That whirring noise you’re hearing from Tennessee this evening is emanating from Wesley Clark, who’s explaining what he really meant when a would-be voter yesterday asked his views on abortion. “Well, I’m against abortion,” Clark told a patron of the Catfish Place, deep in the heart of west Tennessee.

Oops. Well, not exactly.

Today, he clarified his views. “I support a woman’s right to choose,” he said, according to an Associated Press story out of Chattanooga.

Did anybody other than Clark’s campaign advisors catch the General flip-flop yesterday?

Sort of. As noted above, Edward Wyatt of The New York Times was with the General at the Catfish Place and recorded the comment. In Wednesday’s story Wyatt also noted that a month earlier Clark had portrayed himself as pro-choice, telling a Planned Parenthood forum that “These are your values. These are my values.”

The General, he wrote, had simply “adjusted his pitch on some issues.” That’s putting it mildly. Wyatt’s language makes us think we’re reading Little League coverage of a Big League game.

—Susan Q. Stranahan

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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.