Left wonders: What should we do with Petraeus to make sure he doesn’t run against us in 2012?

posted at 3:18 pm on January 24, 2008 by Allahpundit

A knotty problem. Ideally Iraq will fall apart on his watch, thereby destroying his heroic reputation and making it difficult for him to quit as head of MNF-I lest he be seen as leaving his men behind in the field. But what if things continue to stabilize? Then you’ve got nothing but bad and less bad options. You can’t fire him or else the wingnuts (and brass) will make hay about Democratic weakness. You don’t really want to make him Chairman of the Joint Chiefs since it would raise his profile further, to Powellian heights. How about burying him with a five-year term as head of Centcom, where he’ll be responsible for carrying out the Democratic president’s retreat orders? That’ll knock that halo right off his buzzcut head.

A Democratic president, in short, should expect that in four years, Petraeus is coming for her or him. So what’s to be done?…

That leaves an unconventional option. The president can give Petraeus a promotion he can’t refuse. There are really only three that suit the bill: Petraeus can either become commander of all forces in the Middle East; NATO commander (as the Times reported may soon happen); or chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While the chairman is on paper the military’s senior officer, it may not be the right post for Petraeus, since the job is outside the military chain of command. It would be shrewder to give Petraeus one of the two most prestigious command assignments in the military as the final assignment of his career. (The military would probably see that as more respectful move, as well.) Putting Petraeus at Central Command would have an added benefit for a Democratic president: he would be tasked with overseeing a plan to draw troops down from Iraq, thereby making him complicit in the undoing of his chief political advantage. And there’s another advantage to making Petraeus a regional commander: those jobs are five-year assignments. Should he prematurely resign his command to plan a presidential run, he’ll both appear craven and be open to the charge of deserting his post in wartime. (As he would if he turned down any of the three assignments offered him.)

We should probably be thinking ahead too, in case McCain or Romney surprises Hillary in November. Any military readers know of any promising left-leaning colonels or generals who might do well enough in command given the chance to pose political problems down the line? The new Republican president will want to kneecap them ASAP so that he doesn’t end up with any dilemmas like this himself come 2012.

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?


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I thought about that too… is there any indication that Petraeus is a Republican? I doubt he would run as a Dem, though, after the juvenile treatment he’s received at their hands.

DaveS on January 24, 2008 at 3:21 PM

What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

He might very well be a Democrat. Many in the military are.

Kini on January 24, 2008 at 3:22 PM

How very low, twisted, tawdry and cheap.

Oh, wait. I’m talking about Democratic strategy; all that’s missing is the utter vulgarity.

DiannaD on January 24, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

It might be so. Or he might even be apolitical.

terryannonline on January 24, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

I’ll still vote for him if he runs as a Democrat (if he ever runs for anything, that is.) My biggest concern when selecting a candidate to support is the likelihood that they’ll eff things up royally. Petraeus seems like a tough, competent guy.

Big S on January 24, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Question: Why would he want to run?

Kini on January 24, 2008 at 3:23 PM

If General Petraeus is a Democrat, then there is even more hope for America for his coming out and inevitable knighting would bring back a day when the Democratic Party was run by security-minded Americans rather than isolationist socialists.

scottm on January 24, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Has anyone else noticed that the left continually tries to ‘game the process’, or views everything as a scheme or scam?

They never think about the best policy for the country. It is always what is best for them, and their party.

Almost everything written about the current presidential primary was on how to game the process, scam the voters, and capture the convention delegates. Nothing about what policies would be best for the future of the country.

rockhauler on January 24, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

It’s entirely possible. He’s just not a “Let’s Retreat!” Democrat.

amerpundit on January 24, 2008 at 3:25 PM

I know that all is fair in war and politics… but that doesn’t make the taste of disgust in my mouth any more tolerable.

Yeah, I know- the notion of assigning him where he can do the most good for the military and country without regards to political implications is a naive one.

Hollowpoint on January 24, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Just the fact that the Dems dont like him and the Military makes him a Repub.

WoosterOh on January 24, 2008 at 3:26 PM

I should add that if he was, he would be e only Dem I would ever vote for.

