The man is no dummy. A win in the Tennessee governor's race in 2010 would position him well for a Presidential run - but probably not until 2016. Frist would be a spry 64 by then - still young enough to seek the Presidency:
Former Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is seriously considering a gubernatorial run in Tennessee in 2010, possibly setting up a White House bid further down the road.
Sources in Washington and Tennessee say Frist, who will turn 55 next month, is leaning heavily toward a run for the governor’s office, where he could gain executive experience that might position him to try for the presidency in either 2012 or 2016.
“It’s a done deal,” said a source with knowledge of Frist’s plans.
Frist was considering a 2008 presidential run until late last year, when he announced he would not run, opening the door for a bid at the Volunteer State’s governor’s office.
Waiting three to eight years before making a gubernatorial or presidential bid would provide Frist needed distance from his unenviable tenure as Senate majority leader, a period that culminated in the Democrats’ takeover of Congress last November.
The Senator seems to be taking the long view on this. He's probably more popular in Tennessee than he is on the national stage. And if he has a good run as Governor, no one will remember the disappointment of his tenure as Majority Leader 10 years from now. But a run in 2012 would essentially be out of the question; no one seeks the Presidency right after being elected to a first term as governor.
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