Texas Dems should draft Adm. McRaven for governor

Texas Dems should draft Adm. McRaven for governor
© Getty Images

Adm. William McRaven is a national hero who served our country with valor in the Navy and was a courageous warrior serving with the universally admired Navy Seals. He was commander of the Joint Special Operations Command and the military leader of the attack that killed Osama Bin Laden.  

He is an educator who offers young people a model of integrity and aspiration as chancellor of the University of Texas. He's a manager and motivator who inspires people to aim high and reach far in their lives and careers, and he's a Texan who embodies the highest ideals of the "Lone Star State."

ADVERTISEMENT

Americans are fed up with politics that often deter the best men and women from running, leave our democracy in the hands of politicians who voters consider the lesser of two evils and sink our political system to such a sorry state that virtually every national leader suffers from widespread public disapproval.

 

Wouldn’t it be inspiring to find the best candidate to run for every office, elevate the integrity and honor of government service and lift the spirits of our states and nation by electing public officials who make us beam with pride in their presence? 

I have been blessed in my political life by having worked for some of the finest leaders in modern history. I began working for the House Democratic leadership when Rep. Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.) was one of the greatest speakers in the history of the House of Representatives.

I spent six years working in the U.S. Senate for Sen. Lloyd M. Bentsen (D-Texas), one of the finest men I have ever known and one of the greatest senators who ever served.

Some in public life have been reduced to calling their boss a moron. My problem is finding sufficient superlatives to do justice to the greatness of leaders like O’Neill and Bentsen, for whom I was honored to serve.

Adm. McRaven makes every American proud to be an American and every Texan proud to be a Texan, akin to leaders like John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE and Lloyd Bentsen, who lifted the spirits of their states and nation whether they served our country in war or peace.

If Adm. McRaven were successfully drafted to run for governor of Texas, his candidacy would be met with an outpouring of enthusiasm and patriotism from a grateful electorate that would be thrilled to be offered the choice of a candidate who embodies everything that is good about public life.

Washington is currently embroiled in chaos and dysfunction with a president who large numbers of Republicans believe is dangerous for the nation, while few in his party have the courage and integrity to say publicly what they believe privately.

It is sad that when two respected Republicans in the Senate speak out with conviction and honor — Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' Trump endorses McSally in Arizona Senate race Jeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow MORE (R-Ariz.) — they are met with cowardly silence by many of their colleagues who give standing ovations to the commander in chief they privately believe is unfit to serve. 

It is sad that after these two leaders speak words of great patriotism and truth, they choose not run for reelection and surrender their role in public life at the end of their terms.

I wrote a column recently commending former President George W. Bush, who gave a stirring and brilliant speech about the things America stands for and the dangers President Trump is inflicting on the republic.

Can we agree that no Russian dictator should use covert action to elect an American president; no American president should embolden the forces of bigotry and every American should ask what they can do for our country, and do it?

Texas Democrats should rise to the occasion and draft the best man for the mission, the best candidate for the post, the best leader who can lift the state and nation by serving in government as he served in uniform — with character, integrity and valor.

If Adm. McRaven agrees to run, he would send a powerfully uplifting message to his students, who would learn that sometimes great service requires sailing into the storm for values and ideals that soar above the convenience of the moment and the mediocrity of our times. 

If Adm. McRaven were drafted to run for governor of Texas, the political world will be astonished and amazed by the excitement he would generate, the enthusiasm he would inspire, the workers he would motivate, the donations he would attract and the support he would receive.

If my late boss, mentor and friend Lloyd Bentsen were with us today, I have no doubt that he would be fighting like hell for what is right for Texas, America and for the young people who deserve better than inheriting a mess created by their elders.

With that thought in mind, I propose a draft movement to enlist Adm. William McRaven to run for governor of Texas at a critical moment in the history of our country.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.