Arkansans Play Clark Waiting Game

September 8, 2003 - Posted at: 11:45pm

JONESBORO, AR -- Just a few years ago, Arkansas had a native in the White House. Now residents are hoping another son will make his way to the West Wing in 2004.

"Once you get to know his record, who he is, and what he stands for, there's no other choice," said Craig Gibbard, Chairperson of a group called Arkansans for Clark.

Arkansans for Clark is a chapter of a national grass roots campaign called Draft Clark 2004 which began in June. Members' goal is to convince retired Army General Wesley K. Clark to seek a democratic bid for the 2004 presidential race.

Committee member Heather Nix said, "So far we have got 21 counties participating in meet-ups."

There are about 100 chapters nationwide, and members have raised more than $1,000,000 in support of Clark. He, however, cannot have contact with them, because they are a Political Action Committee, and because he hasn't officially filed to be a candidate.

"If he announces that he's going to run, we want to get together and maybe do the Arkansas Travelers like they did when Clinton ran for president. Go up to New Hampshire. Do some door knocking," added Nix.

Many are comparing General Clark to Clinton. Both Natural State natives were Rhodes Scholars, attended Oxford University and served in the White House at the same time. Clark was the NATO Supreme Allied Commander during Clinton's second term.

General Wesley K. Clark has promised to make an announcement by September 19th, when he's scheduled to make a major speech in Iowa.

Draft Clark 2004 meetings will be held September 9th in Fort Smith, El Dorado and Fayetteville. The next Jonesboro meeting will be September 23rd at 7:00pm at Western Sizzlin', if Clark hasn't announced his candidacy before then.