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Senator Bill Frist Will Not Run for President

Instead, he's going to return to practicing medicine when he leaves office.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senate Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said on Wednesday he would not run for the White House in 2008 and will return to his medical practice after he leaves the U.S. Congress in January.


Frist, a surgeon who served two terms, had been preparing for a possible presidential run for more than a year but said he decided this was not the time.

"In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close. I do not intend to run for president in 2008," Frist said in a statement.

He said he would take a sabbatical from private life and "return to my professional roots as a healer."

"In the short term, I will resume my regular medical mission trips as a doctor around the world to serve those in poverty, in famine, and in civil war," he said. "I will continue to be a strong voice to fix what is broken in our health care system and to address the issues of clean water and public health globally."

I'm glad to hear that. He is a gifted physician and helping those who live in third world countries is a noble thing. He's also a fine public servant, but I don't think he is meant to be president, at least not now.

Update: Senator Frist issued a statement. Here's a portion:

Twelve years ago, I pledged to the people of Tennessee that I would serve two terms in the Senate - to serve as a true citizen legislator - and then return home. I said I'd come to the Senate with 20 years experience in healing, spend 12 years serving in Washington, then go right back to Tennessee to live where I grew up. And I will do just that.


That decision to self-limit my term was grounded then, and rests now, on a firm belief that change in public service and politics is healthy. That it fundamentally forces a perspective of purpose and a sharp focus on service and results. It reminds all participants that they just occupy a position for a period of time. And it liberates one to concentrate every day on serving those who are represented, not to preserve one's own station.

I've known everyday for the last 12 years that I would spend two terms and no more in the leislative branch. The time for Karyn and me to leave Washington has arrived and we do so with great respect for the institution of the Senate and my colleagues, for our government, for our President, for our democracy, and for the principles of freedom and liberty upon which our country was founded.

People ask about the future for Karyn and me. What is next?

We are ready to return to Nashville and private life. We will seek the best opportunity to serve mankind. We will stay actively involved in formulating innovative solutions to the seemingly insurmountable problems that face Americans every day -- high cost of health care, energy dependence, the threat of radical Islam.

I may return to what I've done for most of my adult life: heal through medicine (the way I saw my dad serve since I was a little boy riding around with him, his black doctor's bag tucked between us, as he'd travel the neighborhood making house calls).

I, of course, will immeiately resume my regular medical mission trips as a doctor around the world to serve those in poverty, in famine, and in civil war. That is where my centeredness is fueled.

Politics is a noble occupation. Healing is a noble profession. Service to others underlies both. Karyn and I, and our three boys, now three young men, thank you for our opportunity to serve.


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Comments (14)

**YAAWWN**Reuters ... (Below threshold)

**YAAWWN**

Reuters didn't really say that "he would take a sabbatical from private life," did they?

Frist is a good and decent man, but he's as dull as white toast without butter.

I would say something nice ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

I would say something nice about his Senate leadership but nothing he did that demonstrated leadership that I could say something kind about comes to mind.

"Frist is a good and decent... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"Frist is a good and decent man."

How sad it is that good and decent people are not rewarded in the political arena. Many who could lead with intelligence and humility never even put a toe into the political water for fear of what it would do to them and their families. Instead, we generally get stuck with the prima donnas, power hungry and corrupt. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that this will change any time soon, and the political climate will continue to get worse. Although I am a Republican, I don't exempt my party from its participation in this decline.

Well, at least he can see t... (Below threshold)
Soupy2c2:

Well, at least he can see the writing on the wall. He had a better chance prior to becoming Leader. He was devastating at that position.

I have actually seen quite ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I have actually seen quite a few video doctor offices open up around this country. He should be ok.

After his long distance Shi... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

After his long distance Shiavo diagnosis, would you want him as your surgeon?

Maybe he should take up taxidermy?

Barney, I'm sure he could d... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Barney, I'm sure he could diagnose your BDS from outer space!

I have an idea for Dr. Quac... (Below threshold)

I have an idea for Dr. Quack (I mean Frist).

He could come out here to California and become one of these drive-thru medical marijuana doctors who gives you a prescription after asking your age (just to make sure you're legal). He'd certainly be qualified for that.

Larkin,I checked o... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Larkin,

I checked out the link on your name and found something called "Infinite Truth." Isn't it a little presumptuous to claim that? Again, as I said to Barney, I'm sure Frist could diagnose your BDS with his eyes closed. Best of luck on that "infinite truth" thing.

President of what?... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

President of what?

Larkin -- your blog claims ... (Below threshold)

Larkin -- your blog claims you to be a "life-long Republican who has recently moved to the swing voter" category -- but practically every post in it is on Iraq --

What's up with that??

By the way, do you have any evidence to assert that Bill Frist a quack, or are you just showing your swing-iness?

Indeed by all accounts Dr. ... (Below threshold)

Indeed by all accounts Dr. Frist was an excellent and dedicated doctor, who donated his time and money to help people in Africa.

For being a Republican, he is slimed by leftists here. They throw mud and squeal with glee, thinking themselves clever and smart. They are neither.

I admired Dr. Frist and I hoped he would be a better leader than he was. He did the best he could and he should be leaving his post with honor, and not with jeers.

Larkin -- your blo... (Below threshold)
Larkin -- your blog claims you to be a "life-long Republican who has recently moved to the swing voter" category -- but practically every post in it is on Iraq -- What's up with that??

Wavemaker - all I can say is it's all true. My friends thought I was the most right-wing of Republicans but when I saw the disbanded Iraqi military protesting in Baghdad in August of 2003 I realized that we didn't have a plan for Iraq. I knew right then that we were going to be in for a very rough ride.

I also felt betrayed on the question of WMD when I discovered the dearth of evidence that such weapons existed. I assumed that we had conclusive evidence. Given that we did not, I still can't believe we made that the centerpiece of our political effort on the invasion.

So now I am officially a swing voter. There were 4 Democrat, 3 Republican and 3 Libertarian votes on my Calfornia ballot (I am a strong Arnie supporter). It can't split any more than that.

And by the way, how come there are no Wizbanger posts on Maliki giving GW the cold shoulder today?

Isn't it amazeing that "lar... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Isn't it amazeing that "larkin" knew what was going to happen way back in 2003. Damn we should have put this very "smart" learned fellow in charge of everything. "cold shoulder"--we are waiting on the "learned" fellow to tell us what it means and why. Tick tick tick-----




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