Newsweek: The Case for National Service
Sunday, June 24, 2007
by Jonathan Alter
June 22, 2007 - In 1992, the biggest applause line in Bill Clinton’s stump speech came when he outlined a national-service plan that later became AmeriCorps. So it’s surprising that until now no candidate has made service a central part of his or her campaign. President Bush’s call for Americans to “go shopping” after 9/11 teed up the issue for Democrats—who may find that the country is more receptive to this idea than they think.
Barack Obama has talked a bit about a “Youth Services Corps” for disadvantaged young people to work on energy-efficiency and environmental-education projects, and John Edwards has a lightly detailed “Marshall Corps” idea to send 10,000 midcareer experts around the world in a combination of the Peace Corps and the Marshall Plan. But those are targeted programs that aren’t aimed at a whole generation.
It’s Chris Dodd who is taking the service debate to ...