No Presidential Dynasties, Please

Two ex-presidents remind us that keeping it in the family may not be such a great idea.


Listening recently to former Presidents Bush and Clinton leads me to this conclusion: The nation needs a respite from the Bush-Clinton presidencies.

In Clinton's case, the former president is logically out stumping earnestly for his wife in the early caucus and primary states. However, he has already stumbled badly in an appearance in Iowa.

The former president talked about himself far more than his candidate and claimed he had opposed from the start the war in Iraq. Of course, he hadn't. There were TV clips to prove it.

For those talking up Sen. Hillary Clinton as a third term for the Clintons, there are counterpoints

First, there is the promise of a virulent campaign against her if she wins the nomination. Polls show about half the country already giving her negative marks; Republicans can be counted on to stress those marks.

If she wins the presidency, what to do with a gregarious two-term former president? Assigning him the role of traveling goodwill ambassador has been suggested. But can he avoid delving into important foreign policy matters and even straying off the reservation?

As for Bush 41, after his nearly pathetic defense of Bush 43 in recent interviews, it should please voters that Jeb Bush is not running to be Bush 44.

The former two-term governor of Florida, the best politician in the Bush family, is on the sidelines now. He could be talked into making a run in 2012.

Then there is Jeb's son, George P. Bush. He's a smart, good-looking young man who is interested in politics. Why not groom him to run in the distant future?

The nation has had the Adamses, the Harrisons, and the Roosevelts in the White House. We've already had 12 years of the Bush family, with the son's eight probably ranking him as the worst or near worst president in history.

Despite his humiliating impeachment for which he was entirely to blame, Bill Clinton's eight years were relatively successful. Still, they were filled with controversy for him and the then first lady. Now she is leading the pack in the Democratic race.

The prospect of a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton era conjures up a troubling word: dynasty.