Petraeus for president: Are you sure you mean that?

posted at 2:55 pm on February 21, 2010 by CK MacLeod

Among the most common additions to 2012 “dream team” presidential tickets, even at this venerable redoubt of the hard right, is the name “Petraeus.” He’d make Palin/Pawlenty/Romney/Huckabee/Thune-whomever instantly credible, seems to be the thinking.

Look, anything for the team and, up against Obama, for a win. Petraeus is said to be registered R, but of the nearly extinct Northeastern genus Rockefellerus (i.e., David Frum, only more so), but ticket-balancing has a long tradition behind it. Ronald Wilson Reagan himself gave us VP and President George Herbert Walker Voodoo Economics Read My Lips (Fooled Ya!) Bush, and had thought it was a bright idea in ’76 to bring liberal Senator Richard Schweiker onto his proposed presidential ticket.

But some observations, based on watching the General on Meet the Press this morning:

  • He thinks Iran is “a ways” away from a nuclear weapon, and favors our continuing the “pressure track” that we’re now on. Not the slightest hint of impatience with the current administration’s engagement policy – instead, words that in effect approve of it, as laying the pretext for unspecified future action.
  • He clearly opposes detainee interrogation methods that go beyond the Army Field Manual, believing they eventually end up “biting us on the backside,” and also aren’t necessary. And he explicitly favors closing Guantanamo, though isn’t “seized” with the notion that it must be closed by any certain date.
  • He likes to deflect difficult or potentially controversial questions – such as the ones above, also on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and on Mullah Baradar’s capture and interrogation – by referring to orderly, methodical processes, or by methodically explaining why it would be out of order for him to answer.
  • He doesn’t say “Pock-ee-stan,” but he does say “Pah-ki-stan” – not “Pack-i-stan” like all red-blooded American conservatives…

It’s not completely inconceivable that such a man – such an intelligent, orderly, methodical, possibly a great man – could win a presidential election, if he cared to run or was drafted, but the character of the race and the circumstances surrounding it would have to be different than any we’ve seen in a very long time. Think total breakdown of law and order or so.

Leaving aside the fact that his views, if any, on fiscal policy, the size of government, taxes, and other key issues including social issues remain unknown, purely considering his main area of expertise, if he weren’t a successful, competent, and famous general, I don’t think the Republican Party of our times, or certainly the conservative wing, would want him anywhere near a presidential ticket, at the top or the bottom. When you pair him with a solid conservative candidate, even speculatively, even just for fun, you’re mainly highlighting the perceived deficiencies of that candidate – a lack of confidence in his or her appeal or credibility.

I will say this for the General: If he placed himself foursquare behind a major political objective – say, restoring the fundamentals of the American economy beginning with a real reduction in the size of government and a rationalization and re-conception of taxation and regulatory schemes, an objective that has largely eluded national conservatives despite generations of argument and campaigning – I’d trust him more than an almost any other major American public figure to approach it methodically and in an orderly manner, and maybe even achieve it when no one else could.

But I also believe him when he says he’s not interested in running for office.

cross-adapted from Zombie Contentions

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

We need an authority figure damnit!

Spathi on February 21, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Not another General! With the exception of Washington, they just don’t work well in the job!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on February 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM

1. George Washington, Revolutionary War
2. Andrew Jackson, War of 1812
3. William Henry Harrison, War of 1812
4. Zachary Taylor, Mexican War
5. Franklin Pierce, Mexican War
6. Andrew Johnson, Civil War
7. Ulysses Simpson Grant, Civil War
8. Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Civil War
9. James Abram Garfield, Civil War
10. Chester Allan Arthur, Civil War
11. Benjamin Harrison, Civil War
12. Dwight David Eisenhower, World War II

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on February 21, 2010 at 3:02 PM

So he’s not a Neo-Con?

Great!

He’s got my vote.

David2.0 on February 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM

No more generals or senators, please.

OhioCoastie on February 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM

I worked for many flag officers during my time in the military. They are great at putting ordnance on target – and breaking and smashing things.

Would I hire one to run a company of mine?

No.

HondaV65 on February 21, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Is he even a republican?

