Clinton-McRaven in 2016?

I am one of the people who always disliked Hillary Clinton. It has seemed a conundrum these past two decades as so many other people appear to have felt the same. I've given it a good deal of thought and have come to the conclusion that it comes down to one specific item: Bill.

Why I dislike Bill is still crystal clear. From my review of Carol Felsanthal's masterful Clinton in Exile: " ... an odyssey of gold watches and billionaire friends; bimbos, bling and a private airplane bigger than a doublewide; and cash-raising speeches, end on end — three in a day at up to $800,000 a pop, bringing in $46 million in just a few years."

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Hillary remains in his shadow. The people who like Bill want Hillary because they think they will get Bill again. But suppose Hillary is headed back to the White House as P.O.T.U.S. this time with a different Bill in tow. And suppose it was Admiral William McRaven, an American hero of the highest caliber, who led the deadly assault on Osama bin Laden.

The Tampa Tribune reports that McRaven, who has served as commander of Joint Special Operations Command since Aug. 8. 2011, is leaving his job. There are rumors that he could be positioning himself to be Hillary Clinton's vice president.

"'I've heard all the rumors,'" Vice Admiral Joe McGuire, a close friend of McRaven for almost 40 years, told The Tampa Tribune, which the newspaper notes "[range] from being named the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to running for office as either governor of Texas or even Hillary Clinton's veep."

I could never have imagined voting for Hillary Clinton but began to go to the river after reading Robert M. Gates's Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. To my surprise, it showed Hillary out of Bill's shadow, in teamwork as an equal colleague with Gates. Gates brought stability and honor back to the forces and even to foreign policy and it is a job not yet completed. Of Secretary of State Clinton, he says: "She was a terrific colleague and a highly valued one — not least for her sense of humor."

This is the "other Hillary"; the Hillary that is not a subset of Bill. This is heartland Hillary, high school "Goldwater Girl" spawned from real people in the Midwest, the kind of people I'd associate with Gates and company. Working with Gates, she shows a more original and authentic "self" than she does with Bill's entourage. It is Bill's decadent entourage that brings people to despise Hillary. My guess after reading Gates's commentary is that the "Hillary" seen in Bill's reflected aura is not her truest self; possibly even something foreign to her.

When I imagine President Hillary Clinton as a continuing aspect of Bill's bloated and obsessive Leviathan complex, I see a spiraling descent and have been among the first to warn of drastic reaction in America similar to Britain's "bloodless revolution" in 1688, which will drive the heartland away from Washington.

With Gates as the prominent better friend (for instance, chief of staff), possibly America could find a better self there as well. And it is that better America which comes to mind with the thought of McRaven as Hillary's vice president or as governor of Texas.

It would not be a contentious Hillaryland burdened with baggage since 1992 and before into the Sixties. It would be a new America born free in the millenium on May 2, 2011, the day that Admiral McRaven took down Osama bin Laden.

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at quigley1985@gmail.com.