Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
Posts tagged "General Petraeus"

Color me surprised.

Possibly, but there’s an important factor to that youth opposition that a lot of these “slacktivists” who use social networking and Occupy-type protests to make a lot of noise don’t recognize:  their opposition only means something if they vote. 

See, Romney’s supporters will vote on Election Day.  If General Petraeus was a candidate, his supporters would vote on Election Day.  But the young people and many of the minorities who oppose Romney?  It’s a chore to get many of them out to vote.  If you’re reading this website or Politico and oppose Romney, chances are that you are politically active and will vote.  Yet, I would imagine that most of those young people who casually watch parts of the debates and Tweet about how Romney is part of the 1% will scream and yell and protest the GOP, but they won’t necessarily go vote on Election Day.  And, when push comes to shove, that’s all that matters.

Just to compare and contrast Romney with a hypothetical candidacy by Petraeus, while I do think a lot of the younger people who opposed the war would oppose General Petraeus, I think it would be offset by seniors (who love a leader like Petraeus) and veterans, including a lot of the younger veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan while General Petraeus was the commander of our forces.  General Petraeus would motivate a lot more supporters to get to the polls than Romney, he would definitely earn a lot more crossover votes than Romney, and any opposition would be offset by gains in areas that Romney wouldn’t be as successful.  General Petraeus would be a formidable candidate for President, no matter what party he represented or who he faced in the campaign.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
How would you feel about a Petraeus presidential ticket? Also, were you disappointed when Colin Powell resigned as SoS?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

General Petraeus would be a hell of a Presidential candidate.  We don’t know for sure which party the General belongs to, but I think most people believe that he is a Republican.  If General Petraeus was the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012 instead of Mitt Romney, I think President Obama would probably go ahead and start getting some packing done for his move back to Chicago.  I think Petraeus would have beaten Obama pretty handily.  The fact that the President put the General in charge of the CIA may not have been politically motivated, but it was undoubtedly politically beneficial to get Petraeus out of the immediate public eye and set up at Langley.

As for Colin Powell, I was disappointed in him long before his resignation as Secretary of State.  General Powell was one of the most respected Americans alive when he joined President George W. Bush’s Cabinet in 2001 and, from the outset, it appeared that Powell would be the voice of reason in the Bush Administration following 9/11 as the neo-conservatives were clamoring for war in Iraq.  I lost so much respect for General Powell because he knew war with Iraq was wrong, he clearly didn’t believe war in Iraq was necessary, and yet he still went to the United Nations and did the Bush Administration’s bidding in an attempt to build a coalition.  In Powell’s mind, I believe he felt he was being a good, loyal soldier in the service of his President, but serving his President conflicted with how best to serve his country.  It was sad to see Powell in that role (not Secretary of State, but the role he played in the lead-up to the Iraq War).  That’s when I was disappointed in General Powell, and it’s a shame because of Powell’s stature.  Many younger Americans don’t realize that, 12 years before Barack Obama was elected President, Colin Powell seriously weighed taking on Bill Clinton in Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign.  Had General Powell run in ‘96, he definitely would have been the GOP nominee and probably would have been elected the first black President.  In his excellent book about the 1996 campaign, The Choice (BOOKKINDLE), Bob Woodward notes that Powell’s decision not to run led to genuine relief for President Clinton and Clinton’s political aides.