Spathi on February 21, 2010 at 3:06 PM

A Rockefeller Republican? Why not just get David Brooks, or Christopher Buckley in there as well.

Anybody remember all the hoopla about Colin Powell? What a great President he would make. Am I the only one who remembers that?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I worked for many flag officers during my time in the military. They are great at putting ordnance on target – and breaking and smashing things.

Would I hire one to run a company of mine?

No.

HondaV65 on February 21, 2010 at 3:05 PM

That’s the sum of it. People whose occupation is tearing down aren’t usually too great at building up.

Dark-Star on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

He’s never been on my dream team.

Disturb the Universe on February 21, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Most of your bullet points can be explained simply by the fact that he’s a sitting general.

I don’t know that he’d be different as a civilian, but I do know that I’m not surprised at:

“Not the slightest hint of impatience with the current administration’s engagement policy”

for example.

“Hints of impatience,” or any other dissatisfaction with the current administration’s policy would go against his job description, and he’s proven very good at doing his job.

notropis on February 21, 2010 at 3:10 PM

A Rockefeller Republican? Why not just get David Brooks, or Christopher Buckley in there as well.

Anybody remember all the hoopla about Colin Powell? What a great President he would make. Am I the only one who remembers that?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I was thinking Colin Powell the whole time I was reading this post… look how that turned out….

kringeesmom on February 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Generals seldom publically go against the positions of the prevailing political leader. The road to the flag officer ranks has the bodies of military who speak out of school.

katiejane on February 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM

We need an authority figure damnit!

Spathi on February 21, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Hahahaha

I know you’re probably going to hijack this thread, but that was kind of funny…

MeatHeadinCA on February 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM

He’d make a darn good president– he knows foreign policy, military policy, and has actual experience.

orfannkyl on February 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Petraeus/Powell/Zombie McCain!!!

MeatHeadinCA on February 21, 2010 at 3:14 PM

He’d make a darn good president– he knows foreign policy, military policy, and has actual experience.

orfannkyl on February 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM

And on the domestic???

MeatHeadinCA on February 21, 2010 at 3:15 PM

orfannkyl on February 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM

He has experience giving orders that are to be followed immediately and without question. That’s perfectly legitimate in a military setting…but not for the post of President.

Dark-Star on February 21, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Unless there is a major revelation concerning Petraeus’ Political Philosophy, the GOP would be in a stronger position to run McCain again…

MeatHeadinCA on February 21, 2010 at 3:18 PM

I have been saying this. The guy is from New Hampshire. I would vote for him, but the oh so righteous TC\’s would eventually flip out. Of course, they are supporting a corrupt pretender right now in Florida without looking into his record…maybe.

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 3:18 PM

That’s the sum of it. People whose occupation is tearing down aren’t usually too great at building up.

Dark-Star on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Isn’t he building love, peace and tolerance between Islam and Humanity? :)

BL@KBIRD on February 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Anybody remember all the hoopla about Colin Powell? What a great President he would make. Am I the only one who remembers that?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I was one of the “Colin for President” people and I’m still diggin’ crow feathers out between my teeth. We sure dodged a bullet on that one.

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Glad to see he ain’t interested in the position. Perhaps he’d make an adequit Secretary of Defense or some other advising role however, he’s not my opinion good for the conservative ticket.

larvcom on February 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM

I have been saying this. The guy is from New Hampshire. I would vote for him, but the oh so righteous TC\’s would eventually flip out. Of course, they are supporting a corrupt pretender right now in Florida without looking into his record…maybe.

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 3:18 PM

You want some New England thunder? Then support Mitt… you most likely know more about him. Now, why exactly would you vote for Petraeus?

MeatHeadinCA on February 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM

I want to give my endorsement for the next President Of These United States to Ed Morrissey. Humble guy that he is, he will probably decline the endorsement.

percysunshine on February 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM

I’ll take Lt. Colonel Allen West over Gen. Petraeus.

profitsbeard on February 21, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Isn’t he building love, peace and tolerance between Islam and Humanity? :)

BL@KBIRD on February 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM

The Peace was already there… remember Religion of Peace Peas!

