New Jersey’s seventeen daily newspapers, and PolitickerNJ.com, missed President George W. Bush’s March 3rd appointment of Lt. General Ray Odierno, who grew up in Rockaway, as the new Army Vice Chief of Staff. Odierno led the platoon that captured Saddam Hussein, and served most recently as the Commanding General of Multi-National Corps-Iraq.
Back in December 2003, Assemblyman Richard Merkt told PolitickerNJ.com that Republicans “would be smart to consider” Odierno as a possible U.S. Senate candidate against then-incumbent Jon Corzine. “General Odierno has just proven in Iraq that he knows how to get a job done, something that has eluded New Jersey’s U.S. senators for decades … The Garden State could use, at long last, a real ‘can-do, will-do’ senator in Washington, and General Odierno could well be that guy. He already has a lifetime record of dedicated and honorable public service on which to build. I think the people of New Jersey are ready for something more than a ‘Human ATM’ in their senator. If they want a leader — as opposed to a cash register, General Odierno is an obvious and attractive alternative.”
Odierno grew up in New Jersey and was a star football player at Morris Hills High School before attending West Point.