Hiram College’s Garfield Center for Public Leadership in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College’s Mandel Humanities Center recently hosted “America After the Midterms,” a seminar featuring General Wesley Clark, NATO’s former supreme allied commander in Europe and Andrew Card, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and White House Chief of Staff.  

The seminar examined the opportunities and challenges for public policymaking in the wake of the 2022 election and modeled civil and respectful discourse between members of different political parties. General Clark, a Democrat, and Secretary Card, a Republican, spent the evening discussing their general political philosophies, including public education, involvement of the United States in wars abroad, and the American military.  

“Meeting with General Clark and Secretary Card was an honor,” said Jacob Kowal ’24, a history major and member of Hiram’s Garfield Center for Public Leadership. “Getting an inside look into how two extremely influential people view the current political climate in the United States was something that I will not take for granted. I enjoyed the insight they provided into both current and former issues, and I now understand why it is so important for younger people like me to get involved in politics,” he said.  

General Clark retired as a four-star general after 38 years in the United States Army, having served his last assignments as Commander of U.S. Southern Command and then as Commander of U.S. European Command/Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. As part of his final assignment as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, a 78-day air campaign, backed by ground invasion planning and a diplomatic process, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing. His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart, among many others.    

Secretary Card is the second longest-tenured White House Chief of Staff, and he has served in senior government roles under three U.S. Presidents. From January 2018 – 2021, he served as chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, and from June 2020 – December 2020, he served as the interim chief executive officer of the George and Barbara Bush Foundation. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Union Pacific, the Board of Hyliion, the Board of Dragonfly, Inc., the Aurora Tech Industry Advisory Council, and is on a number of non-profit boards. He has also received many honorary degrees and awards, including being named Legislator of the Year by the National Republican Legislators Association and receiving the Distinguished Legislator Award from the Massachusetts Municipal Association in 1982. 

David E. Dix, retired publisher for the Record-Courier, attended the seminar and wrote about the similarities and differences in political viewpoints of General Clark and Secretary Card. You can read his story, “General Clark, Andrew Card differ, but keep it civil at Hiram |Along The Way” here.  

Wesley Clark and Andrew Card

By Elyse Pitkin / Jenelle (Bayus) Sanders