MeatHeadinCA on February 21, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Anybody remember all the hoopla about Colin Powell? What a great President he would make. Am I the only one who remembers that?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Colin Powell, so frequently mentioned as a possible R candidate in the last cycle, resides in the dustbin now. It only took three words: “I support Obama.”

GnuBreed on February 21, 2010 at 3:21 PM

It only took three words: “I support Obama.”

GnuBreed on February 21, 2010 at 3:21 PM

But he did say more than that… that’s what guarantees him no place on the right…

MeatHeadinCA on February 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM

That’s Lt. Colonel Allen West.

profitsbeard on February 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I was one of the “Colin for President” people and I’m still diggin’ crow feathers out between my teeth. We sure dodged a bullet on that one.

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Yeah, a healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing. The lefties could have used a bucketful with regards to Obama and his blank slate campaign.

Petraeus, like Powell before him, fills the same role on the right.

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:27 PM

President George Herbert Walker Voodoo Economics Read My Lips (Fooled Ya!) Bush

Heh.

Weight of Glory on February 21, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Leaving aside the fact that his views, if any, on fiscal policy, the size of government, taxes, and other key issues including social issues remain unknown

This is the big issue with him, not how he pronounces Pakistan.

Let’s face it though, who else is out there worth rooting for?

Dash on February 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

You can’t compare Petraeus to all military Presidents. Most of them had some political experience.

Speedwagon82 on February 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Generals usually make lousy politicians, but then politicians usually make lousy politicians. There’s just something about the characteristics which make a good general that do not cross over to make a good politician. While there are some politics involved at the flag rank, it is too meritocratic to prepare a general to operate effectively in the partisan world of government.

If I were Petraeus, I’d declare victory at the end of my career and retire to a private sector job making big bucks, give speeches making big bucks, and write a memoir that sold for big bucks.

Tantor on February 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Yeah, a healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing. The lefties could have used a bucketful with regards to Obama and his blank slate campaign.

Petraeus, like Powell before him, fills the same role on the right.

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:27 PM

The Democrats handed the fox the keys to the hen house and they got more than they bargained for. The President is going to take the Democrats all down with him and I can’t wait to watch the ship sink in November.

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

The President is going to take the Democrats all down with him and I can’t wait to watch the ship sink in November.

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

That may not be the only thing Obama takes down with him.

What am I worried about?

What happens if he tanks the economy and unemployment soars, while retirement funds are badly reduced, or eliminated?

How many would support massive government intervention in that circumstance?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:51 PM

* He thinks Iran is “a ways” away from a nuclear weapon, and favors our continuing the “pressure track” that we’re now on. Not the slightest hint of impatience with the current administration’s engagement policy – instead, words that in effect approve of it, as laying the pretext for unspecified future action.
* He clearly opposes detainee interrogation methods that go beyond the Army Field Manual, believing they eventually end up “biting us on the backside,” and also aren’t necessary. And he explicitly favors closing Guantanamo, though isn’t “seized” with the notion that it must be closed by any certain date.
* He likes to deflect difficult or potentially controversial questions – such as the ones above, also on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and on Mullah Baradar’s capture and interrogation – by referring to orderly, methodical processes, or by methodically explaining why it would be out of order for him to answer.
* He doesn’t say “Pock-ee-stan,” but he does say “Pah-ki-stan” – not “Pack-i-stan” like all red-blooded American conservatives…

There is only so many things he can say while serving. Is he really going to break away from the CINC in public?

toliver on February 21, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I will say this for the General: If he placed himself foursquare behind a major political objective – say, restoring the fundamentals of the American economy beginning with a real reduction in the size of government and a rationalization and re-conception of taxation and regulatory schemes, an objective that has largely eluded national conservatives despite generations of argument and campaigning – I’d trust him more than an almost any other major American public figure to approach it methodically and in an orderly manner, and maybe even achieve it when no one else could.

I think this is the crux of the matter. People actually believe that Petraeus will accomplish his objectives, and not in that vague ‘hopeychangey’ way. The only big question is “What are his objectives”. For that, we have to wait and see. So let’s try not to pigeonhole him as anything other than an interesting contender.

Fighton03 on February 21, 2010 at 4:07 PM

What happens if he tanks the economy and unemployment soars, while retirement funds are badly reduced, or eliminated?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Looks like the President has a pretty good start at all that you mentioned above.

