Over the past couple of years, Dick Morris and other pundits have chronicled Hillary Clinton's gradual shift to the political center, in preparation for a likely presidential bid in 2008. Mrs. Clinton, one of the Senate's most liberal members, has suddenly become a voice of moderation on key issues, including defense.
Naturally, the MSM has been complicit in helping Senator Clinton re-cast herself. Today's USA Today wonders whether Mrs. Clinton could be elected Commander-in-Chief, then proceeds to answer the question, with glowing quotes about her recent work on the Senate Armed Services committee.
Has Mrs. Clinton changed? I've got my doubts. Afterall, she was an integral part of her husband's administration and its open disdain for the military, as chronicled in Lt Col Buzz Patterson's best-selling books, Dereliction of Duty and Reckless Disgregard. My assessment is also based on the eyewitness account of a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, who served in the Clinton White House as a mid-level NCO. "Chief X" as I'll call him, is one of the finest military leaders I've ever known; his reputation for honesty, integrity and professionalism are beyond reproach. In fact, he voluntarily left his job at the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) so he wouldn't have to serve under an administration he viewed as thoroughly corrupt in 1993, well before the first Clinton scandals erupted.
Chief X remembers Mrs. Clinton as someone with open contempt for the military. She was instrumental in directives that (temporarily) banned the wear of military uniforms in the White House, and sought to minimize the military's presence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As the Chief recalls, military personnel were "treated worse than janitorial help" in the Clinton White House.
Sadly, a lot of Americans are eagerly buying the "new" Hillary, despite her past attitude toward the military and its members. Photo-ops and puff pieces won't go far with military voters, but that is not Mrs. Clinton's target audience. In an era when most American voters have no ties to the military, an effective PR campaign makes it easier to paper over her skimpy resume, and "sell" Senator Clinton as a suitable Commander-in-Chief.