WoosterOh on January 24, 2008 at 3:27 PM

Maybe he wouldn`t run for President. Perhaps in the mold of General Sherman: “If nominated, I will not run-if elected I will not serve,” or something like that. Maybe not, if nominated or elected he`d feel compelled to serve.

Ah, speculating is fun!

ThePrez on January 24, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

The cognitive dissonance will be so overwhelming that millions of moonbat heads will simultaneously explode, including that of Soros.

thirteen28 on January 24, 2008 at 3:34 PM

The cognitive dissonance will be so overwhelming that millions of moonbat heads will simultaneously explode, including that of Soros.

I’m reminded of that scene in MARS ATTACKS!

scottm on January 24, 2008 at 3:36 PM

I’m still rooting for Petraeus to emerge as the GOP nominee from a brokered convention this year.

Let the Dems worry about 2012. I’d love to drop the Petraeusbomb in 2008.

Jack M. on January 24, 2008 at 3:36 PM

I read once over at Blackfive and they discussed this months ago. A few ex-military over there agreed on the premise:

“If you ever tell a General that he would make a great politician, he would shove a batallion up your a$$”

Poetry

broker1 on January 24, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Putting Petraeus at Central Command would have an added benefit for a Democratic president: he would be tasked with overseeing a plan to draw troops down from Iraq, thereby making him complicit in the undoing of his chief political advantage.

Or puts him in the perfect spot to “monkey wrench” the retreat plans, or at the very least slooooow down the process of retreat.

Frozen Tex on January 24, 2008 at 3:38 PM

odds are he’s a republican. don’t roughly 75-80% of the military vote that way?

kramer840 on January 24, 2008 at 3:38 PM

What gives anyone the impression that he’s even remotely interested in political office?

CP on January 24, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

Couldn’t possibly be, no one has ever seen his head anywhere near his butt.

leanright on January 24, 2008 at 3:41 PM

kramer840 on January 24, 2008 at 3:38 PM

odds are he’s a republican. don’t roughly 75-80% of the military vote that way?

I don’t think its that high. I suspect that there is probably a major difference amogst officers and enlisted, though. Officer’s are college educated people who made the choice to serve, where enlisted are sometimes there with fewer choices.

That’s not meant to minimize their choice, of course.

DaveS on January 24, 2008 at 3:43 PM

What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

In the long term that might be a good thing. The Democrats really need to be brought back to reality.

In the short term, it means a lot of lefty heads exploding.

Really, there’s a lot of merit to the possibility.

Drew on January 24, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Why not just rely on the tried and true Clintonian method of character assasination?

Perhaps a red faced Bill Clinton can describe “conversations” he overheard while walking through a casino about General Petraeus molesting collies?

Mike Honcho on January 24, 2008 at 3:44 PM

I’m still rooting for Petraeus to emerge as the GOP nominee from a brokered convention this year.

Jack M. on January 24, 2008 at 3:36 PM

I’m with you. There was much speculation about Eisenhower’s political leanings before he ran and Truman was convinced he was a Democrat. Who knows whether Petraeus is liberal or conservative but I can’t imagine that he would want to be a member or a party that is trying to undo what he and the rest of the US military have accomplished thus far.

BrianBoru on January 24, 2008 at 3:45 PM

I remember some reports that he was in fact a Democrat. He may be military, but he’s also a phd from Princeton.

billy on January 24, 2008 at 3:46 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

If he is, he’s the kind I will support in whatever military endeavor he recommends.

JustTruth101 on January 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM

The left would have to do better than “Betray-us” smear tactic.

gr8inferno on January 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Yeah, I know- the notion of assigning him where he can do the most good for the military and country without regards to political implications is a naive one.

Hollowpoint on January 24, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Why is it naive?

If you are saying that ‘everything’ is political, I will disagree. Deciding policy is a moral issue. Once policy is decided, then getting everyone to support that policy is political.

rockhauler on January 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

Even after the whole Betray Us hubbub?

Vizzini on January 24, 2008 at 3:50 PM

This seems to be the first official thread for the 2012 race.

I’m not going to even ask if it’s too soon.

BL@KBIRD on January 24, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Has anyone else noticed that the left continually tries to ‘game the process’, or views everything as a scheme or scam?

They never think about the best policy for the country. It is always what is best for them, and their party.