How many would support massive government intervention in that circumstance?

I’m not sure how many people have the stomach for a big intervention. I just hope it never happens and we can make the adjustment peacefully.

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM

How many would support massive government intervention in that circumstance?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:51 PM

After the hype of porkulus and porkulus II? Maybe smaller than you might think.

An anecdotal conversation here but while closing my company due to environmental over-regulation in our market (trucking), we hired several temporaries to help us clear things out. This was right in the middle of the Haiti relief efforts. One of the temps made the off-hand comment that Obama was spending money/time on Haiti and not paying attention to our own economy. Yes he voted for Obie. I replied that I agreed, but given how well the bailouts and porkulus did, maybe it was a good thing Obie was out of our way. We proceeded to have a pretty lengthy and agreeable discussion about how maybe it was best that the feds just let us fix things on our own.

Oh the times they are a changin’.

Fighton03 on February 21, 2010 at 4:15 PM

I’m not sure how many people have the stomach for a big intervention. I just hope it never happens and we can make the adjustment peacefully.

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM

You would be asking people to give up unemployment benefits, welfare, and health care coverage for an ideal. It would be nice to think people in general would do it, but I think that may be the Democrats intention.

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Another Colin Powell.

Modern US generals are excellent at performing defined tasks. They can look at a defined problem, analyze it, form a solution and implement it.

They lack central gifts of political leadership, which include vision and the ability to bring the nation to follow their vision. These come from the imagination and are not “can do” qualities that generals have in abundance.

I’m sure there are exceptions, but Petraeus and most publicly known generals are not it.

wraithby on February 21, 2010 at 4:18 PM

All other things being equal, I’ll take a West Pointer over a Harvard man any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Today being Sunday, I’ll have me two Petraeus’s, thank you very much.

turfmann on February 21, 2010 at 4:20 PM

It would be nice to think people in general would do it, but I think that may be the Democrats intention
sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 4:16 PM

The Democrats want to make us dependent….how can they stay in control if we are independent of the government?

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM

The Democrats want to make us dependent….how can they stay in control if we are independent of the government?

yoda on February 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM

It worked in Europe so they do know what they are doing! They are not the fools so many conservatives imagine.

Their aims are very different than what most conservatives, and a large number of Democrats understand them to be.

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 4:29 PM

I’ll pass. We’ve heard this before. It’s insane to consider someone for president whose views you know very little about.

Blake on February 21, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Good military leaders do not necessarily make good political or national leaders. Different paradigms.

Oldnuke on February 21, 2010 at 4:34 PM

It’s insane to consider someone for president whose views you know very little about.

Blake on February 21, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Excellent point!

Oldnuke on February 21, 2010 at 4:35 PM

It’s insane to consider someone for president whose views you know very little about.

Blake on February 21, 2010 at 4:31 PM

53% of American Voters gave us Obama, Socialist Majorities in the House and Senate and a National Debt that exceeds anything thus far in the History of this planet. Call it ignorance, stupidity or insanity but it fits all parameters easily.

old trooper2 on February 21, 2010 at 4:46 PM

CK. I think you are mistaking a soldier backing up his commander-in-chief for policy positions. No soldier/sailor/airman/marine would go against the President publicly. True, he may agree to some degree or another personally, but he would not come out and say flat out he opposed these policies. The military as a whole is apolitical and will do whatever the President directs irregardless of how they actually feel.

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 4:50 PM

I vote for Captain Sully!

Sam Adams on February 21, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 4:50 PM

I understand what you’re talking about, but I don’t think there’s any room for doubt that he concurs on Gitmo and interrogation. He doesn’t just back the CINC, but elaborates on the rationale and points to his own record and statements. On Iran, given the fact that he’s the military commander for the entire region, he obviously had to tread extra carefully even beyond chain of command issues, but I he could still have supported, or declined to oppose Ø policy, but with different emphases. There’s plenty of precedent for serving generals going as far as that, or further.

Unless there’s a clear breach between now and whenever, Petraeus might have difficulty disassociating himself from Obama foreign and security policy in any major respect, at least as it relates to his very critical current area of responsibility.

