The New York Times has a Sunday feature on GEN David Petraeus as a potential presidential candidate* in 2012, calling him “politically astute.” If you ask me, that’s a loaded phrase. It’s as if reporter Steven Lee Myers is trying to belittle Petraeus as a military commander, just in time for his latest Congressional testimony.
Although to be fair, you don’t become a general officer without being politically astute. It’s not as if Petraeus’s military credentials could be doubted after our successes in Iraq since he took charge — but how about we “question the timing” of such a statement?
What’s most interesting in the story however is this line:
On Tuesday and Wednesday, General Petraeus will once again appear on Capitol Hill, testifying about the progress of a war that most Democrats and, polls suggest, most Americans think cannot end quickly enough.
“Quickly enough.” Ponder those last two words for a moment. What you’ve just read is the sound, yet again, of goalposts moving.
Due to the upcoming election, there are only two Democrats of note right now, and their names are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They don’t say we can’t win “quickly enough.” They say we can’t win at all.
But Petraeus changed the narrative, didn’t he? And so The New York Times is helpfully changing the terms of the debate, from “we can’t win” to “we can’t win quite as quickly as the people would like.”
In other words, there’s victory in the air — and that has the liberal media running scared.
*I’m officially agnostic on Petraeus as a candidate. He’s a fine general, obviously, but I don’t know anything about his politics. He might be an Eisenhower, but he might be a Grant. And he’s not even running. Let’s wait until 2012, if ever, before making any decisions about his fitness for office.