Monday, November 5, 2012

Hundreds of Retired Generals and Admirals: "We proudly support Governor Mitt Romney ..."

I have been otherwise occupied in this run-up to the election, including being occupied with the election itself, but this item draws me back to my web log to pass along.

The Obama campaign and the MSM (but I repeat myself) have greatly touted yesterday’s endorsement of Obama by retired General Colin Powell.  As far as official endorsements go, that makes for a grand total of five retired flag officers who have endorsed Obama.  That would include General Wesley Clark (no surprise there), Major General Paul Eaton (USA, former Deputy CoS for TRADOC and member of the ‘progressive’ VoteVets), VADM Donald Gutter (USN, former Judge Advocate General), and ADM John Nathman (USN, former Vice CNO, who appeared on stage at the Democratic National Convention standing tall before an immense photo of the proud ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet). 

I should be fair and add the presumptive endorsement of General ‘Tony’ McPeak (USAF), who was very public about his endorsement of Obama in 2008.  (McPeak’s main accomplishment as Air Force Chief of Staff was to change the uniform.  It was promptly changed back by his successor.)  But no, it is said that his decision to back Obama has caused him “regret and mental anguish”.


So, how many retired flag officers have endorsed Mitt Romney for President?  As of today, based on the full-page ad in the Washington Times paid for by the signatories and organised by the Washington Free Beacon, that total would be 500.  That’s right – five hundred retired flag officers from all the services have publically endorsed Mitt Romney.  (The list is separate from and not affiliated with the Romney campaign.)  The list includes General Tommy Franks, (commander of CENTCOM during the Second Iraq War), and General Hugh Shelton (former Chairman JCS – same as Powell – under President Clinton and who previously endorsed Hillary Clinton).

I personally know of a few who would not endorse anyone because of a sense of professionalism (Teed, are you out there?), though I would respectfully disagree in the case of military retirees commenting on military subjects.  I have to expect that that would swing both ways, but the ratio likely indicates a similar preponderance of sentiment in favor of Romney through all the ranks. 

It’s nice that the New York Times went to bat for the idea that military endorsements “hold greater benefits” for the Democrats (the article mentions only ADM Nathman, without the embarrassing endorsement of a strong post-Soviet navy), but considering the staggering 100 to 1 ratio, it is hard to imagine how great a benefit that would be.

This list comes out after a Military Times poll that puts active military support for Governor Romney at a 2 to 1 advantage over Obama.


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