September 15th, 2007
07:01 PM ET
7 years ago

Clark endorses Clinton

Clark announced his endorsement on Saturday.

(CNN)–Wesley Clark, the retired four star general who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, announced his endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton on Saturday.

"I'm very pleased today to announce my endorsement of Senator Clinton to be our next President of the United States," Clark said on a conference call with reporters. "She'll be a great leader for the United States of America, and I think she'll be a great commander in chief for the men and women in the armed forces."

“The world has reached a critical point, and we need a leader in the White House with the courage, intelligence and humility to navigate through many troubling challenges to our security at home and abroad," Clark also said Saturday.

"I want to thank General Clark. He and I have been friends for twenty five years," Senator Clinton said on the call after Clark made his announcement. "I'm looking forward to having him involved with my campaign, working with him now and into the future, and so I'm very grateful for this endorsement. It means a lot to me personally, as well as a real sign of confidence in my ability to be president and commander in chief."

Clark was the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, and led the allied military operation in the Kosovo war in 1999 under President Bill Clinton.

Shortly after announcing Clark's backing, the Clinton campaign sent out a statement touting the endorsement of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan.

– CNN's Mark Preston and Jamie Crawford


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Race to '08
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Peter Amityville, NY

    Wesley Clark has lost my respect with his "endorsement" of Hillary Clinton.

    September 15, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Actually Wes Clark is one of the few people in the political game whose opinion I value.

    He certainly carries more weight than Oprah or Magic Johnson or anyone from Hollywood.

    Of course he may be angling for a job as Secretary of Defense, but what the heck, he'd be the best one since Cap.

    September 15, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Billl W, Coatesville, PA

    "What has our country come to…Hilary Clinton as commander in chief. She and her husband 'loathe' the military."

    And don't forget that hubby Bill didn't serve, either. Just like W. The Republicans took John Kerry, who did serve, and got a purple heart, and turned his military experience against him with the "Swift Boat" ads. I can only imagine what kind of negative ads the Republicans have in store for Hillary. And every bit of it pure truth.

    This is just one more nail for her presidential coffin. She is an evil woman with a lousy history who polarizes
    the nation, and is not electable. She should quit now and keep all the campaign money for herself instead of throwing it away on a doomed presidential campaign.

    September 15, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    "So did you forget that under Bill we had a budget SURPLUS, jobs, peace, and a strong economy?"

    Yes, but 99% of that work was done by the 12 years of Republican administration that preceded Bill Clinton – maily by Ronald Reagan and some by daddy Bush. Bill Clinton has little to take credit for there, except, I guess that he didn't p*ss it all away. He got all that handed to him from the previous administration.

    And he was still a scumbag who had multiple affairs, shady land deals, rented out the white house, stole from the white house, and (allegedly, because it was never proven, though highly probable) sold presidential pardons.

    But he was charming enough to get away with all that and still have frothing-at-the-mouth supporters for him and his wife. A real politician – and one I can do without, thanks.

    September 15, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. Maria, Houston

    ...the Good General also voted for Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. and with a great enthusiasm cheered the entire Bush Jr. administration... for Clinton's he is just another Arkansas connection ready for an ambassadorship...

    September 15, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  6. Lois Craven, Keller, Tx

    A Clinton and Clark ticket is a definite winner!

    September 15, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  7. Maria, Houston

    Maggie, Grain Valley, MO,

    Hillary Clinton attacked Lou Dobbs just few days ago in effort to pander to Hispanic audience during recent Dems debate...she was very specific about Lou Dobbs and it was also addressed on his show several times last week...

    September 15, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. Michael James - Illinois

    Response to George : September 15, 2007 2:13 pm, who requested some documentation and information on endorsements.

    I see that others have already provided links to the story on the military contributions, but here’s another one: http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=300

    I readily admit it’s not a huge amount of money or a huge number of contributors, but Obama is ahead of everyone from either party by a substantial margin. Are you trying to say that Clinton would enjoy more support from the military than Obama? If so, please provide your evidence. In any event, I’m sure if it was Hillary Clinton leading in contributions from the military, it would be front page news everywhere.