CK MacLeod on February 21, 2010 at 5:04 PM

I’ll take Lt. Colonel Allen West over Gen. Petraeus.

profitsbeard on February 21, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Yeah, Ill get right on a dude who threatens prisoners with his sidearm.

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 5:08 PM

There’s plenty of precedent for serving generals going as far as that, or further.

There is precedent for those generals getting fired too.

Macarthur comes to mind.

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Yeah, Ill get right on a dude who threatens prisoners with his sidearm.

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Maybe he should have threatened him with Soft Cushions or the Comfy Chair?

Between August 16 and 20, intelligence identified an Iraqi policeman who was allegedly involved in the assassination plot, and the man was arrested on Aug. 20. According to the officer’s defense attorney, this is what happened.

Lt. Col. Allen B. West was told the policeman was uncooperative, so he took a few of his men to the interrogation area to see for himself, where he found the prisoner being questioned by two female officers. They told him the man was belligerent, and wasn’t giving them any information. (Surprise, surprise. The idiocy of having women question male Arab prisoners is apparent to everyone except the army commanders.) West entered the room, sat across from the man, drew his pistol, and placed it in his lap. West told him he had come to either get information, or to kill him. The prisoner responded by smiling and saying, “I love you.” The interrogation continued, and one of West’s troops lost his temper and started slapping the man. West then had his men take the prisoner outside, where he again threatened the man, telling him that he would kill him on the count of five if he didn’t tell what he knew. The prisoner refused, and West fired his pistol into the air.

The interrogation continued, but not the beating. After about 20 more minutes of useless questioning, West grabbed the man, held him down near a box full of sand used to discharge jammed weapons, and said something like, “This is it. I’m going to count to five again, and if you don’t give me what I want, I’m going to kill you.” West held the man down, counted to five, and then fired his pistol into the discharging box about a foot from the Iraqi’s head. He began talking. Over the next few minutes, the prisoner gave very specific information about the plot. He named the conspirators, gave times and dates of the assassination plan, and even described how attacks would be made.

West and his men went back to their base camp. The lieutenant colonel immediately went to his boss, woke him up, and told him what he had done, and about the information he’d gotten from the Iraqi. West didn’t say anything about what his troops had done. The boss — Col. Kevin Stramara — responded only by saying something like, “Alan, we need to take the high road.” Leaving Stramara, West went to the medics’ area, and ordered one of the doctors to examine and treat the prisoner. The doctor found the man bruised and scared, but not injured in any significant way. The next day, West briefed his own staff about the incident, and told them he took full responsibility. And that, West thought, was that. Apparently so did Stramara, who never even reported the incident.

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 5:14 PM


People whose occupation is tearing down aren’t usually too great at building up.

Au contraire……..
Secretary of State George C. Marshall, former Army Chief of Staff during WWII. VERY GOOD at tearing things down AND building them back up.

GarandFan on February 21, 2010 at 5:23 PM

GarandFan on February 21, 2010 at 5:23 PM

McArthur wasnt half bad in Japan either.

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 5:25 PM

I want to give my endorsement for the next President Of These United States to Ed Morrissey. Humble guy that he is, he will probably decline the endorsement.

Ditto that!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on February 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM

CK MacLeod on February 21, 2010 at 5:04 PM

You are right on a lot of your points. Both Petraeus and Mullen have come out in favor of a lot of policies that Pres. Obama has advocated. (DADT being one of them.) They also have elaborated (as you pointed out) on why these policies would be good (as you rightly pointed out, these does implicate support).

I think the military as a whole, though, has moved away from the MacArthur-style confrontations with the President seeing as that usually is counterproductive to keeping your job. You’re right that there are precedents for disagreeing, but my take is that the focus is more on backing the President than disagreeing with him. So I guess what I’m trying to say is I do agree with you, but for me the jury is still out on a lot of issues regarding what he does and does not actually support.

Personally, I have a lot of respect for Gen Pretraeus and I think he is an outstanding leader. Like you pointed out, though, being a great military leader doesn’t make you a great president. Admiral Stockdale and Sen. McCain being good examples.

Great article, btw.

