Talk Shifts to Petraeus for President in 2016

Supporters say they are putting a 2012 draft campaign on hold.

By + More

The David Petraeus for president bandwagon has been put on hold by his acceptance of President Obama's request that he replace ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the Afghan war boss. Now, his fans will have to wait until 2016. [Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About David Petraeus.]

Supporters of one unofficial Petraeus for President in 2012 effort tell Whispers that they are putting everything on hold because it is unlikely that he would have enough time to prepare for a bid in two years even if he only serves until the planned July 2011 beginning of the troop draw down promised by Obama. [Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About Stanley McChrystal.]

Instead they are talking about a 2016 campaign now, even though the general has repeatedly dismissed talk of a political bid of any sort. Those who were working on a draft effort say that by 2016 Petraeus might be more open to a presidential campaign, especially if Obama wins a second term and the general doesn't have to run—presumably as a Republican—against his commander-in-chief. If that happens, and Vice President Joe Biden doesn't run, then both parties will have open primaries just like in 2008.

His fans say a lot depends on what happens in Afghanistan. "If he pulls Obama's fat out of the fire in Afghanistan, he will go down as the greatest general since Dwight David Eisenhower," says one.

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on Afghanistan.
  • See photos of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.