The sight of former president Bill Clinton wiping away tears of joy while standing silently behind his wife as she was making her victory speech in the 2000 Senate elections in New York may appear a little melodramatic for some. However, when one considers the sacrifices and extreme loyalty that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has shown to her husband over the previous 26 years, that gesture suddenly makes all the sense in world.
Secretary Clinton’s ascension to Senator, and thereafter, Secretary of State, is not something all that surprising for those that knew her, considering what a gifted child, student and political operative Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was.
Born in Cook County and raised in suburban Park Ridge just outside of Chicago, Secretary Clinton grew up in a loving middle class family. Her early years were shaped by her Goldwater-Republican Navy veteran and business owner father and his tremendous work ethic, balanced against her mother’s Democratic leanings and harsh childhood.
At an age where young girls and boys were still too preoccupied with watching cartoons on TV, young Hillary was already busy demonstrating her leadership abilities and initiative with backyard carnivals and cookie and food drives for charity. When others her age were engrossed with the challenges of school and growing up, young Hillary was busy with the post-election canvassing of Chicago’s south side for the Republican Party. When children tread lightly around their parents and elders, she was engaged in delightfully spirited political debates with her family during dinner.
Her star continues to shine brightly at Wellesley, where her commencement address drew a seven-minute long standing ovation, and at Yale, where she was paid to intern at Washington every summer. She was already an experienced Democratic aide before even graduating from Yale, and was headhunted to be part of the Watergate impeachment inquiry team counseling House Democrats months after finishing college.
She was never a radical, beatnik or hippie, but neither was she a middle-of-the-road moderate. She is, above all, an idealist – an intelligent, disciplined, driven and practical idealist. Despite her image of a strong and uncompromising woman, people who she’s worked with reveal her to be a polite, considerate, consultative, and perhaps most surprisingly, religious individual. The latter perhaps is due to the influence of her mother and grandmother, both strong-willed Methodist women. She is also an exceptional public speaker, and can speak for an extended period of time without notes – done without pauses and filler syllables.
Over the years, many negative epithets have been used by the press and political opponents to describe her. As many have learned however, pigeonholing or underestimating Secretary Clinton often comes at a great cost.
The key to defeating Secretary Clinton lies in winning over her core support base - women, baby boomers and minorities. Meanwhile, her weakest demographic is the millennials, and this is clearly reflected in her underwhelming support online. And yet, one gets the impression that her opponents simply do not get this very simple equation. Will this prove costly in the end?
James “Jim” Creighton Mitchell, Jr resides in Lake Villa, Illinois. He attended a number of colleges and universities, graduating from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago with a B.A. in Business and Finance. He also pursued a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics, but this part of his education was interrupted by his military service – he served in the US Navy from 1967 to 1974, after which he was honorably discharged. He has had a long non-military professional career as well, mostly in potable water treatment, pollution processing, and other sanitation industries. He has also worked as Facilities Manager at the Saddlebrook Farms retirement community, Vice President of a manufacturers' representative business, and as a lab technician.
Mitchell is a solidly right-leaning candidate across the board. He supports gun rights, declaring that the “modern militia” (a likely reference to the 'well-regulated militia' invoked in the Second Amendment) is an American citizen licensed for concealed carry. He supports drastically cutting the national debt, as much as 8% after four years, and to that end proposes repealing the Sixteenth Amendment and overhauling the tax code. He opposes any and all abortion, and calls the relationship between husband and wife – one man and one woman – the “ultimate respected authority” within a community. As a means of reducing gang recruitment, Mitchell supports drafting all young people for mandatory military service of at least two years. On the issue of foreign policy as it relates to the contentious Middle East, he stands unequivocally with Israel in all ways, including militarily.
Mitchell believes in the importance of combating the illicit drug trade, and he has a novel idea for accomplishing this goal. He proposes having the government distribute hard narcotics (and even medicinal marijuana) for free upon request, arguing that the flood of no-cost supply into the market will break the economic backs of illegal drug peddlers. He also believes this will make it easier for addicts to seek rehabilitation by decriminalizing their dependency.
In a rare departure from his usual conservatism, Mitchell speaks critically of the “big Pharmacy cartel” and advocates for the need to rein it in. He does remark on the possibility of repealing Obamacare, but he is concerned with equitable access to healthcare for all Americans, and maintains this can be achieved by educating high school students in healthier lifestyle choices. He believes his mandatory military service program, instilling discipline and healthy living in the young, will aid in this goal.
On a vast majority of issues, Mitchell's solid conservatism makes him well-suited to his chosen Republican party, and even where he strays, his views are in no way sufficiently leftist to attract much attention from that side of the spectrum. Most of the GOP will welcome him, and his sympathetic ideas.