General Eric Shinseki Running for Hawaii Governor?

Former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki is planning a return to his native Hawaii, where he is being heavily recruited to run for governor.

Retired Shinseki to return to Hawaii (Army Times)

Retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki said Wednesday he plans to move back to Hawaii but doesn’t intend to run for governor. The former Army chief of staff, a Kauai native, said the timing of his return would be up to his wife, Patricia. “I intend to move back to Hawaii. It’s just a question of when,†Shinseki told The Associated Press after addressing a luncheon for business executives.

Asked if he would run for the state’s highest office, Shinseki said had had no such plans. “Right now I’ve got lots going on in the East Coast,†he said. He didn’t hint at what he hoped to do once back in the islands, saying only, “That’s the big question.â€

Shinseki, 62, has never run for political office and his party affiliation is unknown. Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye, however, has publicly expressed hope that Shinseki would run for office, saying he would make a good legislator or governor. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle already has said she will run for re-election next year, and no Democrat has emerged as a front-runner to oppose her.

Shinseki won national attention as Army chief of staff when he said the military would need 200,000 troops to occupy Iraq. Pentagon officials ridiculed the estimate, but they later appeared to prove the general correct when they boosted coalition troops in Iraq beyond 150,000.

If Shinseki truly wants to “retire,” then Hawaii is a lovely spot. Otherwise, a political run would seem in the cards. Certainly, a retired general, let alone a former chief of staff–much less one who is actually somewhat known commodity because his name is constantly mentioned by Iraq War opponents–can make a lot more money on the East Coast than in the tropics.

It’s true that Shinseki was on the money in the troop estimates. See here for a reliable recounting of the debate. I’m not sure how much that would help him in a gubernatorial run but, if he is elected, one would think the Democrats would have to eye him for the vice presidential spot in 2008.

via Jack Army

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Shawn Williams says:

    To whom it may concern,
    My name is Shawn Williams, I was formally a Sergeant in the Army.I was honored to meet with Gen. Shinseki in the hospital at Walter Reed.I am desperately seeking a way to contact him for two reasons; 1/I wish to be able to tell him how much it meant for a man of his status to visit one of the little guys like me. 2/ I am now trying to find out how to get past security issues regarding video phones and whether young troops will be allowed to use them or will only high ranking NCO’S and Officers be allowed.I know his passion for troops and am seeking his help.We are able to provide a way to boost morale for families and troops.The community is behind this and soon the press will be also…….If for no other reason …..If you can find General Shenseki at least let him know that there is one soldier out here that thanks him for what he has done.
    Shawn Williams