Almost everything written about the current presidential primary was on how to game the process, scam the voters, and capture the convention delegates. Nothing about what policies would be best for the future of the country.

rockhauler on January 24, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Exactly, they look to steal elections, so when others win, it must have been stolen.
They look at everything through their experiences and desires…
Well spoken.

right2bright on January 24, 2008 at 3:52 PM

And don’t forget this oldie but goodie…

willing suspension of disbelief.

I know that I love to hang with people who call me a liar.

KelliD on January 24, 2008 at 3:52 PM

That leaves an unconventional option. The president can give Petraeus a promotion he can’t refuse. There are really only three that suit the bill: Petraeus can either become commander of all forces in the Middle East; NATO commander (as the Times reported may soon happen); or chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While the chairman is on paper the military’s senior officer, it may not be the right post for Petraeus, since the job is outside the military chain of command. It would be shrewder to give Petraeus one of the two most prestigious command assignments in the military as the final assignment of his career. (The military would probably see that as more respectful move, as well.) Putting Petraeus at Central Command would have an added benefit for a Democratic president: he would be tasked with overseeing a plan to draw troops down from Iraq, thereby making him complicit in the undoing of his chief political advantage. And there’s another advantage to making Petraeus a regional commander: those jobs are five-year assignments. Should he prematurely resign his command to plan a presidential run, he’ll both appear craven and be open to the charge of deserting his post in wartime. (As he would if he turned down any of the three assignments offered him.)

Why bother with all that? Seems unnecessarily complicated. Especially since Clintonian character assassination never seems to fail.

Perhaps Bill Clinton can recall a “conversation” he overheard while walking through a casino about General Petraeus molesting collies.

Mike Honcho on January 24, 2008 at 3:52 PM

“If you ever tell a General that he would make a great politician, he would shove a batallion up your a$$”

Poetry

broker1 on January 24, 2008 at 3:37 PM

I don’t think Eisenhower thought that…

right2bright on January 24, 2008 at 3:53 PM

So is Joe Lieberman.

Okay, was. Over – what was it again? – the war on terror.

If Petraeus was a Democrat, he might be rethinking it after meeting so many of them in September and hearing their reaction to him.

sulla on January 24, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Sorry for the double post. There seems to be a lag time between when posts are submitted and when they appear.

Mike Honcho on January 24, 2008 at 3:55 PM

I have thought for a while that our nominees will be Huckabee/Petraus, but now that Duncan Hunter has endorsed Mike Huckabee it looks like it will be Huckabee/Hunter!

Either way is perfect…we need a strong and true conservative to be our nominee.

Romney is a total fraud. He launched his campaign for the Republican nomination by running contrary to virtually every major position and action he has previously taken in public life.

In other words, nothing he says today has any credibility. He cannot be believed.

Furthermore, Romney’s stated position today on illegal aliens is essentially a pro-amnesty stance.

He says, for instance, he would allow illegal aliens to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. after they go home for an undisclosed period of time. This sounds remarkably like the amnesty positions offered up in the debates earlier this year.

John Mccain doesn’t even deserve consideration for the republican nomination..considering that he is not a republican!

John Mccain was seriously considering running with John Kerry as his VP..anybody remember that?

HaraldHardrada on January 24, 2008 at 3:56 PM

The president can give Petraeus a promotion he can’t refuse.

Hide your horse General!

ronsfi on January 24, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

The real question is whether or not he’s a progressive – a “Liberal” in the Evan Sayet sense, or a “Liberal Fascist” as Goldberg would put it.

Nowadays, Democrat seems to have as much meaning as Republican.

apollyonbob on January 24, 2008 at 4:00 PM

WOULDN’T IT BE WONDERFUL WATCHING A ROMNEY/PETRAUS TICKET?
MAYBE A DEBATE BETWEEN THE GNERAL AND THE HILDEBEAST COULD BE ARRANGED.

woodswalking1 on January 24, 2008 at 4:00 PM

We should probably be thinking ahead too … Any military readers know of any promising left-leaning colonels or generals who might do well enough in command given the chance to pose political problems down the line?

There’s an up-and-comer named Wes Clark we should look out for. I’m told his achilles heel is a weakness for pancakes.

