Could a Romney/Petraeus Ticket Be a Game Changer?
May 23, 2012 - 10:59 am
Here is an excerpt from a May 2011 piece I wrote with some early speculation about Romney’s VP choices, David Petraeus among them:
Romney’s selection of David Petraeus could possibly be a “game changer.”
Just imagine this scenario: General Petraeus is soon retiring from the Army to set up camp as director of the CIA, serving under President Obama.
So sometime in the middle of 2012, Director Petraeus has some “major policy disagreements” with the president and resigns his CIA post. Then he is suddenly available and Romney selects him as his surprise choice for VP.
Romney could definitely use the boost in the foreign policy area, especially when our nation might still be engaged in three unpopular wars. Petraeus would be a real asset to Romney and perhaps inject some positive energy into the ticket.
Now, a year later, we are engaged in only one very unpopular war, but there is still time for this scenario to unfold.
One could envision Petraeus resigning his post due to the recent revelation that White House operatives (ostensibly with the knowledge of the president) leaked for political gain classified information to the press about an al-Qaeda infiltrator who was working for Great Britain, not the CIA as was originally reported.
The entire operation about a new type of plane-threatening underwear bomb was exposed prematurely, threatening the life of the double-agent and damaging our nation’s relationships with the intelligence agencies of our allies.
Or there could be numerous other issues either known or unknown that might facilitate a decision by Director Petraeus to exit the Obama administration.
And if by chance Romney did choose Petraeus to be his running mate, one could only imagine that during the vice-presidential debate against Joe Biden a moderator might ask our sitting vice president the following question:
Recently captured documents revealed that Osama bin Laden wished to target airplanes carrying then General Petraeus and President Obama because he believed these assassinations would elevate an “utterly unprepared” Vice- President Joe Biden to the presidency and plunge the U.S. into crisis.
Mr. Vice-President, fortunately bin Laden’s wishful plans never went operational, but please comment on his thinking that you were “utterly unprepared” to be president of the United States.
OK, I admit it is highly unlikely that this question would ever be asked in the real vice-presidential debate, but it might make a great skit on Saturday Night Live.
With Biden being such a gaffe prone vice president, one forgets how in 2008 Senator Obama was widely applauded for choosing Senator Biden as his running mate because he needed Biden’s “foreign policy expertise” to balance the ticket.
Now in 2012, as the world grows increasingly dangerous, don’t completely rule out Romney tapping Petraeus for those exact same reasons.
There is even precedent for a former CIA director to be tapped as the vice-presidential candidate on a GOP ticket. Former President George H. W. Bush was CIA director in 1976 before Governor Ronald Reagan named Bush as his running mate in 1980.
Yet Petraeus, even with his action-packed “John Wayne”-like career and national name recognition, might still be characterized as an “incredibly boring white guy” with no fear of his overshadowing Romney.
But there also exists the possibility that Petraeus, as a bipartisan political newcomer, could be perceived as a welcome addition to Romney’s ticket with the potential of moving the excitement meter and gathering enough momentum to help carry some crucial swing state voters across the finish line for a Team Romney victory.