Senior Republican party mainstay and one-time presidential nominee Bob Dole is urging Gen. David Petraeus to run for president in 2012, Politico reports.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas . . . told POLITICO that he would like to see Army four-star Gen. David Petraeus — the head of the U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan — run for president as a latter-day Ike.
The interest of such a senior Republican is breathtaking for long-time watchers of Petraeus’ possible political future, because until now speculation was limited to the media rather than any major political players.
The article continues,
“Well, I’d like to see Gen. Petraeus warm up,” Dole said. “I don’t know anything about his politics, whether he has an interest. It’s kind of a time for another Eisenhower, in my view.”
This isn’t the first time the popular general’s name has been floated as a possible GOP savior — and it won’t be the last. Petraeus has political impulses but hasn’t revealed if they are conservative ones, and he might not even be a Republican.
Dole’s lack of knowledge of Petraeus’ political leanings is intriguing. Presumably, such a veteran pol would have inquired about the matter, but it appears that quest has been fruitless.
Petraeus could be keeping his cards so close to the vest because he wants to avoid even the hint of impropriety, especially as he has been criticized for how politically adept he is as a general.
But Petraeus followers this author has spoken with doubt he’s a Democrat.
The article continues,
[Dan Senor, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Bush administration veteran] is skeptical, even though Petraeus would be an appealing candidate. “He has to be focused like a laser beam on Afghanistan,” Senor said. “If he is as successful in Afghanistan as he was in Iraq, nothing else matters, and he will instantly be considered a top-tier candidate for president.
Timing is crucial for Petraeus. His record will always include rescuing Iraq from the precipice, but it is still being shaped by his actions abroad. He cannot leave the situation in Afghanistan prematurely for what appear to be political reasons. To do so would be to sacrifice that which makes him so attractive politically – his supreme competence and success militarily.
Interestingly, the Politico article forwards another name, Joe Scarborough,
MSNBC’s Scarborough has been told by some big donors that he should make a run in 2012.
“I think he does have aspirations. That is half of it: You got to want it,” said CNBC’s Donny Deutsche, a regular guest on Scarborough’s morning show, who recently raised the idea with him off-camera. “In this day and age, it would almost make sense for [a presidential candidate] to come from media.”
Scarborough, unlike Petraeus, has successfully run for office – as a class-of-1994 Republican representing Florida’s 1st District.
But Scarborough is Petraeus’ diametric opposite. Whereas Petraeus is cool and in control, Scarborough is emotional and unrestrained.
For instance, Scarborough has had repeated meltdowns on his MSNBC appearances that would likely make for great negative advertising. And who can forget him dropping an “F bomb” on television?
Nonetheless, major news for Petraeus watchers to see Dole so openly maneuvering behind Gen. Petraeus.