Wesley Clark Didn't Dump Clinton, Campaign Says

05/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Reports surfaced soon after Hillary Clinton's slim win in last night's Indiana primary that one of her chief surrogates, General Wesley Clark, had called the senator telling her to drop out of the Democratic race.

Those reports, the Clinton campaign said on Wednesday, weren't true. "Wes Clark was on a plane out of the country last night," emailed Howard Wolfson. "So no [they didn't talk]." He did not elaborate further.

A spokesperson in Clark's office also denied that he had spoken to Clinton, TPM Election Central reported.

Clark has been one of Clinton's staunchest backers. A fellow Arkansan, he served as NATO commander during Bill Clinton's administration. His run for the White House in 2004 ended with a sputter. But since then, he has been viewed as a behind-the-scenes power broker within the Democratic Party. Indeed, his name has surfaced as a possible running mate both for Sen. Barack Obama or Clinton. In short, his defection from the Clinton campaign - or his telling the New York Democrat Senator to drop out of the race - would constitute a serious blow to her dwindling chances at the nomination.

But while Clinton may, for the time being, be holding on to Clark, she did lose a prominent supporter from her ranks. Former Senator and Democratic nominee George McGovern announced on Wednesday that he was changing his endorsement from Clinton to Obama and urged the former to gracefully exit the campaign.