Matt Drudge is known to be tuned in to Romneyworld through Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, so whenever he has a scoop, people pay attention, even if that scoop seems absurd on its face. And today's scoop seems absurd on its face.
President Obama whispered to a top fundraiser this week that he believes GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants to name Gen. David Petraeus to the VP slot!
"The president wasn't joking," the insider explains to the DRUDGE REPORT.
A Petraeus drama has been quietly building behind the scenes.
Romney is believed to have secretly met with the four-star general in New Hampshire.
Now, don't get us wrong: David Petraeus would probably be an amazing, game-changing running mate. But there are two major reasons not to take the possibility seriously. The first is that Petraeus is currently the head of the C.I.A., and it's almost unthinkable that he would abruptly ditch such an important post and leave the agency in the lurch. The second problem is that no single person over the past few years has been quite as Shermanesque about ever running for office. Here is his response in March of 2010 to rumors that he may run for president:
"I really do mean no. We have all these artful ways of doing it. I’ve tried Shermanesque responses, which everybody goes and finds out what Sherman said was pretty unequivocally no. I’ve done several different ways. I’ve tried quoting the country song, ‘What Part of No Don’t You Understand?’ I mean, I really do mean that. I feel very privileged to be able to serve our country. I’m honored to continue to do that as long as I can contribute, but I will not, ever, run for political office, I can assure you. And again, we have said that repeatedly and I’m hoping that people realize at a certain point you say it so many times that you could never flip, and start your career by flip-flopping into it."
"I will not, ever, run for political office, I can assure you." Here he is again on Meet the Press that August:
PETRAEUS: Well, I am not a politician, and I will never be, and I say that with absolute conviction.
GREGORY: Well, that's what [Ulysses S. Grant] said. But does that mean that you're totally clear? That you'd never run for President?
PETRAEUS: Yeah, I really am. You know, and I've said that I'll adopt what Sherman said and go back and look at what has come to be known as a Shermanesque answer on that particular question.
GREGORY: No way, no how?
PETRAEUS: No way, no how.
"I am not a politician, and I will never be, and I say that with absolute conviction." A few months ago, a CIA spokesperson took on the VP rumors directly:
“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,” Youngblood said in a written statement.
And for what it's worth, NBC's Andrea Mitchell has her own sources, and they are laughing.
sources close to Gen David Petraeus laugh off Drudge report he is a Romney veep possible -— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) August 7, 2012
Maybe Romney does want Petraeus on his ticket, but he'd also probably love to have Ronald Reagan, and that scenario seems just about as likely.