I thought I’d said no about as many ways as I could. I really do mean no. We have all these artful ways of doing it. I’ve tried Shermanesque responses, which everybody goes and finds out what Sherman said was pretty unequivocally no. I’ve done several different ways. I’ve tried quoting the country song, ‘What Part of No Don’t You Understand?’ I mean, I really do mean that. I feel very privileged to be able to serve our country. I’m honored to continue to do that as long as I can contribute, but I will not, ever, run for political office, I can assure you. And again, we have said that repeatedly and I’m hoping that people realize at a certain point you say it so many times that you could never flip, and start your career by flip-flopping into it.
1. Generals don’t tend to make the best political candidates, anyway (see Wesley Clark), so I doubt that Petraeus was much of a threat even to the other Republican primary contenders (if he had chosen to run for the GOP).
2. Petraeus has been saying so many sensible things lately about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel that his attractiveness to the neocon fringe may have waned in any case.