Right Wing Pushing Petraeus For President

petraeusbutton5.gif The GOP presidential field seemed complete last night when former senator Fred Thompson finally announced he was jumping into the race. But apparently the right-wing isn’t satisfied with its choices and is hoping that the race may have room for one more candidate — Gen. David Petraeus.

Today, the New York Sun has an editorial entitled “Petraeus for President?” In the piece, the editorial writers pen the speech they would like Petraeus to give on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks:

I am prepared, even eager, to command our forces in this battle — but only on one condition: That you signal that you share my goal of victory. If you think I am mistaken and wish to continue your efforts to undermine me, then I cannot command. Absent that signal, I will resign, effective immediately, and take my case to the voters in a run for the presidency on a campaign to finish the work of winning the war and redeeming the sacrifice of so many Iraqis, allies, and our own GIs.

The Corner’s Kathryn Jean Lopez approvingly linked to the editorial this morning, titling her post “Dream Sequence.” Last spring, The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol told the Harvard Republican Club that he and other “conservative insider[s]” believe “a ticket of Fred Thompson and David Petraeus might be able to avert electoral disaster for the GOP” in 2008.

It’s unlikely that Petraeus would be as warmly received by the American public, which wants withdrawal from Iraq. According to a Rasmussen poll of major political figures, Petraeus has an approval rating of only 24 percent — a number lower than even Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

As author of the “surge,” Petraeus is intimately tied to the administration and its Iraq failures and has acted as Bush’s main PR flack to cover-up mistakes. Some highlights:

Petraeus “softened” the intelligence community’s judgments about Iraq violence. After reviewing an early draft of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, “Petraeus succeeded in having the security judgments softened” to reflect so-called improvements in recent months.

Petraeus claimed the United States has “become liberators again” in Iraq. In June, Petraeus argued there was a “golden hour” of “omnipotence” in the early stages of the war where the U.S. was “viewed as a liberator.” He then claimed that Iraqis perceive the United States to once again be “liberators,” this time freeing them from the bloody civil war instigated as a result of the U.S. occupation.

Petraeus claimed life in Iraq is showing “astonishing signs of normalcy.” In June, Petraeus stated that he sees “astonishing signs of normalcy” in Baghdad, despite a report that found violence had “increased in most provinces, particularly in the outlying areas of Baghdad province.”

Petraeus has never shied away from inserting himself into politics. Just prior to the 2004 presidential election, Petraeus wrote an op-ed defending Bush’s course in Iraq. Recently, he defended Bush’s good friend Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who is facing a tough re-election race because of his support for the Iraq war.

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