Herbert E. Meyer
Actually, no. Gov. Romney hasn’t named his choice for vice president. But were you electrified by that headline? Did it pull you out of your chair, pump up your heart rate and make you believe, for the first time, that Obama’s on the ropes and this election is ours to win? I thought so; me, too.
If the talking heads are right (and on rare occasions they are), Romney is playing this decision close to his chest. No one seems to know whose advice, if anyone’s, he’s seeking. But in the highly unlikely event that he calls me to chat about this, I’d tell him to go big, and to go for General David Petraeus. Here’s why:
Petraeus is, quite simply, the most highly-regarded American in public life. Even those who opposed our military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq admire and respect this general. He’s so obviously a brilliant, competent man. And he’s always come across as low-key and personally modest. By choosing Petraeus as his running-mate, Romney would send out a message to voters that he isn’t playing politics as usual; that he wants the most qualified people he can find for his administration — and that he’ll put the varsity team in place to confront a dangerous world.
Choosing the general also would stop the Obama attack team dead in its tracks. Right now these vicious little creeps are hard at work preparing to trash whomever Romney chooses as his running-mate. If Paul Ryan or Rob Portman ever got a traffic ticket, or if Marco Rubio’s wife ever cut the label off a pillow, Obama’s attack dogs know it and are prepared to use it — or, rather, to mis-use it — with the help of their allies in the mainstream media. Trashing General Petraeus won’t be quite so easy. Unless the general is having an affair with an underage aardvark, the Obama team wouldn’t dare attack this national hero. They know it would backfire on them.
Oh, and the thought of watching David Petraeus debate incumbent Vice President Joe Biden — whom the President choose as his running mate in 2008 because he was so impressed by Biden’s foreign policy expertise — almost makes me feel sorry for poor old Joe. (Well, not really……)
I’ve never met General Petraeus, I haven’t got the slightest idea what he’s doing in his current job as Director of the CIA, and I’ve no clue whether he’s pro-life, pro-choice, or whether he’s ever given a thought to how best to organize our nation’s health care system. For all I know, Petraeus is a left-wing liberal who thinks Obama’s a geo-strategic genius and deserves to get re-elected — but I doubt it.
Nor do I have the slightest idea whether Petraeus would accept an invitation from Romney to join the ticket. But if I were Romney, I’d ask him. Wouldn’t you?