Patraeus always wanted to be president. He still does. His admission to an extramarital affair was timed to the wire to get it out of the way – to publicly atone and honor his wife and to enter again the path. 

There is no more common foible for a man his age. It happens. But Petraeus is a man of dignity and honor. And Petraeus, along with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, were the significant leaders who intervened and retrieved the country’s karma when we had skidded entirely into the rocks.

It had been a long time coming. The Army under Tommy Franks was a mess for a long time. There hadn’t been a real fight in a long time. When the snob colleges in the Northeast dropped ROTC, it made for a largely Southern Baptist officer corps — a regional army — and as others have suggested, most soldiers today are largely from the red, heartland states. 

All these things dangerously destabilized and endangered the integrity of America. Petraeus, warrior scholar with a Ph.D. from Princeton, began to bring it back.

Patraeus and Gates brought us back from a desperate situation. One of these men, and I doubt Gates wants it, is necessary to stabilize the memory of a misbegotten war and restore order and continuity to the mind collectively. 

Especially if we are going to see big changes ahead as Cruz and Paul promise and Perry writes of in his book Fed Up!, Petraeus as VP would assure America and help keep the keel in the water.

Patraeus is not part of the new thinking of Paul, the libertarians, and the young conservatives of CPAC 2013: “states rights, sound money, constitutional government.” But a general’s job is to stabilize and execute ideas already awakened and bring them forward, as Washington did with Hamilton, Grant with Lincoln, and Eisenhower with Roosevelt. The combination of innovator/warrior — some management types call it the Merlin/Arthur combination — is possibly the most creative and successful management constellation.

There can be no doubt that Paul and Cruz bring exciting new ideas to America. But as Perry has said, the president’s first job is national defense. So much else can be deferred to the governors and the states and regions in the rising theme of Jackson and Jefferson, but not national defense. 

A military figure with the status of Petraeus as VP would make this case. A general as VP would reassure the public that the rebel libertarians are not going to dismantle America. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers Overnight Finance: Watchdog weighs probe into handling of Cohen bank records | Immigration fight threatens farm bill | House panel rebukes Trump on ZTE | Trump raises doubts about trade deal with China MORE is not his father, but Petraeus as his VP would assure the public.  That goes for Perry and the others as well.

The other day, The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan asked, “Can the Republican Party Recover from Iraq?” Possibly, only Petraeus can make the repair.