    Despite the small sample size, the support from the military for Obama dovetails nicely with a Zogby poll from early in 2006, in which an overwhelming majority (72%) of American troops serving in Iraq thought the U.S. should exit the country within the next year.

    http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075

    As for endorsements from generals, I don’t know of a complete list anywhere, but I know of at least two generals and plenty of others with significant national security and/or military experience:

    Major General Scott Gration (USAF-Ret); Former Commander, Operation Iraqi Freedom’s Task Force West; Former Director, Strategy Policy and Assessments, United States European Command. He had a 32-year Air Force career. As a fighter pilot, he flew 274 missions over Iraq during and after the first Persian Gulf War.

    General Merrill “Tony” McPeak; Chief of Staff, United States Air Force (1990-1994).

    Dr. Richard Danzig; Secretary of the Navy (1998-2001)

    Dr. Tony Lake; National Security Adviser(1993-1997); Director of Policy Planning, State Department (1977-1981)

    Dr. Susan Rice; Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs(1997-2001); Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, the National Security Council, (1995-1997); Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping, National Security Council (1993-1995)

    http://www.nhinsider.com/press-releases/national-security-and-military-leaders-praise-barack-obamas-.html

    Zbigniew Brzezinski; former National Security Advisor
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20070824/pl_bloomberg/ank76qu5lafs_1

    Ted Sorensen; John F. Kennedy's Special Counsel & Adviser, legendary speechwriter, and "alter-ego."
    http://www.charlierose.com/activity/most-popular/page6

    There is also Patrick Murphy, the only Iraq veteran currently serving in the US House of Representatives.

    Murphy joined the Army in 1993 and later become a West Point professor and a Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps attorney. He earned a Bronze Star as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, serving in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004.

    “Sen. Obama truly wants to unite America, and, speaking as a former captain in the 82nd Airborne Division, I know that he has the judgment we need to be our next commander in chief,” Murphy said Tuesday.

    http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/congresss-only-iraq-war-veteran-endorses-obama-2007-08-21.html

    As for labor union endorsements, ask Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean how that worked out.

    September 15, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. Sue, Michigan

    And Bill W, what has Little Bush done for us exavtly? Let's see, taken away rights, held prisoners against the Geneva convention, made up a war so his Halliburton buddies could get richer, sent troops to be killed (more than were killed on 9-11) not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Iraquis who are either dead or displaced or just terrified, eliminated the surplus, made a mockery of the Constitution–and you dislike the Clintons?

    September 15, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  10. sid, cedar rapids,ia

    Clark evidently thinks hillary is going to get the nomination, and is hoping for a job.
    hillary will NOT make a good president; she had a chance when she was running her husband's terms.
    he could have taken care of al quaeda but did nothing. anyone watch 'path to 911?? do it.

    September 15, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  11. B.F. Pinkerton, TX

    Maggie,

    In response to your post...

    First, Obama has more time as an elected government official than either Senator Clinton or former Senator John Edwards.

    Second, in regard to his stance at the time of voting for the war... in a speech by Obama in 2002:

    "I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars." -Barack Obama

    Do you still think he'd have voted for an Iraq war with the words above?

    September 15, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. kyle mccaskill, beacon, ny

    This Video Is Showing That Obama can be president because two fmr presidents were
    where he is right now, lessons prove experience makes an either worse president( nixon, bush, vp dick cheney, defense sec.rumsfeld)

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBy3AKn_2Fk&w=640&h=390]

    September 15, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  13. DB, Erie PA

    Sad that he seems to think it's okay for the BUSH and CLINTON family to pass the white house back and forth for the past 25 years.

    September 16, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  14. Michael James -- Illinois

    Maggie from Grain Valley, MO touched on some things to which I would like to respond.

