As the David Petraeus scandal unfolds we are all trying to get a portrait of his paramour, Paula Braodwell, and her motivations for jeopardizing both of their careers. What was so precious to her that she felt it necessary to intimidate Jill Kelley through emails and ultimately be the loose thread that unraveled the affair, and the lives of David Petraeus, Jill Kelley and General John Allen. Still public is Broadwell’s Twitter account and the tweets she made from her first tweet in May 2011 to her last tweet on November 5, 2012.
Most likely at the behest of her publicist for her biography of General Petraeus, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, Broadwell opened a Twitter account to promote the book. Broadwell’s second tweet was that the Senate had unanimously confirmed Petraeus as CIA Director on on June 30, 2011. The biography written with Vernon Loeb was released January 24th, 2012. A review of her Twitter timeline reveals an ambitious woman seeking power, prestige and notoriety. They also show her passion for the troops, promoting women in leadership roles and her own emerging celebrity.
Running with the big dogs
Her early tweets mention @teamrwb or Team Red White and Blue, which is a Texas nonprofit focused on supporting veterans through physical fitness and running events. This seems to be a natural fit since Broadwell is proud of her physical fitness, marathons and push up contests. It was also on a morning run with then General David Petreaus that her ability to keep up with his 6 minute per mile pace, gained her access to his inner circle.
Always the motivated soldier, Broadwell ends many of her tweets with Fired Up. She is ready to go and promote her book and get out the word of Petraeus’s invaluable insight into leadership. However, she rarely tweets about Petreaus, either quoting the book or him. Her real interest seems to be promoting her book tour and women in leadership roles, which she aspired to.
TV talk show circuit
As Broadwell warms up to Twitter, you can see she really likes the self-promotion, and logging guest appearances on TV and radio about her book. Her appearances were obviously successful because her timeline indicates invitations as a guest on other topics other than her book on Petraeus. From the beginning, Broadwell wanted to be seen as an expert on counter-terrorism and insurgency topics. She was able to worm her way into the world of TV pundits by being closely associated with David Petraeus.
Hangin’ with Lance Armstrong
With her hot looks and well spoken manner, she was a good interview for a variety of talk shows. Her emerging celebrity allowed her to rub elbows with folks like Sean Hannity, Katie Couric, Lance Armstrong, Tina Brown, T. Boone Pickens, Jane Harman and Karl Rove.
I got your back girl
While Broadwell never really exposes a political inclination in her tweets, favoring a more marketable persona, she obviously struck up a friendship with the token conservative Elisabeth Hasslebeck of The View. This partially explains Hasslebeck’s weak interjection on The View that the release of the Broadwell-Petraeus affair after the re-election of President Obama was somehow orchestrated by the White House:
WATCH (story continues below):
It is somewhat ironic that while Broadwell supported women in leadership roles, she traded on her looks and connections to gain her notoriety She was also keenly aware of the advantage men have in a retweet from @theatlantic “Women r less likely 2 be viewed as experts than men…even w/requisite knowledge. Time4Change.” Even though she washed out of the Harvard Kennedy School Ph.D. program, she still had a stronger educational pedigree than Jill Kelley. To see Jill Kelley trade on her connections with General Allen and David Petraeus to get an Honorary Korean Consul was probably a great irritant to Paula Broadwell.
Broadwell’s last tweet was the day before the Presidential election on November 5th. It was a tweet about an article in Newsweek called General David Petraeus’s Rules for Living. His first rule is, “Lead by example from the front of the formation. Take your performance personally—if you are proud to be average, so too will be your troops.” I guess both of them forgot to review the number one rule before jumping in the sack together.