Americans have never been so disgusted with their politicians. More than three-quarters of Americans disapprove of Congress. President Barack Obama's favourability ratings have slumped to below 50 per cent and he is no longer trusted or believed by many who voted for him.Harnden's answer to what ails America-Gen. David Petraeus. Well, we could do worse. Petraeus is brilliant, accomplished and disciplined. In other words, he is not Obama. There is just one small problem, Petraeus insists that he isn't running. No how, no way, "read my lips"... I think he's interested.
Republicans are faring little better and the growth of the Tea Party movement reflects the widespread disgust with Washington and the political class. Incumbents across the board are vulnerable in November's mid-term elections.
Many voters yearn for an outsider, someone with authenticity, integrity and proven accomplishment. Someone who has not spent their life plotting how to ascend the greasy pole, adjusting every utterance for maximum political advantage.
In this toxic climate, perhaps the only public institution that has increased in prestige in recent years is the American military. Its officers are looked upon, as General George Patton once noted, as "the modern representatives of the demi-gods and heroes of antiquity".
Where better to look for Obama's successor, therefore, than in the uniformed ranks? Not since 1952, when a certain Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War, was elected President, have the chances of a military man winning the White House been more propitious.
Americans are looking for someone they can trust. Having dedicated his life in service of the United States, Petraeus fits the bill. Beyond that, Petraeus is plain spoken. Lord knows, we are sick to death of nuance. Pair him up with Rep. Paul Ryan and we have leadership.
Remember leadership? The Pansy Gang from Chicago isn't leadership. Smoke and mirrors isn't leadership. We have dug ourselves into a deep dark hole and sweet talk, the forte of politicians, won't get us back out. A Petraeus/Ryan team could have the right combination of backbone and intelligence to put us back on track.
Certainly worth thinking about.