I do after reading Frank Rich's take on the story. And by the way, I agree with Rich 100% about extra-marital affairs. They're big deals for a marriage, but outside of that marriage it's a) none of our business, and b) not in itself a crime -- not by any stretch...
What’s also fascinating to me is how Paula Broadwell, who had no professional writing experience and didn’t actually write the unfortunately titled All In herself (there’s a credited co-author), had such tentacles not only into Petraeus’s world but into other elite circles in the political-media-Beltway arena. An interesting road map can be found on the book’s Amazon.com page, where we find over-the-top blurbs praising Broadwell by, among others, David Gergen (of CNN) and Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who was a major cheerleader of both the Iraq War in general and Petraeus in particular. Did they know anything before the rest of us did? Did Vernon Loeb, the Washington Post editor who co-wrote All In? If you read Fred Kaplan, the military columnist for Slate who broke the news of Broadwell’s identity last week, it’s clear that Petraeus’s relationship to his biographer had raised many questions long before now. The questions that matter are not about sex but professionalism and possibly security: Petraeus apparently bent rules of procedure and decorum for Broadwell for an extended period of time, and was all but begging to be found out, it seems. ...Frank Rich, NYMag
Didn't write the book? Guys in DC writing "over-the-top blurbs"? Hmmm. Let's see.... What does Fred Kaplan have to say?
Well, long before the book thing, David Petraeus was working on a project for West Point that put him in a mentoring relationship with Paula Broadwell.
When Petraeus met Broadwell, he no doubt saw in her a promising new recruit for the network.
Precisely what happened next, when this mentor-protégé relationship turned into something else, is not clear. Many of Petraeus’ associates in Kabul, Afghanistan, wondered at the time if something was going on. Petraeus got along famously well with writers and journalists; he cultivated their trust, in part because he liked talking with them, in part because he saw press relations as a key ingredient of “information operations”—a classic military technique to shape the message of a campaign to civilian populations, both in the war zone and on the home front. (I was one of those reporters.) But Broadwell was allowed unusually close access. She was given a room at headquarters. On most early mornings, the two went on 5-mile runs together. Some, including myself, reasoned that this didn’t necessarily imply anything hair-raising: Petraeus went on 5-mile runs with lots of reporters and other visitors. Still, at least one of his assistants warned him to be wary of “appearances.”
Two other things about Broadwell that made her different from his usual crop of acolytes: She was very attractive, and, by all accounts, she went a bit ga-ga for the general. Her biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, is essentially a valentine to the man. In the process of courting him while writing it, she may have made herself irresistible.
Still, it is likely that, at the outset, Petraeus was drawn more to her C.V. than to her glamour, more to her prospects as a protégé than as a mistress. ...Paula Broadwell may be, among other things, a case study in the danger of getting too close to the swooning sirens of would-be intellectual protégés. ...Kaplan, Slate
It's easy enough to say that Paula is a well-known type. But that's dismissive and doesn't take into account the feverish attraction of someone young and attractive and bright with someone who has power, and is both intellectually and physically attractive. And guys with power love adulation, particularly if it's coming from someone attractive and available.
Old story. The people around it -- including you and me and the media -- should keep our cool and just back off.