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 5:31 PM

In all honesty, I think General Petraeus is amazing. My short list of totally awesome military guys is (in no particular order):
- General Lewis “Chesty” Puller USMC
- Admiral James B. Stockdale USN
- General David Petraeus USA

There are others, but those are my top three. Like I said, sometimes people need to stay at their day job and stay out of politics.

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 5:37 PM

No Bull Halsey?
Boo on you!

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

He seems to be viewed favorably in Thomas Rick’s “Fiasco” (which I’m reading now), where he seemed to know how to run conterinsurgency, unlike some of the other knucklehead generals there (i.e., Ricardo Sanchez).

RayinVA on February 21, 2010 at 5:53 PM

We really need to hold our fire on Petraeus at this point. He is a serving officer, which means he is very limited in what he is allowed to say publicly. As a combatant commander his immediate superior is the president, which means he is required to take ownership of Obama’s lawful orders regardless of what he personally thinks of them. That means he can’t just follow orders, he is obligated to actively promote and pursue those objectives regardless of his own feelings on them. That’s just basic officership. His only other option is to retire, which apparently he’s not ready to do at this point. We need to wait and see how he feels about Obama and the Democrat agenda when he is out of uniform. Trying to figure our what is going on in Petraeus’s noggin now based solely on his public statements is completely pointless.

WarEagle01 on February 21, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Some conservatives think we need a General to make the point that the Libs are weak on defense?…..

I don’t get that. It just speaks to the GOP’s insecurity that we’d need a counterbalance to the Left’s Wesley Clark. We don’t…….everyone knows the Left is soft on defense.

But I have a question how much longer is this war in Afghanistan going to have to go on to beat a bunch of cave monkeys? I mean people we’ve been over there 8+ YEARS!!!

We can’t beat these clowns by now?

PappyD61 on February 21, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Petraeus lost my vote of confidence the day I heard him speak and refer to our sons and daughters who choose to serve as “inventory”. Not.Okay.Ever.

YTZGal on February 21, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Not another General! With the exception of Washington, they just don’t work well in the job!

Right because Reagan was an actor, we need another actor president! Quick call Sean Penn!

scrubbiedude on February 21, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Here’s the problem with this article: Paretus is a *general* of the United States Military. I think this fact gets lost, given the obvious fact that there is alot of politics in the military and there is a great deal of blurring between the foreign policy experts and the upper echelon of the military establishment. There is dissent and we learn about that dissent on a regular basis.

But we rarely see a general, while they are active-duty military, directly contradicting the president. The last one who made a habit of it, MacArthur, was fired by the president *expressly* due to his “insubordination.” The military is a top-down authoritarian structure with a built-in obligation to accept the direction of those who out-rank you. Orders *must* be obeyed. So a general is quite a bit different than a senior foreign policy expert working in the government. As such, we have to be careful drawing conclusions about the individual beliefs of those folks while they are pursuing careers within that structure.

So if you want to argue Petraeus is a black box, fair enough. But concluding he’s a Rockefeller Republican because he hasn’t been an outspoken critic of Obama’s terrorism policy is simply unwarranted. D.GOOCH

DGOOCH on February 21, 2010 at 6:06 PM

But concluding he’s a Rockefeller Republican because he hasn’t been an outspoken critic of Obama’s terrorism policy is simply unwarranted. D.GOOCH

DGOOCH on February 21, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Argue with General Petraeus about it!

Petraeus is registered to vote as a Republican in New Hampshire—he once described himself to a friend as a northeastern Republican, in the tradition of Nelson Rockefeller

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 6:09 PM

General “Chesty” Puller

Is he anything like Capt. T. Itty Yanker ??

(Sorry, I saw a straight line, and had to go for it )

Jerome Horwitz on February 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM

Squid Shark on February 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

You’re right! I’m very sorry to have forgotten “31 knot” Burke and “Bull” Halsey! Great sailors.

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Jerome Horwitz on February 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM

He’s the guy who upon seeing a flame thrower for the first time, asked where the bayonet went.

Rightwingguy on February 21, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Being a brilliant General doesn’t mean you’d make a good President or VP.

