ABCNEWS' Deborah Apton is on the trail with retired Gen. Wesley Clark as he runs for president. For the latest report, scroll down.
It's All In The Family
Nov. 14 —
For the past two and a half weeks there's been a new face on the road traveling with the Clark campaign. It's a member of General Clark's family and it's not his wife or his son. Gene Caulfield is The General's brother-in-law, the "Senior Brother-in-Law" of the Clark '04 campaign.
Caulfield is married to Gert Clark's eldest sister. The General's wife, Gert, is the second oldest, followed by three more sisters and a brother. A Brooklyn and New Jersey native, Caulfield worked for the American Stock Exchange on the trading floor, later moving to Reuters, from where he retired in December, 2002. Following his retirement, he took up consulting on Wall Street again until he got a phone call from Little Rock a month or so ago asking him to help out on his brother-in-law's fledgling campaign.
I'm "the family relative that is indeed working with Wes both at the organizational headquarters and also on the road." And he can literally choose where and when he wants to work. "I will be on the road with him," he explains, "and then all of a sudden I'll decide to go home and rake leaves."
So why leave a career behind to work pro bono in the early days of the campaign? Caulfield joked, because, "I'm the best brother-in-law!" He then went on to explain his bond with Wes Clark. "He has no brother and sisters and I have no brothers and sisters. In effect, I've probably known him longer than anyone else. I've known him since he was a cadet at West Point." In fact, the non-political extended family is all very close — gathering once a year for a reunion with family members coming from as far as Hawaii and New York.
On the road, Caulfield offers some advice, usually about the tie Clark's wearing rather than advice on policy. "I always give him a lot of advice, but usually he's a man of his own conviction."
So after time on the road, the proud brother-in-law made a positive assessment of presidential candidate Wesley Clark — "he's doing amazingly well. He likes getting out, dealing with the people, listening to the people."
And, as for the one moment on the trail that sticks out, Caulfield recalls a moment in New Hampshire when "somebody came up to him and literally started holding his hand and started talking about her problems that she had and wondering if he could correct them at all, almost to the point where he was so emotional, there were tears in his eyes. Like, that's how dedicated his passion is … .and that really impressed me. Impressed me, but didn't surprise me."
Caulfield will continue to come on and drop off the campaign here and there. But his "Senior Brother-in-Law" campaign staff title sticks. As he says, "I've always had that [title] … he just picked up candidate, I've always been that!"
Clark endorses Adams … Sam Adams
Nov. 12 —
It was an unusual sight on the campaign trail: General Clark buying a round of beers for fellow veterans. And not just any beer …
When General Clark arrived at the VFW Post 1698 in Franklin, New Hampshire on a Veteran's Day campaign stop, he was greeted by the Color Guard and posed with them for a photo. One gentleman asked, "Can I buy you a drink, General?"
"I'd love a drink," Clark said. "Actually, a Sam Adams, that's what I drink." But the Color Guard folks were setting him up.