Gen. Wesley Clark Endorses Hillary Clinton

Update: Here's Gen. Clark's statement.


In a blogger conference call this morning, Gen. Wesley Clark endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. (Big Tent Democrat and I were both on the call. Be sure to read his separate post on the endorsement.)

Big Tent asked him for thoughts on Hillary's Iraq plan and what he finds attractive about it. Answer: Hillary understands the proper role of the Senate and the executive branch. She's aware of what the power of the Senate is given the current makeup.

She believes we should begin withdrawing forces now. So does he. She believes in diplomacy with all of Iraq's neighbors. She has said there would be no permanent presence of troops in Iraq.

Taylor Marsh asked about Hillary being Commander in Chief. Answer: She'd be great. She's loyal and will be loyal to the armed forces. She's very strong and decisive. She's been to Iraq, Bosnia and other places. He thinks the troops will be very proud of their commander in chief.

Jerome Armstrong: Would he accept the VP nomination? Answer: He hasn't thought anything about that. This is about putting the right person in the White House.


Next question is about her other policies: Answer: She's the total package. She really has it and she will make a great President.

Hillary-Clark would be a great ticket. I've always liked Clark.

Back in 2003, here was Gen. Clark on the Patriot Act (in a Rolling Stone interview.)

Q: The president is urging Congress to grant him wider powers to wage war on terrorism at home. A: Come on, give us a break. The Patriot Act, all 1,200 pages of it, was passed without any serious congressional discussion. There was no public accountability, and now he wants more? What does he think this country is? We shouldn't do anything with the Patriot Act until it's unwrapped. I'd like to see what violations of privacy it entails, and whether those violations are in any way justified by their preventing terrorism in this country. And we need to do it now before we take another step forward and pay for that.

Here's how he would fix it:

I will suspend the portions of the Patriot Act that have to do with search and seizure law, and we'll go back to old way with probable cause and judges and warrants, and then we'll take the whole act back to the Congress for legislative review. We will have all the authority we need to protect the country from terrorists, but you can't win the war on terror by giving up the very freedoms we're fighting to protect.

Here is Wesley Clark in 2003 on crime:

I'm concerned about the lock-up policy, the 3-strikes policy, putting people in jails and the way we've treated people in prison. We've got to look seriously at the American penal system and what it does when it returns people.to the streets." Source: WBUR Public Radio interview Jun 19, 2003

He's uneasy about the death penalty.

A government like the United States has the right to, in extraordinary cases, take the life of a criminal, but I dont like the way the death penalty has been applied in America, Clark said. I think its been applied in an unfair and discriminatory fashion and I think we need to go back and use modern technology and unpack all those cases on death row.

This is a big endorsement for Hillary. I hope she gives serious consideration to choosing Gen. Clark as a running mate if she gets the nomination.

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  • Display: Sort:
    "Loyal to the armed forces"??? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 10:27:33 AM EST
    What on earth does that mean?  We have morphed into a country where the military is on such a pedestal we have lost all rationality about it.  That is the mark of an increasingly dictatorial nation.  

    How about loyal to the American people first?  Do that and the troops will be taken care of in the proper fashion.  

    She won't get us out of Iraq, she'll leave bases and troops there forever.  Give me a large f*cking break.  There is nothing in Hillary that is not establishment.  When she starts leading and taking genuine risks, then I'll believe she's the real deal.  

    Seriously, (none / 0) (#4)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 02:48:28 PM EST
    is that an accurate paraphrase of Clark's answer, Jeralyn?

    I don't see anything like that in Taylor Marsh's posting or in the NYT article she references.


    yes (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 03:04:28 PM EST
    I was typing as he was speaking. He used the word loyal twice, first to describe Hillary, then to indicate who she'd be loyal to. I wasn't doing an exact transcript but that's what I typed.

    Wow then (none / 0) (#6)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 03:10:17 PM EST
    My take was pretty much Dadler's. "Loyal to the armed forces" is exactly backwards in my view. Thanks for the clarification.

    Did anyone ask about defunding? (none / 0) (#2)
    by robrecht on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 10:41:31 AM EST

    My question (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 10:47:15 AM EST
    was about the role Sen. Clinton plays in the Senate as well as her proposed Iraq policy.

    See my post above for my reaction to General clark's answer.


    Is it then correct that Clark sd. nothing (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 05:50:52 PM EST
    about defunding now?  

    Correct (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 06:37:06 PM EST
    You didn't see this as your golden (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 06:52:17 PM EST
    opportunity to press Clark on the issue in the hope he would advise Hillary Clinton to speak out more, not just cast the right votes?

    I got one question (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 10:10:20 PM EST
    You tried. That's great. Thanks. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 16, 2007 at 01:52:11 AM EST
    But pound on Hillary and Clark here, please. I like to think she is redeemable and Dodd isn't registering in the polls, faulty though they be.

    Curiousity compelled me to (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 16, 2007 at 02:15:09 PM EST
    actually read Clark's statement endorsing Clinton.  His emphasis is entirely on negotiation.  Doubt that will change, unfortunately. So, there really was no "golden opportunity," it seems.  This doesn't lead to warm toasty feelings for Clinton, although her votes have been right on.

    4% gold isn't much (none / 0) (#13)
    by robrecht on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 07:06:27 PM EST
    Didn't catch your meaning on (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 07:09:06 PM EST
    that one.

    4% chance of defunding before 2009 (none / 0) (#15)
    by robrecht on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 07:20:16 PM EST
    BTD (jokingly? cynically?) estimated a 4% chance of of success with defunding.  I don't really think Clark expects to get much out of Hillary before the general election.

    Pretty obscure, sorry.


    Got it. (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 07:24:39 PM EST
    Still, why bother blogging, and blogging, and blogging, but not confront a guy who could maybe, possibly, make a difference?  We're not talking mr. nice guy here re the questioner!

    Good question, oculus. (none / 0) (#17)
    by robrecht on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 07:27:51 PM EST
    Waiting, (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 07:28:36 PM EST
    but not for Godot.  

    These conference calls (none / 0) (#7)
    by Maryb2004 on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 04:57:51 PM EST
    would be more accurately described as a "conference call with some bloggers"  since they don't invite every blogger in the blogosphere to listen in.  

    I'm glad you took good notes.  On the other hand this habit that is growing among celebrity politicians to filter their message to the blogosphere through only certain people isn't in my opinion much different than holding a press conference with the MSM.  In the end, we little people get our news filtered through somebody else's lens.  

    I'd prefer to see the people included in "some bloggers" refuse the invitation to these exclusive conference calls and invite people like clark to post their message on multiple community blogs and take questions.  That would be more true to the whole "people powered" ideal.

    At least "our bloggers" were included (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 05:53:07 PM EST
    the "some bloggers" contingent this time, as opposed to the conference call Harry Reid had this Spring with "some bloggers."  Your basic point is good though.  I really liked the fact a Dodd campaign staffer posted at DK and then stayed around to reply to comments.  

    Jeralyn, is there (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 06:25:28 PM EST
    a recording and/or transcript of the conference call?

    [I am aware there are laws prohibiting taping calls w/o permission of all parties.]

    I think (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Sep 15, 2007 at 11:51:39 PM EST
    the campaign recorded it.