Former secretary of state Alexander M. Haig Jr., nominated for president Tuesday by his literary agent, declared yesterday that he is not running for president -- yet.
"I am not throwing my hat into the ring yet," Haig told the Los Angeles Bureau of the Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I think it is too early to talk of 1988.
"An announcement now would drain energy and resources that the House and Senate campaigns should have," he continued. "It also tends to undercut the president. [But] I do intend to stay active politically."
Haig's statement followed Tuesday's distribution of a news release by his agent, Norman Brokaw, executive vice president of the William Morris Agency. The release said Brokaw "anticipates that Gen. Alexander Haig will be a candidate for the presidency in 1988."
The statement added that Brokaw, who also represents former president Gerald R. Ford and comedian-actor Bill Cosby, believed that Haig "had all the qualifications to make a great president."
"I am very complimented that Norman thinks I am qualified," Haig told the AP in an interview from West Point, N.Y.
"What Norman said may very well be right," he added. "We'll just have to wait and see."
Since resigning as secretary of state in 1982 after a stormy 17-month tenure in the Reagan administration, Haig, 60, has formed a Washington-based consulting firm, become a board member for several corporations, written a book and been a prolific public speaker.
The former Army general considered running for the presidency in 1979, after he resigned as supreme commander of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Europe. A draft committee was formed, and Haig made political stops throughout the country. But, in a matter of months, he abandoned the effort.
"You might say I tested the water, and it wasn't hot enough," he said at the time.