Election Home
Home
What's a Primary?
The Fight for Iowa
New Hampshire's Power
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
South Carolina Newcomer
Around the Nation
Right to Vote
Tips
Meet the Candidates
Candidate's Kids
Activities


Teachers: Bring the world into your classroom with Scholastic Magazines

 
The Stars Come Out for Wes Clark
By Alexandra Conway, 10
Scholastic Student Reporter


Scholastic Student Reporters Ellie Bosies, Molly Wienberg, and Alexandra Conway with presidential candidate Wes Clark. (Photo: Suzanne Freeman)


Saturday, January 24—General Wesley Clark began today's campaign schedule flipping pancakes. His wife, Gert, and actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen hit the campaign trail with him. Gert introduced her husband as "the best leader in every job he's ever had, and the best leader that this country will ever have."

As a West Point graduate and a four-star General, Clark spoke about his military career and growing up with a sense of duty to protect his country. Patriotism, he said, consists of protecting America at home and abroad, and protecting the constitution.

Scholastic Student Reporters asked General Clark to name his heroes.

"Oh, that's a great question," General Clark replied. "I've got a lot of heroes. But if I were to look at great Presidents who would be my heroes I think I'd go to maybe Abraham Lincoln. He brought freedom and rights to America and he held our country together. And I think I'd go to Thomas Jefferson because he believed in Americans. And I think I'd go to Franklin Roosevelt because he led this country out of the great depression."

Danson and Steenburgen, who are married, took some time off from their acting careers to campaign for Clark. Danson is the star of the TV sitcom Becker. Steenburgen, who grew up with Clark in Arkansas, stars in the TV drama Joan of Arcadia.

As a Hollywood celebrity, Danson feels that his job is to point his finger to Wesley Clark and ask that people listen to him. If people listen to General Clark, he said, they will be impressed.

"I think this country is really split right now between Democrats and Republicans and they don't really trust each other a lot," Danson said. "[Clark] is never going to put politics in front of doing the right thing for this country."

Scholastic Student Reporters asked Steenburgen what it was about Arkansas that seems to produce so many politicians. (Former President Clinton is from Hope, Arkansas.) She said it had a lot to do with desegregation.

"When I was about 5 and [Clark] was about 12, we had a terrible thing happen," she said. "There were some young kids who were black who just wanted to go to a good school. And it brought in such a furor—black kids and white kids hadn't gone to school together—that they had to bring in the Army to take those kids to school."

She asked Scholastic Student Reporters to imagine having to go to school with an Army guard to keep them safe from their fellow students.

"That struck so many people as wrong that a lot of us started caring about changing things from the time we were little," Steenburgen said. "Wes and I were young and we're from the same place, and we just started thinking our whole lives about how you could make things better for people."