Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pertraeus For Prez: Medals Are Not Enuf

The most popular political flavor of the moment is General David Petraeus as the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 2012. While this has a certain appeal for the moderate wing of a beleaguered party still lost in the wilderness a year after its wholesale thumping, there are more problems with it than stars on the popular general's broad shoulders.

These include:

* Petraeus has given no indication that he's interested.

* He's a classy guy, and there is an unseemliness to him running against his former commander in chief even if things really fall apart in Afghanistan.

It would politicize the Pentagon chain of command in a not good way.

* He's an unknown quantity regarding where he stands on non-national security issues, and it is probable that he would be unpalatable to the right wingnuts who run the party.

* The people who have expressed an interest in running aren't going to roll over and play dead.

* While he has been an able and perhaps even a brilliant commander, so what? Americans are most concerned about the economy and jobs and health care.

* Who says he would be a decent campaigner? Former General Wesley Clark had great credentials but he was a disaster on the stump in 2004.

Former General Eisenhower's successful 1952 run is, of course, the template for a Petraeus candidacy, but 2010 is not 1952 by any stretch of the imagination.

Now as for 2016, that may be a whole different kettle of MREs.

Top photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

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