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Clark jumps in.



Byline: The Register-Guard

Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark (person) Wesley Clark - One of the designers of the Laboratory Instrument Computer at MIT who subsequently had a quiet hand in many seminal computing events, such as the development of the Internet, the first really good description of the metastability problem in computer logic.  is quite late in joining the field of nine Democratic presidential candidates, some of whom have been on the campaign trail for more than a year. That could be a blessing, as his entry brings a bit of star-power to the contest.

Clark - who served 34 years in the U.S. Army, including in Vietnam and as commander of NATO NATO: see North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
NATO
 in full North Atlantic Treaty Organization

International military alliance created to defend western Europe against a possible Soviet invasion.
 during the late-1990s Kosovo campaign - also brings a military and national security background to the Democratic side that perhaps only Sen. John Kerry Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.  of Massachusetts, a Vietnam veteran This article is about veterans of the Vietnam War. For the French psychedelic musical group, see Vietnam Veterans.
Vietnam veteran is a phrase used to describe someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War.
 himself, can approximate.

If Clark were to secure the Democratic nomination, that extensive background in uniform would contrast sharply with President Bush's nondescript non·de·script  
adj.
Lacking distinctive qualities; having no individual character or form: "This expression gave temporary meaning to a set of features otherwise nondescript" 
 military experience in the National Guard. Depending on the course of events in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, his military background could give the general a clear advantage in the national and homeland security arena.

But Clark has weaknesses, too. He's never held any elective office, even in high school. While that might appeal to a lot of voters fed up with politics as usual, it weakens him in the areas of domestic policy. As Clark said Wednesday: "I'll do my best, but there will be a lot of things that I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 right away." That sort of candor may in time turn out to be a plus for Clark. But he'll be expected to fill in the blanks in his responses soon.

Some Democrats are looking at Clark as a potential vice presidential candidate on another candidate's ticket. That seems unlikely. As a former four-star general, Clark doesn't come across as a No. 2 type of person.

For historical perspective, 10 former generals have become president of the United States The head of the Executive Branch, one of the three branches of the federal government.

The U.S. Constitution sets relatively strict requirements about who may serve as president and for how long.
. First and foremost of those was George Washington. He led the country to victory in the Revolutionary War, then retired to Mount Vernon, only to be lured back into public service as the nation's first president. The most recent ex-general to become president was Dwight Eisenhower, who led the Allies to victory in Europe in World War II and seven years after the war, in 1952, won the presidency. Others included William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor and Ulysses S. Grant. Generals have made some of the country's best presidents, and some of the worst.

Clark comes into the race relatively uncategorized politically - his party affiliation was uncertain until recently - but he has taken certain positions that should appeal to Democratic voters. He opposes Bush's tax cuts, for example, and he favors abortion rights and affirmative action affirmative action, in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. , and opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) covers 19,049,236 acres (79,318 km²) in northeastern Alaska, in the North Slope region. It was originally protected in 1960 by order of Fred A. Seaton, the Secretary of the Interior under U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. .

Wesley Clark adds a new dimension to the race for the Democratic nomination and, for that reason alone, his candidacy is to be welcomed. Much can still happen between now and the first primaries and caucuses early next year.
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Title Annotation:Ex-generals good presidents - and bad ones; Editorials
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 18, 2003
Words:476
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