems to be ruling out an alliance with Dean.

Or, do his comments leave that door open just a crack…?