    Hillary’s war vote cannot be written off as simply being misled by Bush. Hillary has said: "I believed that giving the president authority to go back to the United Nations and put in inspectors was an appropriate designation of authority."

    Here is the truth, as reported by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta in The New York Times Magazine earlier this year. The full text is available at the URL below:

    http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F50712FD3F540C708CDDAF0894DF404482

    It is a long article, so go to the sub-heading "A forgotten vote" for the details. "Clinton voted against an amendment to the war resolution that would have required the diplomatic emphasis that Clinton had gone on record as supporting - and that she now says she had favored all along."

    "The long-overlooked vote was on an amendment introduced by Carl Levin and several other Senate Democrats who hoped to rein in President Bush by requiring a two-step process before Congress would actually authorize the use of force... The amendment called, first, for the U.N. to pass a new resolution explicitly approving the use of force against Iraq. It also required the president to return to Congress if his U.N. efforts failed and, in Senator Levin's words, "urge us to authorize a going-it-alone, unilateral resolution." That resolution would allow the president to wage war as a last option." In light of this, for Hillary Clinton to say, with a straight face, that it's all Bush's fault is completely disingenuous.

    Furthermore, Barack's experience doesn't start with his election to the US Senate. This whole experience fallacy is being propagated by the Clintonistas because they know Barack is the superior candidate. She can't win on substance, so she needs some sort of generic way to convince people to ignore all of the ways in which Barack is better than Hillary. For starters, he's actually held elective office for a longer period of time than has Hillary. You can learn a great deal about Barack’s background by going to his website: http://www.barackobama.com/about/ and you can see a nice chart summarizing the more than 800 bills he sponsored in the Illinois State Senate at the following URL: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/07/29/us/politics/20070730_OBAMA_GRAPHIC.html

    How do Hillary's legislative accomplishments, if any, stack up to those of Barack Obama? Is she counting her years as first lady as part of her experience? If so, then why can't anyone look at her records from that time period? Why will Hillary not release her tax returns or her earmark requests as Barack Obama has done?

    Prior to taking public office for the first time, Barack was a community organizer and, after earning is law degree, a civil rights lawyer in Chicago. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. The bottom line is that Barack Obama has the right kind of experience, the right judgment as well as the right temperament and character to be a great president.

    Even if one were to concede that Clinton has more experience (which I do not), let's talk about the record of those with experience in terms of the Iraq vote. Iraq is a case study on the kind of decision-making a president faces - serious consequences at stake, imperfect information, and passionate voices on both sides. Despite all of that, Barack had the foresight to know that it was a bad move. That kind of judgment and foresight is what I want in my President, which is why it should rightly be be considered evidence of his ability to sift through the complexities a president faces and make the right decision. We don’t know all of the tough decisions the next president will face, but we do know that Barack has what it takes to make such decisions.

    The prescience Barack Obama demonstrated on the Iraq vote is highly preferable to looking at it in hindsight and saying "if I knew then what I know now..." as Clinton has said now that the political winds have shifted. Barack had the same general information a lot of us did. He listened to the case outlined by the Bush administration and, instead of supporting Hillary's position, he chose wisely. Hillary didn't even bother to read the entire National Intelligence Estimate. Hasn't her "experience" taught her that you need to read the fine print? How naive of her! Oh wait, it probably wasn't naiveté on HRC's part since there's that pesky issue of voting against the Levin amendment.

    I don’t want Hillary to apologize for Bush’s erroneous war, but I do want people to stop allowing her to mislead them about her calculated move to vote with Bush. She has no one to blame but herself since that vote was an attempt to make sure that she wouldn’t be vulnerable from the right on the issue later on during the presidential campaign. Now that it's fashionable to be against the war, she is simply trying to triangulate. For the moment, she's doing a very good job of that since a lot of people seem to be buying it, but not me.

    September 16, 2007 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  15. Michael James - Illinois

    Maggie from Grain Valley, MO touched on some things to which I would like to respond.

