PA alumnus General Barry McCaffrey refers to Wesley Clark, once a fellow faculty member at West Point, as “one of the top five most talented people I’ve met in my life.” The latest Business Week Online claims that despite Wesley Clark’s withdrawal from the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination, he will be the new surrogate celebrity for the Democratic Party. Since the days of Julius Caesar, the populous has been drawn to generals who become involved in politics. In American politics, generals such as George Washington, Ulysses Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower made the transformation from general to president. Though this former four-star general from Arkansas will not carry on the tradition of general to president, he still has a very bright future in politics. Clark is a strong candidate to be either the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee or the Secretary of Defense in a Democratic Administration. Regardless of what happens this November, expect to see him running for political office in the future. This short Presidential campaign is not the end of Wesley Clark’s political career, but rather the beginning. In the last six months, Wesley Clark has come out of nowhere to become one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party. Before he announced his run, few had heard of him. The 59 year-old Clark served in the United States military for 38 years and rose to the level of four-star general. Clark never ran for public office before his current bid for the presidency, which made his run even more remarkable. Before he ran, he did not possess a broad command of domestic issues. Now he has developed a set of comprehensive domestic policies in addition to his already broad foreign policy experience. He has become a solid and credible candidate, knowledgeable of the problems affecting America and full of promising solutions. Though he only won one primary, he still is a player for V.P. Wesley Clark may well be the vice presidential candidate. He combines Southern charm and appeal with military experience, just what the Democrats need for a winning ticket. Imagine a Democratic ticket with two Vietnam veterans, 40+ years of combined military experience, a four-star general, the winners of two silver and bronze stars, and the recipients of four purple hearts. Equipped with military experience, the Democrats cannot be accused of being soft on national security and defense. In no way can the members of a Kerry-Clark ticket be accused of being unpatriotic. It would also be a perfect blend of North and South. They would be a strong political team. It is a match made in heaven. Do not believe that Wesley Clark will “just fade away,” to quote General Douglas MacArthur, as another general with political ambitions. He does not seem like the type of man who will just give up and forget his political future. He will not just go back to Little Rock, Arkansas, play golf, and run a restaurant. He will continue to work hard and persevere until his goals have been reached. He is a rising Democratic star, and is poised to be a powerful figure in Washington for years to come. Even if Wesley Clark is not on the bottom half of the Democratic ticket, and even if the Democrats do not take back 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in November, Clark will continue to be a major player in Democratic politics in the future.
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