In a scathing op-ed penned last week, retired Navy SEAL Adm. William McRaven called President Donald Trump a divisive leader who has “embarrassed” the United States and challenged the president to revoke his security clearance.
His pointed commentary, which is unusual for a retired military leader, gathered over 8,700 comments on the Washington Post alone and vaulted McRaven into the limelight as a 2020 political contender.
While the admiral is no stranger to public attention – his 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas has over 6.7 million views on YouTube and has made him a household name – his latest also seems to have caught the attention of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden, who launched his own PAC late last year, is seen as one of the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runners for 2020. According to Axios, Biden has “maintained quiet contact” with acquaintances who seem “dismayed by what they are seeing” in the current administration. During their conversation, Biden reportedly commended McRaven for his physical and moral courage. While the call may serve as cause for speculation regarding a potential Biden/McRaven ticket, others are taking McRaven’s message a step further, calling for democrats to consider him for the Presidency.
CNN contributor David Wheeler argues that the Dems have plenty of reasons to consider McRaven as Trump’s next challenger, citing a Gallup poll that military personnel enjoy a 74% confidence rating in the eyes of the American public.
Beyond the statistics, McRaven’s role as an architect of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden make him a beloved hero – and one that could potentially cause disillusioned voters to swing back to the left in the next election, should he join a Democratic ticket. The raid serves as the pinnacle of an illustrious career; McRaven is also credited with establishing NATO’s Special Operations Headquarters and served on the elite SEAL Team Six.
Citing health concerns, McRaven has announced plans to step down from his current position as Chancellor of the University of Texas System later this year.