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9 Presidential Flirts

How many ways can a politician say “no”—while still leaving the door open to a presidential run?

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The Reluctant Statesman: Dwight Eisenhower

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General Eisenhower

AP Photo

The non-denial denial has been around since before the term was even coined—reportedly by Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee during the Watergate scandal. World War II hero Dwight Eisenhower was happily ensconced as president of Columbia University after the war, but a few pesky supporters were convinced he should instead be president of the nation—for either party. Ike was reluctant, but prudently didn’t draw any lines in the sand. “I don’t know why people are always nagging me to run for president. I think I’ve gotten too old,” he said. Apparently his thinking changed: by 1952 he was ready to run as a Republican to stop isolationist Sen. Robert Taft.

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