BuzzCrutcher on January 24, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Couldn’t possibly be, no one has ever seen his head anywhere near his butt.

leanright on January 24, 2008 at 3:41 PM

heee-hee-he

kcd on January 24, 2008 at 4:05 PM

Only a Huckabee/Petraus or Huckabee/Hunter ticket can defeat the inevitable Hildebeast/Wes Clark ticket!

Willard(flip flop)Romney will be crucified by the media if he’s our nominee!

Remember how we took down Kerry? The American people don’t like flip floppers.

If you think Romney’s private equity experience will be a plus for him(considering that the economy looks to be the big issue) you are sadly mistaken…It will be a big negative against him!

HaraldHardrada on January 24, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Putting Petraeus at Central Command would have an added benefit for a Democratic president: he would be tasked with overseeing a plan to draw troops down from Iraq, thereby making him complicit in the undoing of his chief political advantage.

The idiots, Petraeus simply submits his resignation over a “dastradly stab in the back” of all the troops who fought and died. Game Set and Match!

tort_feasor on January 24, 2008 at 4:14 PM

We should probably be thinking ahead too, in case McCain or Romney surprises Hillary in November.

You’re killing me. :(

Go ahead. Stick the knife in further. Twist it, why doncha?

commissar on January 24, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Bolton/Petraeus 2012: Kick asses now and ask questions later.

rubylens on January 24, 2008 at 4:21 PM

I have thought for a while that our nominees will be Huckabee/Petraus, but now that Duncan Hunter has endorsed Mike Huckabee it looks like it will be Huckabee/Hunter!

Proof that a competency test should be required of commenters including trolls.

horatio on January 24, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Actually, I’m ready to draft him NOW… I’m getting a little sick of RINO’S running the party.

Gartrip on January 24, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Petraeus doesn’t really strike me as a man who’s that interested in going into politics. His calm, straightforward manner at his Congressional testimony in September projected the air of a career military man who wants to get the job done, and is above all the partisan bickering.

I could be wrong of course, since he has never sought public office before.

What amazes me is that these people think Petraeus doesn’t read and isn’t informed. He’d be the first one to realize it if his assignment was purely motivated by politics.

Methinks he would do whatever he thought was best for his troops, and not what might be good for him politically.

Hawkins1701 on January 24, 2008 at 4:46 PM

If he ran he could win BUT we don’t even know if he is a republican or what he stance on issues are!

KBird on January 24, 2008 at 4:46 PM

1)He is far too straight forward and logical to be a Democrate.

2)No self respecting Democrat would play for the USA to win.

3 Has anyone caught him lying yet?

allrsn on January 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM

rockhauler on January 24, 2008 at 3:25 PM

We have a winner…..spot on my friend.

RobG on January 24, 2008 at 5:03 PM

Umm if Petraeus is a democrat then Moveon really screwed over one of their own with that ad.

The way the Republicans stuck up for him makes me think he might appriciate that.

William Amos on January 24, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

If he was before the “Betray Us” ad, I pretty sure he isn’t anymore.

Look at what the Dems did to the guy after he issued his report, they all but branded him a liar, and their sniviling rat, Soros funded front groups DID call him a liar and, even worse, a traitor.

I don’t know if he’s got any political aspirations in the future, but if he does, I’m pretty sure he’ll remember which party supported him and which party tried to destroy him.

SuperCool on January 24, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Every time a voter switches to Romney
Mike Huckabee’s son strangles a puppy.

sulla on January 24, 2008 at 5:43 PM

He might very well be a Democrat. Many in the military are.

Kini on January 24, 2008 at 3:22 PM

.
Gimme a break! How would you possibly know that “many” in the military are liberals to make that statement. The only ones you really know are would be the consciencious objectors and deserters. In my 13 years of service no one ever asked me who I support.
.
The only two whining liberals I knew about were Powell and Clark. What a waste of uniforms to put them in…

stacman on January 24, 2008 at 5:56 PM

Petraeus/Sessions

1. Cheney doesn’t feel so good and retires
2. Bush 43 names Petraeus VP
3. Petraeus runs for president in ’08
4. Liberals wet any type of clothing they wear, or skin, if naked.
5. Conservatives are wet from drooling, and other losses of control.

Entelechy on January 24, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Proof that a competency test should be required of commenters including trolls.

horatio on January 24, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Also, a test for spelling preferred ticket’s names correctly, i.e. Petraeus.

