After CIA Chief David H. Petraeus resigned on Friday over an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, countless questions have surfaced about the extramarital relationship he had with the 40-year-old Harvard grad. Now, two days later, insiders in Washington are starting to wonder whether Broadwell was obsessed with the general she wrote a gushing biography about.
It is well known that Petraeus, who turned 60 on Wednesday, was a structured disciplinarian in both his CIA job that started in September 2011 and his 38-year marriage. By all accounts, he seemed to be regimented to a fault - even taking a 34-mile bike ride on the day his daughter was married last month.
So how did Paula Broadwell - a best-selling author but still relatively unknown in mainstream America - lead to the downfall of one of the most powerful men in the United States? Though Broadwell was not the subject of water-cooler talk until Friday, she has been an achiever her entire life. Both homecoming queen and valedictorian at Century High School in North Dakota, Broadwell was rarely familiar with failure.
The attractive brunette - who is married to a radiologist and has two sons - has many pedigrees. She completed undergraduate programs at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and graduate programs at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Ph.D. program in the Department of War Studies at King's College London.
Like, David Petraeus, Broadwell was by all reports exceedingly organized, which has made insiders wonder how two intelligent and regimented individuals could so foolishly leave a trail of amorous emails that would lead even the most naive person to the truth. Based on previous television and print interviews that Paula Broadwell gave when she was promoting the biography All In: The Education of General David Petraeus earlier this year, it is clear that Broadwell had an enormous amount of admiration for the general. As the media now parses the words in the interviews she did at the time, a picture is starting to form of a biographer who fell for her subject almost obsessively.
In the introduction to the book, she describes how she and Petraeus would go for long runs they took together in Washington and Afghanistan. "This is a typical mechanism he uses to get to know young people, he's done it throughout his life," she said. "That was the foundation of our relationship."
On one run "the talk turned to heavy breathing and we reached a 6-minute-per-mile pace," she wrote in the preface of her book.
She also couldn't hide her school-girl admiration for Petraeus in interviews she did on "The Daily Show" and CBS. Though much has been made in the last 24 hours of her gushing interview with Jon Stewart, her CBS interview was even more telling. The book is "more than just the strategic-leadership-in-action picture," she said, smiling. "It is a portrait of modern warfare."
"There are a lot of lessons for young leaders, junior leaders, on the line," she continued. "The other side I hope people would take away from this book is that he, at the end of the day, is a human - and challenged by the burdens of command."
"He has mastered wearing the mask of command, if you will," she said. "You think he's really confident, but I got to see a personal side."
An artist-and-muse relationship is nothing new. But this time there were two spouses and four children involved.
Watch the full interview on CBS here and tell us: Do you think Paula Broadwell was at fault?