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Gen. David Petraeus on his future in the field of politics

April 10, 2008 |  7:18 pm

It's a familiar sight in American history -- actually the Romans did a bit of it too a little farther back -- but a successful general returns from a war and, aw shucks, gives into a grateful nation's political clamor for his leadership as the elected commander in chief.

It started with that G. Washington fellow, who had bGeneral David Petraeus top allied commander in Iraq was asked about a future career in American politicsad teeth for TV but rode a great horse. We had Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant and a couple other 19th century guys with beards, Teddy Roosevelt, though he was only a colonel, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Wesley Clark thought he oughta be president, but his Democratic party said, ah, never mind. Colin Powell himself said never mind in 1996. John McCain was a lieutenant commander who got shot down. Barack Obama was a state senator who voted "present."

This is the season for politics alright. And now comes Gen. David Petraeus, the top allied commander in Iraq, who was asked by NBC's Brian Williams today about a possible future in politics.

Petraeus' answer was even shorter than Gen. William T. Sherman's famous line. Petraeus said simply, "Never!"

And who's The Ticket to argue with that many stars?

--Andrew Malcolm