Praise flows from senators in both parties over Petraeus pick

Virtually unanimous praise poured in from senators in both parties on Wednesday in response to President Barack Obama's choice of Gen. David Petraeus to lead troops in Afghanistan.

Senators were quick to praise Obama's choice of Petraeus, the head of Central Command (CENTCOM), to lead U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, where the top commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, on Wednesday resigned.

"His decision to return General Petraeus to the battlefield provides not just continuity in philosophy, but tested diplomatic skill that is at the very center of a military strategy which hinges on progress in governance to sustain military gains," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said in a statement. "The strategy and the objectives must be the only agenda. That’s what really counts."

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called it a "historically significant moment in the Obama presidency."

"The president has taken the crisis in the Rolling Stone article," Lieberman said on MSNBC, "and turned it into a decisive show of presidential leadership."

Support was also swift from Republicans.

"I am confident General Petraeus will lead our troops to victory against those who seek to turn Afghanistan back into a terrorist breeding ground," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). "He deserves our nation’s thanks for accepting this assignment, and my prayers and best wishes go with him to Afghanistan.”

Obama urged the Senate this afternoon to move forward with a vote on Petraeus's new position "as swiftly as possible."

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