Helloyawl on February 21, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Patreus/Chafee 2012!!1!

abobo on February 21, 2010 at 7:57 PM

A Rockefeller Republican? Why not just get David Brooks, or Christopher Buckley in there as well.

Anybody remember all the hoopla about Colin Powell? What a great President he would make. Am I the only one who remembers that?

sharrukin on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Colon Bowel is a national disgrace after today.

RustBelt on February 21, 2010 at 8:49 PM

But I also believe him when he says he’s not interested in running for office

Me too, and I hope he keeps that promise to himself.

Dino64 on February 21, 2010 at 8:53 PM

That doesn’t read very well does it. Sorry. I just don’t want him anywhere near the WH. There fixed it for myself!

Dino64 on February 21, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Career politicians are out. They are completely worthless.

As are useless legacies (bye Patrick Kennedy).

Celebrity politicians are hideous (Arnold and Barack just suck in every way possible).

How about a guy from the one tiny sliver of government that actually gets things right, for the most part?

Military officers are vetted. They’ve actually had to accomplish something in government, unlike jackasses like our current CIC who people were conned into voting for.

I’d take Petraeus or any other flag officer over any other Republican by a clear margin. We need someone who can get things done.

NoDonkey on February 21, 2010 at 9:14 PM

He likes to deflect difficult or potentially controversial questions

The general is active duty, pal. Lighten up. Early on, after the general in afghanistan spoke his mind, barry and rahm made it clear to the pentagon that anymore foreys off the reservation would be dealt with harshly. Petraeus is still under the command of the marxist in chief and it’s still too early to throw his career out the window for political office.

peacenprosperity on February 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

He’d make a great veep for certain candidates, who are perceieved to be inexperienced in foreign affairs or experience, ahem, Sarah Palin. Or other dark horses like Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence types.

swamp_yankee on February 21, 2010 at 11:38 PM

You have to realize as the leader of Cent Com he doesn’t get the right to an opinion. He doesn’t believe in harsh interrogation because Obama doesn’t, same with his belief that Iran isn’t close to the bomb.

YTZGal on February 21, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Cause I’m sure Petraeus has no respect for those in uniform………..

Rbastid on February 22, 2010 at 1:40 AM

Rbastid on February 22, 2010 at 1:40 AM
peacenprosperity on February 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM

See discussion above.

CK MacLeod on February 22, 2010 at 1:43 AM

But even if you guys were right – in contradiction to the limited evidence we have – it would make him at best a question mark on everything else of interest to conservatives.

CK MacLeod on February 22, 2010 at 1:46 AM

I worked for many flag officers during my time in the military. They are great at putting ordnance on target – and breaking and smashing things.

Would I hire one to run a company of mine?

No.

HondaV65 on February 21, 2010 at 3:05 PM
That’s the sum of it. People whose occupation is tearing down aren’t usually too great at building up.

Dark-Star on February 21, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Sorry folks- if there’s one thing the military knows how to do besides break things, it’s FIX things. Re: Haiti, Pacific Ocean tsunami relief, Bangladesh/Burma flood relief, Katrina hurricane relief, etc… The military may not officially “do” “nation building”, but it’s what they do every day around the world. Maybe it’s time for a civilianized/retired military man to apply those skills back at home for a change. Gimme a Petraeus/Keating ticket.

rotorhead on February 22, 2010 at 8:25 AM

We are going to need some nation building here at home after 4 yrs of ‘Bamster.

I’m not that picky; I just want a grown up running the country after 2012.

bitsy on February 22, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on February 21, 2010 at 3:02 PM

You forgot William McKinley, Civil War, and Teddy Roosevelt, San Juan Hill.

t.ferg on February 22, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Hmmmm.

He’s a serving active-duty officer. He -has- to take the existing policies of the administration as his own.

He is required to do so by regulations.

memomachine on February 22, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Let us hope he has not interest in the position. Historically military presidents haven’t faired all that well. One can point to Eisenhower, but then look at Grant. You get my drift. A good general (at that is always open to question) does not necessarily a good president make. Let us not have the Republican party degenerate into another Whig party. No platform, but good candidates. And I say this as both a child of the military, a veteran and a student of history.

georgeofthedesert on February 22, 2010 at 1:57 PM