Petraeus for VP — Obama’s nightmare?

posted at 12:36 pm on August 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

This one’s getting the siren treatment from Drudge.  Is Barack Obama worried that Mitt Romney may ask General David Petraeus — the hero of the Iraq surge strategy — to be his running mate? One of Obama’s donors says that’s what he heard — from the President himself:

President Obama whispered to a top fundraiser this week that he believes GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants to name Gen. David Petraeus to the VP slot!

“The president wasn’t joking,” the insider explains to the DRUDGE REPORT. …

Romney is believed to have secretly met with the four-star general in New Hampshire.

The pick could be a shrewd Romney choice. A cross-party pull. The Obama administration hailed Petraeus as one of history’s greatest military strategists. Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as the Director of the CIA by the US Senate 94-0.

Petraeus has steadfastly insisted for years that he has no political ambitions — and so far, he’s acted that way, too.  When his time came to come home, Petraeus could have opted to retire to the speaking circuit, building money and credibility for a run at political office.  Instead, he chose to accept an appointment to run the CIA, replacing Leon Panetta’s largely successful tenure when Panetta went to Defense.

Even if Petraeus had an interest in pursuing the post, he’d have to resign as CIA director to do so.  That’s not a two-week notice kind of job.  It would take months to get someone with Petraeus’ expertise in place, and also confirmed by the Senate.  If Romney had an interest in Petraeus, and Petraeus had an interest in the job, he would have had to resign in May or June at the latest to resolve the practical difficulties of changing leadership in a time of war.  I doubt that a man like Petraeus would leave his post without being properly relieved, especially in a time of low-grade war against terrorist networks, and even more especially to run against the man who appointed him to the slot.

This seems like battleground-shaping to me, a way that Team Obama can make the eventual Veepstakes winner — whomever he/she might be — look a little less serious in comparison.  Still, it’s an intriguing thought, although I think Jon Gabriel sums up the significance pretty well:

I’m not blaming Drudge for running with this story.  If I got that kind of a tip from a major Obama donor (or Romney donor, too), you can bet I’d share it.  I would be just as skeptical as I am now, though.


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