Entelechy on January 24, 2008 at 6:01 PM

Petraeus/Sessions

1. Cheney doesn’t feel so good and retires
2. Bush 43 names Petraeus VP
3. Petraeus runs for president in ‘08
4. Liberals wet any type of clothing they wear, or skin, if naked.
5. Conservatives are wet from drooling, and other losses of control.

Entelechy on January 24, 2008 at 5:58 PM

.
I’d support that ticket…

stacman on January 24, 2008 at 6:02 PM

As your headline says, “the Left wonders….”, and as you all have proven here so well, the Right dreams and fantasizes about Presidential politics instead of what the Man wants for himself. Both are pipe dreams and desires based on your own hearts more than any facts or stated positions about or from Gen. Petraeus. Let’s all pontificate and imagine our wettest dreams about Petraeus for President.

The Man has not said two words about running for President and yet everyone believes because he is correct about fighting wars he automatically wants the job. And after the debacle of the way he was treated by Congresscritters during his testimony on both occasions to Congress. Why would any sane and rational person wish to be President after coming in contact with those scumbags in Congress and the the liars in the press and realizing he would have to deal with them and their stupidity and venom every day for up to 8 yrs?

Go here for the only definitive discussion that I can find on whether he has actually said he harbors a desire to be President. If you followed his answers in his testimony you saw that he was respectful towards those slugs (as he should have been), but he answered with facts and with a tone that you don’t “WIN by Quitting when the going gets tough”. He was a soldier and not a politician. End of story.

This post and thread are nothing more than the same speculation the Left is famous for. The same kind of supposition and panic seen when pundits talk about how bad the economy is, although there is no massive loss of jobs, and the defaults in loans, while serious to those in their business, haven’t affected over 90% of the mortgage holders in the US. Ridiculous “Chicken Little, Sky is Falling”, and hand wringing and gnashing of teeth. I haven’t seen so much useless prattle about such a ridiculous subject since my 12 yr old daughter’s slumber parties. You guys are the biggest bunch of worry warts I’ve seen in a long time.

Keep your minds off Petraeus until he actually says something about running. Petraeus 2012? Who is gaming the future now?

Subsunk

Subsunk on January 24, 2008 at 6:41 PM

Right on, Subsunk.

However, the speculation is indicative of how desperately we long for a strong and principled leader. And it only serves to emphasize what we don’t currently find in our Elected Things.

Times are very dangerous and this election is crucial, and yet every single candidate – on both sides – is a bitter joke. It’s only natural that people would turn to a military man – they are the very best we have.

Redhead Infidel on January 24, 2008 at 11:16 PM

Split in the military is about 60-30 with a large percentage not believing in active military having anything to do with politics (including voting).

The numbers used to be 45-40 but, President Clinton’s actions in gutting the military convinced a substantul number to register republican…

DJ Elliott on January 24, 2008 at 11:48 PM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

Aren’t you glad to live in a country where one can only wonder at such a question?

Tzetzes on January 25, 2008 at 4:45 AM

Exit question: What if Petraeus is a Democrat?

Hilarious. I love how they assume that

a. He is a Republican and/or conservative.
b. They are in trouble if someone with honest and noteable leadership qualities is going to take over the office if a Democrat is in it.

This also leaves the door open to the understanding that they have to admit that things are actually going well in Iraq.

Rogue Traveler on January 25, 2008 at 8:08 AM

American Prospect never ceases to amaze me with its nuanced, faux-sophistique, disdainful handling of every topic, unfailingly managing to insult the intelligence of every voter in the country who is not a Democrat with Liberal Arts postgrad degree.

This one is an especial doozy. All their calculations whiz away like a deflated balloon when you take into account that one stubborn part of elections, the electorate. You can’t “make it seem” or “portray” or “appear” to people that Petraeus is something that he’s clearly not, especially an apolitical celebrity who hasn’t entered the ring on his own two feet. You can’t politicize someone until they engage politically. Trying to attack Gen. Petraeus would be like the RNC running ads demonizing latchkey kids and soup-kitchen users.

Everyone knows we only do that when the Democrats wheel them out to support taxpayer-funded governmental healthcare.

HitNRun on March 12, 2008 at 5:20 PM