Four-star general for president?

Wesley Clark, whom I know slightly, shares one quality with Gen. Dwight Eisenhower - one of the most popular presidents of our time - and Colin Powell, who might have been had he chosen to run.

It is the ability to jettison military jargon and address civilians in civilian terms. This quality served Mr. Clark in good stead in 1996 when he faced mandatory retirement under the Army's "up or out" policy. The three-star general was completing his term as director of strategic planning for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the military command had no four-star assignment to offer him.

The smooth-talking general managed to enlist the interests of Defense Secretary William Perry, and even President Clinton. Clark ended up with the Southern Command - and four stars.

The Rhodes scholar who was also first in his class at West Point and was wounded in Vietnam has the necessary pedigree for a candidate in a time of security concerns. But for one who has spent most of his professional life in uniform, he also has an unusual ability to address civilian concerns.

On television, he argued for affirmative action and against a big tax cut. On CNN's "Crossfire" he spoke out against permitting "a long-term deficit." On "Meet The Press" he spoke out against the abridgement of civil liberties in pursuit of the war against terrorism.

Will the former supreme commander of NATO forces run for president? I suspect that this is for him a strategic issue and that he is conducting a feasibility study, or, perhaps, a reconnaissance. Can he, starting late, raise enough money before the primaries to make him look electable? Do people respond to a soldier- intellectual? I imagine Clark will run only if he thinks he has a chance.

Daniel Schorr is a senior news analyst at National Public Radio.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK