The Dominance Of Political Family Dynasties

It now seems clear that Hillary Clinton will be running for the Presidency, and that she is very likely to become the 45th President of the United States, and its first woman President.

Every poll imaginable shows her far in the lead against any Democratic challenger, including Vice President Joe Biden, who is the only other Democrat to even score more than a couple of percent in any poll, but about 50-60 points behind the former First Lady, former Senator, and former Secretary of State.

And every poll also shows that NO Republican comes anywhere near Hillary Clinton, with the only one who seemed to compete, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, rapidly collapsing in the midst of the “Bridgegate ” and associated scandals, with the issue of funding of projects with federal money for Hurricane Sandy the more dangerous scandal for Christie and his future.

Hillary Clinton enters the 2016 campaign almost as if she was an incumbent, and really, no one has ever been in as enviable a position as she seems to be. But this means that she must not take anything for granted, run hard and vigorously and not assume victory as Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey thought in 1948, before he lost in an upset victory by President Harry Truman.

Hillary Clinton must be able and willing to take as much flak and attacks on everything imaginable in her record and life story, and she does seem to be tough enough to deal with that, plus the inevitable death threats which will be visited upon her at a rate probably at least equivalent to Abraham Lincoln, and possibly at the same astronomical rate of President Barack Obama, who faces, approximately, 30 death threats in some form per day!

Many might think that a person who will be 69 and three months of age at the time of the inauguration, making her the second oldest inaugurated President in American history, after Ronald Reagan, who was about eight months older at his first inauguration, would think twice about spending the next ten years of her life, until age 77 and three months, if she served two complete terms, with the pressure cooker and stresses of running for President, and dealing with an increasingly complex and troubled world and nation. But she seems game for the challenge, and would certainly come into office more experienced and better equipped for the Presidency than almost any occupant of the Oval Office we have seen.

But her likely accession to the Presidency, with the full team support and financial backing of many Obama Administration and campaign functionaries, is a true sign that Vice President Joe Biden should give up the quest for the White House, as he is about five years older, and would be the oldest first term President, and if he were to serve two terms, would be past 82 at the end. This author is a great Joe Biden fan, but it does seem time for party unity, in the midst of Republican chaos and anarchy, for him to accept reality, and as soon as Hillary Clinton announces, to be gracious and announce he will not challenge her for the nomination.

There is no likelihood of any Democrat bothering to challenge her, particularly if Biden drops out, and the long range shot by former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer would only be like a Don Quixote battling a windmill!

If Hillary Clinton succeeds in her quest, she will have made the Clinton dynasty the most dominant in modern American history, without any debate. Consider that her husband, Bill Clinton affected the nation from the time he ran in 1992 until he left in 2001, followed by Hillary as Senator from New York for eight years, and then four years as Secretary of State, making for a total of 21 years, now followed by two years in private life, but ten years into the future of campaigning, and possible two terms in the Presidency, which would make for a grand total of 31 years of national influence. And even these two years of private life, Hillary Clinton remains a national figure of great respect and renown, so one could say 33 years, a third of a century, the Clintons may have been the dominant influence in American history–between 1992 and 2025!

The dominance of the Clintons is only matched recently by the Bushes, with father George H. W. on the political radar from his 1980 challenge to Ronald Reagan until his forced retirement in 1993, after losing to Bill Clinton. Then, his son George W. came on the scene as Texas Governor in 1995 and son Jeb as Florida Governor starting in 1999. When George W. ran in 2000, and then won two terms, leaving in 2009, it meant a total of 14 years of senior Bush, followed by 14 years of junior Bush, for a total of 28 years. Ironically, if Jeb were now to run, which his mother does not advise him to do, and which Speaker of the House John Boehner thinks he should do, and were he to win, he could surpass the potential Clinton family record!

Compared to the Clintons and the Bushes, no other family dominates, as the Kennedy generation of John and Robert only lasted 8 years, and after Ted Kennedy lost his only real chance for the Presidency in 1980 against Jimmy Carter in the primaries, it meant a total of maybe 20 years of Kennedy dominance, although Ted did stay as an influential Senator until his death in 2009.

The only other family worthy of mention are the Roosevelts, if one counts Teddy and Franklin as part of the same dynasty, although different parties and generations completely. But even TR and FDR were only dominant for a total of 20 years combined, although TR remained a national figure for the ten years after his Presidency until his death.

It would certainly be ironic if we ended up with Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush opposing each other in 2016, as a battle of the titans, the two families who have more dominated American politics than any other in American history!