Robert Gates running for President in 2012?

While President Obama is chatting with the ladies of the View the Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave yet another speech on leadership: this time in front of the crowd of 45 000 Boy Scouts at their Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va (DoD photo by Cherie Cullen).

“There are too many places in American life today without the Boy Scouting values of self-reliance, self-control, honor, integrity and morality,” Gates said. “From Wall Street to Washington to our hometowns, in all our lives there are people who seek after riches or the many kinds of power without regard to what is right or true or decent.”

The Defense Secretary is bashing Wall Street? Good for him! But why?

May be Robert Gates is considering a Presidential run in 2012? He already stated he may retire from DOD leadership position by the end of 2010, although the final decision is not announced yet. This would be a perfect timing to announce a run for Presidency, especially if the Surge in Afghanistan succeeds. Gates presided over the Surge in Iraq. He has Gen. Petreaus back on the field. All he has to do is wrap the Afghanistan war by the beginning of 2011. If he can accomplish that he will be the hero of the nation.

As Big Bureaucracy noted Robert Gates came up recently with another leadership speech about the dishonesty in Washington DC. Remember the commencement address he gave in Germany?

There are a few basic qualities of leadership that hold true no matter what career you pursue. One of those things is integrity – I’m talking about honesty, telling the truth, being straight with others and yourselves. In the movie The Alamo, John Wayne – one of my favorite philosophers – says: “There’s right and there’s wrong. You’ve got to do one or the other. You do the one, and you’re living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but you’re as dead as a beaver hat.”

So Robert Gates proclaimed John Wayne his favorite philosophers. Is it possible he was mocking Anita Dunn and her famous remark about Mao being her favorite philosopher?

At the time when transparency is the official Obama policy – Gates is emphasizing honesty. At the time when President Obama is looking for any excuse to avoid a simple trip to Indonesia – Robert Gates is traveling around the world in hot spots like South Korea with Secretary Hillary Clinton tagging along.

Gates was even dis-invited from a visit to China – this is the ultimate badge of honor. Robert Gates made China throw a tantrum! Yes! It was so refreshing after watching President Obama bowing tour all around the world.

Some wonder if the massive WikiLeaks documents dump could affect a potential Gates run for President. My personal opinion is that it is naïve to believe that 90 000 pages of top-secrets were leaked from DOD without the knowledge of the Department. The leaks will help the US strategy in the war in Afghanistan. How?

Imagine if the US officials keep screaming that the Pakistani government and military are corrupt – the anti-American sentiment will turn such complaints against the US. Instead the Pakistani corruption is leaked through anti-war sources – the world believes those have weight on the issue. So the Coalition forces can proceed with the hardest part of the Surge in Afghanistan, because the whole world can see – the only partner that can give us a diplomatic solution (Pakistan) is corrupt and playing a double game. So the Surge is the only option the US has left to get rid of Al-Qaida.

OK – this is just a conspiracy theory, but Robert Gates made his career in the CIA, so why not?

He has worked for eight US presidents. What is it that makes it possible for Robert Gates to work efficiently with so many administrations that are so different politically? He worked for Carter and Reagan, for W and Obama.

My first guess is: Gates understands that it is a dangerous world out there and the national security should stay above the personal bickering and political ideology.

Robert Gates seems to have the ability to recognize that the official narrative of any administration is not the most important thing – it is just a side effect of the bureaucracy that needs to be dealt with. All that crap that pundits and campaign gurus are spilling 24/7 is a part of the game. Seems like Robert Gates is a good sport and participates in the theater, because this always gave him the chance to be in the real game.
He was the fly on the wall of the most secret meetings in the modern US history. As Bob Gates says in his book “From the Shadows”:

Secrecy is not a bureaucratic matter – it is a tool.

7 Responses to “Robert Gates running for President in 2012?”

  • Marc:

    When I look at both sides of the political divide I see nothing but corruption and incompetence that is killing a great nation. The last few presidents helped break the country with expensive promises and failed financial deregulation, and this President is too busy vacationing to fix it or passing cosmetic laws that do nothing in reality. In addition, Obama took on Mr. Summers… the man who destroyed successful financial regulation that kept the U.S. out of a major collapse for a half century.

    It would be refreshing to see a man who can work with both sides of the political divide take to the oval office. He has performed with class in contrast to the U.S. congress. He took on Rumsfeld’s mess and corrected it, and is the only official even talking about cutting costs at DoD and downsizing the highly corrupt role of contractors by 10%.

    Gates is just about the only man in government that has the vast respect of the American people. There are almost none left to look up to.

    If the Republicans are smart they will have him on the ticket.
    Anyone else would just be another corrupt loser or some puppet with a neanderthal level of intellect.

    This country needs a real manager and problem solver… not a rich jive talker, a preacher, or an Alaskan whore.


  • Marc, I agree with your description of Robert Gates. I wouldn’t call the lady from Alaska a whore, but other than that I agree with you.

  • [...] next for Robert Gates? Run for president in 2012? [...]

  • Lou:

    We(the country)need to draft Mr. Gates.He is the only person with Love and Respect for country to take us back to our roots, Honor, Respect and Love of Country above self. I hope with God blessing that the powers to be, see how important the 2012 election is to the future of U.S.A. My family immigrated to USA in 1971 because of these priciples. I hope my children will live in a Respectful, Honorable USA

    Hazlet, NJ

  • Lou, I agree, however Mr. Gates insists on retiring in his house in Washington. If it was up to me I would recommend to him the White House in Washington DC – nice place to retire – great food, entertainment stars come in person, endless golfing, some traveling, chose your own staff, endless maze (in the bureaucracy, not in the garden)…

  • bonee:


  • bonee, if he does not run, I hope the republican candidate seeks his advice.

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