General, the American people need your leadership in the U.S. Senate. The outcome of even one Senate race could mean the difference between pushing on towards victory and being driven from the field and rendering meaningless the blood that has been spilt in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan. We cannot afford to be represented by a September 10th politician. We cannot spare you now.
I'm no Pace hater: He was a Rumsfeld loyalist who claimed that his friend "leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," but he bucked some of the more lunatic arguments of the administration. Yet Pace is the third general that serious conservatives have pushed to run for office in the last year or so. In 2006 it was Tommy Franks for Florida's Senate race, and earlier this year it was David Petraeus for president or vice president. That's a whole lot of conservative rumbling for high-level military leaders to get into partisan politics.
Liberals have tried a little bit of this, too. The 2003-2004 Wesley Clark campaign was basically about nominating a guy with a chestful of ribbons who could shame Bush on the war ("The general versus the deserter," as Michael Moore put it. The closest Libertarians have come to doing this, I think, is former Defense official Earl Ravenal's abortive 1984 bid). There's something else in these conservative, pro-war overtures, though. With the exception of Petraeus (on whom the jury's out right now), none of these generals have, you know, won a war. And the rationale beyond the campaigns has less to do with repairing the GOP's image on foreign policy—which has been badly damaged—than it does with shaming war skeptics into backing Bush policy.
Also, the OneLastMission line about "a September 10 politician" needs some explanation. The frontrunner for the GOP nomination right now is Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia and former presidential candidate. And Gilmore has been critical of the PATRIOT Act. Thus, he's unacceptable.