This is an excerpt from the transcript of General Wesley Clark on the Washington Post's Live Online Conversations with the Candidates:
Los Angeles, Calif.: Most Politicians either ignore or attack funding for the arts. If elected president, would you use the weight of your office to increase the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts to $250 million and direct that more funds be given to individuals, rather than just institutions?
Wesley K. Clark: I believe that the arts are very important to the future of our America,. A country has a soul and we have to continually find and examine our own. Arts help us do this. .So, I believe in restoring funding for the NEA. I haven't fixed any given level, except that I want to raise the prominence of the arts in our daily lives, and I want to reopen the idea of giving grants to individuals. We just have to create the right mechanism to find merit and promise.
note: transcript excerpt was copied without correction(s)
The full transcript of the General's 'chat' as well as links to those of the other democratic hopefuls can be found here.
To date, General Clark has alternately been ignored or given undeserved negative attention by the media. This excerpt with his unscripted response to a question that would not likely have been anticipated, gives us a glimpse into this man's soul.
Wesley Clark is one of a kind in the field of nine and not just because he's a retired four-star general and a Rhodes scholar; although one has to admit those are enviable credentials in and of themselves. He was top in his class at West Point and his masters from Oxford is in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He suffered the early loss of his father, extensive wounds in Viet Nam and premature transfer from his position as NATO Supreme Allied Commander. He has served as a military commentator on CNN, managing director of a financial services corporation and founded a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization to foster dialogue about America's future. He's also a father and has been married for 36 years. It is the breadth of these experiences that have shaped this man and set him apart from the other Democratic candidates. This is one candidate that is worth examination. The following links afford an opportunity to assess the man based on his own words ...
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Senate Hearings on Policy in Iraq (CSPAN 9/23/02)
Iowa Town Hall Meeting on October 6, 2003.
The Exchange with Laura Knoy on New Hampshire Public Radio November 5, 2003.