Clark Meeting Today

September 16, 2003  -- Posted at 8:04 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  --One of the people invited to a strategy session called for today by retired Army General Wesley Clark says there is a ``99 percent certainty'' that Clark will run for president.

But the invitee, who spoke to The Associated Press under the condition of anonymity, says Clark wants to use today's meeting to help make up his mind.

Former President Bill Clinton has urged Clark to run, but associates say he will not take sides in the primary fight. Friends of Clark say the former NATO commander believes his four-star military service would counter Bush's political advantage as a wartime commander in chief. Clark has criticized the Iraq war and Bush's postwar efforts.

Clark would be jumping into the race for the Democratic nomination just four months before the voting begins. Clark would be competing against nine other candidates who have had months to raise money, build organizations in key states and recruit the party's top political talent.

But the strategists assembled in Little Rock on Tuesday are among the party's best. An Internet-fueled draft-Clark movement has developed the seeds of a campaign organization and more than one (m) million dollars in pledges.

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