Petraeus for President? Betting Market Alert!

The general may have his eye on the Oval Office.

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I am an admitted Intrade betting market junkie. (A spectator only, mind you.) And I hope the day after the election, it launches contracts for the 2012 presidential race. If Barack Obama loses, it's gotta be HRC and then a bunch of other dudes, right? And if John McCain loses—an 80 percent probability, according to Intrade—Sarah Palin would have to be considered either the front-runner or pretty darn close to it, you betcha. I imagine Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee might also be in the mix, too.

But what about Gen. David Petraeus? Petraeus was mentioned as a possible surprise McCain veep pick this time around—there is a huge photo at McCain HQ of the two of them shaking hands—and is rumored to harbor high political ambitions. And I just read this bit of inside analysis about a possible Petraeus presidential bid from geopolitical strategist Tom Barnett, though he thinks 2016 is more likely:

My guess? Petraeus looms large in an Obama administration—the honest broker of [civilian-military] relations (like Powell aspired to be when Clinton came in). Then, just like Powell, there will be talk of Petraeus running for president come 2016 (along with premature, loose talk in 2012, because I suspect he'll still be in uniform, replacing Mullen as [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff]—even if some rules must be bent (and I may be mixing up the logical dates on this). At that point he'll be 64 and my guess is he'll still be able to crank somewhere in the range of 6-min miles, which is frightening to consider. And no, despite the age range, Petraeus wouldn't signal the return of the Boomer presidency. Far more than McCain, in my mind, this guy constitutes his own political genus—like an Ike (to whom he will be compared if he does anything in Afghanistan that resembles his success in Iraq). And if I assume he'd be a center-right candidate (educated guess, but guess nonetheless), he'd be the GOP's perfect follow-up to an Obama presidency. Actually, it's almost sick to start hypothesizing about 2012 and 2016, but such is the nature of the beast.

Me: But where is he on the Paulson plan, for it or agin' it?

Petraeus, David
Powell, Colin
Mullen, Mike