EDITORIAL

“The P Factor”…

A question has increasingly been raised in the circle of political observers. Is Mitt Romney really keen to talk General David Petraeus into becoming his vice-presidential running mate? This could even be said it became the dominant topic of the electoral campaign for the presidential election this coming autumn, although both the CIA and the White House strongly denied the news posted exclusively on the “Drudgereport” website, according to which the Republican candidate would like the hero in Iraq as his vice-presidential running mate. According to this conservative-leaning website which not once launched news not confirmed actually, it all began from the president in office himself. In a meeting with one of his financiers last week, Obama allegedly said that Romney had explored the current CIA head in a secret meeting in New Hampshire, where each of them owns a home.

“The President wasn’t joking,” the source said that made the news known to the “Drudgereport”.
Not few observers hold the view that Romney’s interest for Petraeus is quite explainable. The CIA head enjoys a war hero reputation, having stabilized the situation in Iraq during the Bush presidency. Moreover, he was unanimously confirmed as head of the CIA. Obviously, his being drawn into the electoral campaign would mean an unimaginable blow to the tenant in the White House. As expected, denials were swift, with the first to come from CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz, whose words were quite clear: “Director Petraeus feels very privileged to be able to continue to serve our country in his current position, and as he has stated clearly numerous times before, he will not seek elected office.” In his turn White House press secretary Jay Carney insisted on saying “with absolute confidence that such an assertion has never been uttered by the president,” and added: “Be mindful of your sources”
Analysts hold the view that Obama has been steadfastly concerned with the Petraeus’ stand. This explains why he appointed Petraeus as CIA head, instead of offering him more of a political role, such as head of the joint chief of staff. Their relationship has not always been rosy; they even clashed rather notably over US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, with the general maintaining that troops should stay longer to get Taliban knelt down. It is quite clear that were he to join Romney and publicly criticize the current administration would make things quite difficult to Obama, with the whole election dynamics likely to change.
Politologists don’t seem inclined to believe such surprise would happen, and that not only because it has been denied. Actually, Romney would need different solutions for the vice-president position.
Electoral polls show his popularity has declined to 40 pc, against Obama’s 53 pc. Even if he is ahead in such key state as Colorado, he nonetheless ranks second in Virginia and Wisconsin. Geographically speaking, he needs to score points in the Midwest. In order to achieve his goal, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty or Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan would serve him a lot better. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, too, could help him, while Condoleezza Rice’s star appears to set.
The way the campaign unfolds it is plain we shouldn’t wait too long to know the truth. Romney’s electoral campaign needs a turning point, after the past few weeks that didn’t unfurl according to his campaign staff’s expectations. Romney is likely to make known the name of his vice-presidential running mate in the days following the conclusion of the London Olympics from where his wife, too, will return.

P.S. When Nine O’Clock was to go to press, the much-awaited news arrived from the United States. At a meeting in Norfolk, Virginia, Romney announced Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate, one of the potential candidates as I said before. During the meeting, Mitt Romney mistakenly introduced Paul Ryan as the future president of the United States of America. The 42-year-old Ryan is Wisconsin Rep. since the age of 28, and he is also chairman of the House Budget Committee. He is of Irish descent and Catholic affiliation, and lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, his place of birth, with his wife and their three children. Ryan is among the so-called “Young Guns” (the name of a book he co-authored) of the Republican Party.

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