Drudge’s Latest Manufactured News: The Petraeus Boom!

It must be interesting to be Matt Drudge, with the power and the amorality to create big media “stories” at the flick of a mouse, and with no limitations other than serving the ultimate aims of his corporate and partisan overlords.

You may recall that its was Drudge who launched the “Condi Boom” a while back when the Romney campaign needed a major distraction from its Bain-and-tax problems. It was, of course, total BS. But it looks downright Delphic compared to Matt’s latest number: the claim that a boom is a-borning for the Veep selection of David Petraeus. What makes this particular skinless-trial-balloon fascinating is that Drudge attributes the rumor to none other than Barack Obama! No, seriously:

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.

The pick could be a shrewd Romney choice. A cross-party pull. The Obama administration hailed Petraeus as one of history’s greatest military strategists. Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as the Director of the CIA by the US Senate 94-0.

But Petraeus has categorically asserted that he has NO political ambitions. And Team Obama stands prepared to tie one of their own to “Bush wars.” A Petraeus pick could been seen as simply shuffling the decks of power in DC.

“He’s a serious man, for seriously dangerous times,” notes a top Republican.

A DRUDGE POLL on Tuesday morning showed readers split on if Romney should give it a go.

I just love it that the man throws out this preposterous claim, debates it, and then polls readers on it, all in a brisk morning’s work.

I have no particular idea why Drudge’s masters in Boston are encouraging this speculation, other than to keep interest lively in a decision that will likely settle on such vanilla acceptable-to-wingnuts placeholders as TPaw, Portman or Thune. Do they think it’s some sort of clever feint to suggest that a campaign psychotically focused on the proposition that voters should only think about the economy (and in cases of undecided white voters, maybe about those people Obama wants to reward with welfare money) would add someone to the ticket with zero experience in domestic government or “job-creating” either? Beats me. Maybe Drudge has finally descended to self-parody.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.