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Petraeus Dashes Right-Wing Dreams Of His Presidential Run

By Matt Corley  

"Petraeus Dashes Right-Wing Dreams Of His Presidential Run"

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In September, right-wing pundits began floating the idea that Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, should run for president. The New York Sun ran an editorial in favor of the idea. National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez called it a “dream sequence,” while Bill Kristol said Petraeus as a VP candidate could “avert electoral disaster for the GOP” in 2008.

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Petraeus rejected any talk about his presidential prospects. Asked by host Chris Wallace if he had “any interest in that,” Petraeus gave an emphatic “none”:

WALLACE: Some pundits have suggested that perhaps just like General Dwight Eisenhower in the early ’50s, that you might at some point take off your uniform and run for president. Any interest in that, sir?

PETRAEUS: None, Chris, at all. Thank you. I have great respect for those who do choose to serve our country that way. I’ve chosen to serve our country in uniform.

And I think that General Sherman had it right when he gave what is now commonly referred to as a Shermanesque response when asked a similar question.

Watch it:

The quote by Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman that Petraeus refers to — “If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve” — is often quoted by military officials attempting to definitively squash rumors of a presidential run. In 1996, former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell “half-jokingly” referred to his wife Alma as “Mrs. Sherman” when he decided against running for president. [The Choice, p. 310]

With Petraeus taking himself out of the running, will the right wing now turn to Gen. Peter Pace for their dreams of a military general as their candidate?

Transcript:

WALLACE: Finally, and you just mentioned it, General, the presidential primaries are about to begin.

Some pundits have suggested that perhaps just like General Dwight Eisenhower in the early ’50s, that you might at some point take off your uniform and run for president. Any interest in that, sir?

PETRAEUS: None, Chris, at all. Thank you. I have great respect for those who do choose to serve our country that way. I’ve chosen to serve our country in uniform.

And I think that General Sherman had it right when he gave what is now commonly referred to as a Shermanesque response when asked a similar question.

WALLACE: So are you giving a Shermanesque response — if elected, you will not serve?

PETRAEUS: I am, Chris. And I don’t think it would ever get to that point anyway.

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