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Wesley Clark (An Independent in 2000)

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Wesley Clark
Wesley Clark
47th Vice President of the United States
In office:
January 20th, 2005 - January 20th, 2009
President: Charles Malcolm Edwards
Preceded by: John McCain
Succeded by: Bill Richardson
21st United States Secretary of Defense
In office:
January 27th, 2001 - January 4th, 2004
President: Charles Malcolm Edwards
Preceded by: William Sebastian Cohen
Succeded by: Anthony Zinni
Biography
Born: December 23, 1944 (age 65)
Chicago, Illinois
Birth name: Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr
Nationality: American
Political party: Democrat
Spouse: Gertrude Clark
Children: N/A
Residence: N/A
Alma mater: United States Military Academy
Occupation: Military Officer, Politician
Religion: Catholicism
Signature:
Military service
Allegiance: United States of America
Service/branch: United States Army
Years of service: 1966–2000
Rank:General General
Commands Held: Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
United States European Command
United States Southern Command
Battles/wars: Vietnam War
Kosovo War
Awards:Defense Distinguished Service Medal (5)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (4)
Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart
French Ordre national du Mérite
German Merit Cross of the Federal Republic (Order of Merit)
Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Vice Presidency of the Edwards administration is marked by two men to share the office in two separate terms. Former US Senator from Arizona John McCain served as VP during Edwards' first term, but was fired by April 2004; and Ret. General Wesley Clark was promoted to the office from his position as Defense Secretary for Edwards 2nd term. [edit]The 2000 Compromise

Following the firing of Vice President McCain, and the beginnings of the Columbia Trials and NeoConGate, the last thing the Edwards Administration needed was a long confirmation process in the middle of a scandal. Edwards simply chose to declare Clark his running mate, thereby avoiding a Senate confirmation of the vacancy. Technically, Clark would not be Vice President until after the inauguration, however, he did effectively serve as acting VP during the scandal.

Many speculate that the choice to make Clark VP was largely political. The Republican brand was badly damaged, it would be more politically valuable for Edwards to nominate Clark for VP, bolstering support with Democrats, instead of choosing a Republican. Edwards, however, has continually defended his decision as one based on Clark's merits.

Regardless of the reasons, Clark proved to be a competent VP, maintaining McCain's style of being blunt, while upholding a level of restraint that the old VP never had.

2008 Election

With McCain gone many were convinced that Clark would cruise to an easy victory in 2008 for the Presidency, and Democrats were already planning an ambitious fifty state strategy, something that the party had never directly implemented since the Johnson years. Clark, however, shocked everyone by announcing that he would not seek, nor accept the nomination from his party for the 2008 presidential election. President Edwards was reportedly unsurprised by Clark's decision, and some would say almost relieved. With Clark out, Edwards could endorse fellow independent and long time colleague Senator Obama.

Retirement

Following the end of the Edwards administration, Clark has become a public speaker, author and foreign policy analyst. Some have suggested that Clark be brought on to replace Defense Secretary Zinnie if and when he retires from the Obama administration, but Clark has been clear that he does not wish to directly return to politics.

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