    Hillary’s war vote cannot be written off as simply being misled by Bush. Hillary has said: "I believed that giving the president authority to go back to the United Nations and put in inspectors was an appropriate designation of authority."

    Here is the truth, as reported by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta in The New York Times Magazine earlier this year. The full text is available at the URL below:

    http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F50712FD3F540C708CDDAF0894DF404482

    It is a long article, so go to the sub-heading "A forgotten vote" for the details. "Clinton voted against an amendment to the war resolution that would have required the diplomatic emphasis that Clinton had gone on record as supporting - and that she now says she had favored all along."

    "The long-overlooked vote was on an amendment introduced by Carl Levin and several other Senate Democrats who hoped to rein in President Bush by requiring a two-step process before Congress would actually authorize the use of force... The amendment called, first, for the U.N. to pass a new resolution explicitly approving the use of force against Iraq. It also required the president to return to Congress if his U.N. efforts failed and, in Senator Levin's words, "urge us to authorize a going-it-alone, unilateral resolution." That resolution would allow the president to wage war as a last option." In light of this, for Hillary Clinton to say, with a straight face, that it's all Bush's fault is completely disingenuous.

    Furthermore, Barack's experience doesn't start with his election to the US Senate. This whole experience fallacy is being propagated by the Clintonistas because they know Barack is the superior candidate. She can't win on substance, so she needs some sort of generic way to convince people to ignore all of the ways in which Barack is better than Hillary. For starters, he's actually held elective office for a longer period of time than has Hillary. You can learn a great deal about Barack’s background by going to his website: http://www.barackobama.com/about/ and you can see a nice chart summarizing the more than 800 bills he sponsored in the Illinois State Senate at the following URL: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/07/29/us/politics/20070730_OBAMA_GRAPHIC.html

    How do Hillary's legislative accomplishments, if any, stack up to those of Barack Obama? Is she counting her years as first lady as part of her experience? If so, then why can't anyone look at her records from that time period? Why will Hillary not release her tax returns or her earmark requests as Barack Obama has done?

    Prior to taking public office for the first time, Barack was a community organizer and, after earning is law degree, a civil rights lawyer in Chicago. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. The bottom line is that Barack Obama has the right kind of experience, the right judgment as well as the right temperament and character to be a great president.

    Even if one were to concede that Clinton has more experience (which I do not), let's talk about the record of those with experience in terms of the Iraq vote. Iraq is a case study on the kind of decision-making a president faces - serious consequences at stake, imperfect information, and passionate voices on both sides. Despite all of that, Barack had the foresight to know that it was a bad move. That kind of judgment and foresight is what I want in my President, which is why it should rightly be be considered evidence of his ability to sift through the complexities a president faces and make the right decision. We don’t know all of the tough decisions the next president will face, but we do know that Barack has what it takes to make such decisions.

    The prescience Barack Obama demonstrated on the Iraq vote is highly preferable to looking at it in hindsight and saying "if I knew then what I know now..." as Clinton has said now that the political winds have shifted. Barack had the same general information a lot of us did. He listened to the case outlined by the Bush administration and, instead of supporting Hillary's position, he chose wisely. Hillary didn't even bother to read the entire National Intelligence Estimate. Hasn't her "experience" taught her that you need to read the fine print? How naive of her! Oh wait, it probably wasn't naiveté on HRC's part since there's that pesky issue of voting against the Levin amendment.

    I don’t want Hillary to apologize for Bush’s erroneous war, but I do want people to stop allowing her to mislead them about her calculated move to vote with Bush. She has no one to blame but herself since that vote was an attempt to make sure that she wouldn’t be vulnerable from the right on the issue later on during the presidential campaign.

    Now that it's fashionable to be against the war, she is simply trying to triangulate. For the moment, she's doing a very good job of that since a lot of people seem to be buying it, but I'm not one of them.

