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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