    September 16, 2007 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  16. Andrew, Jakarta, Indonesia

    Wesley Clark, the hero of Waco, the guy who bombed the Chinese Embassy, the guy who ordered the British to open fire on the Russian military, and the guy who endorsed Cheney and Rumsfeld in Arkansas in 2001. The original poster child for bad judgement. One more losing candidate endorsing another.

    September 16, 2007 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  17. Max, Martha's Vineyard

    CLINTON & CLARK 2008!!!

    September 16, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    Sue in Michigan, I never said anything about liking Junior Bush. I dislike both the Bushes and the Clintons.

    People have to realize the George H W Bush is currently not a candidate for president again and stop wasting their time and energy comparing the current candidates to him. That is just misleading and angering the public. How about comparing the candidates to each other, and looking at their merits and where they stand on issues.

    Hillaryt Clinton has no experience. 8 yeas as a house wife in the White House doesn't count. She managed to get elected senator of New York on her husband's name. ow she's running for president, on her husband's name.

    As senator of New York, she named a post office. And brought the #1 outsourcer of US jobs to india into New York. She voted for the war in Iraq that she now claims tobe so opposed to. And she voted for an immigration bill nobody wants.

    The Clintons also have ties to the Bushes. They vacation together and have financial dealings. The Clintons are no better than the Bushes.

    The past 20 years have been Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush. Voting for Clinton again is not change.
    And change is what we desperately need now.

    September 16, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. George

    Posted By Michael James — Illinois : September 16, 2007 12:56 am

    Michael, it's obvious that you are a committed and fervent Obama supporter.
    Your lengthy replies are well thought-out and seemingly well researched to a fault. They are so complete that they could come directly from the Obama campaign, especially the cherry-picked polling, anecdotes and quotes on the military.

    I commend you and the Obama campaign in your valiant efforts to continue in the face of double-digit deficits in the poll numbers and the efforts of former senator Edwards to overtake him for number two.

    September 16, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Ben, San Deigo, CA

    It saddens me that a four star general will shoot our troops in the back.

    If were let Iraq become a free haven for Al Qaeda, supported by Iran (soon to be a nuclear power) and the oil money from Iraq, the results will be, not could be, catastrophic. The first thing that comes to mind is suitcase nukes in the hands of terrorists. It's a no brainer. I have yet to see the liberal media address that.

    People who think they can support our troops and still be against the war are naive.

    September 16, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. WhoseWho, San Francisco, CA

    Hillary and Rudy probably are the two best candidates for President from an experience standpoint. They both have been in or near executive positions and have performed highly. So, I think either one of them would make a fine president. Hillary, in my opinion, has the upper hand over Guiliani because she was in the white house for 8 years, participated in 2 presidential and 1 senatorial election; she has a lot of experience which will enable her to sheamroll over Rudy J. Plus, I think Rudy was been artificially elevated to some kind of 9/11 hero; his resume might be a bit exaggerated, but he too would make a fine president. If I had to chose now, I would chose Hillary for President, so long as she promises not to pursue a radical feminist agenda.

    September 16, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. Mike Jackiw, Fox River Grove, IL

    "People who think they can support our troops and still be against the war are naive." – That sounds like it falls under this quote: "Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger." – Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II

    September 16, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. Ron Nebraska

    I would not be at all surprised to see Gen Clark have a significant role in Barack Obamas' presidency either. Mr. Obama is about filling positions with qualified competent people, not just old frat buddies.

    September 16, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  24. Scott,tampa,fl

    wow hillary got Gen.clark a 25 year friend lol... cnn should ask former joint cheif Gen. hugh shelton what he thinks of Gen.clark O thats right Gen.Shelton fired him.

    September 17, 2007 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  25. Germany

    I worked for Clarke in Europe when he was the top military man. He would be a disaster as SecDef, just as he was as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Commander of American forces in Europe. I worked with 6 top commanders in my 25 years as a military officer. Clarke was the worst.

    September 17, 2007 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
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