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The Bush-Clinton Feud

Is there anyone in America who wants to be President of the United  States

Or, to put the question more contextually, is there anyone in America with the necessary qualities and qualifications who wants to be President of the United States whose name isn’t Bush or Clinton?

I ask because the only people who seem to be (unofficially) running for the office these days carry those family names. 

What, I can’t help wondering, does that tell us about the state of American politics?   It seems to suggest either a lack of imagination on the part of the voters, or a lack of ambition among the politicians.  Perhaps both.

The questions are asked in light of the growing assumption that the 2016 race for the White House will feature, for the Republicans, Jeb Bush, the brother of former president George W. (Dubya) and, the son of former president George; and for the Democrats, Hilary Clinton, the wife of former president Bill.    

Aren’t there any other hats to toss into the ring?  What happened to the Kennedys?   Aren’t there any Roosevelts or Eisenhowers still out there? 

I’m against dynasties on principle, and on the evidence of history, but it’s not as if the George I/Bill/George II presidencies were exemplary administrations headed by universally admired incumbents. 

George I managed only a single term, and one is hard pressed to recall now just what his administration represented, either at home or abroad.  Oh, yes, the first Gulf War.

Clinton did a decent job with the economy, and was rewarded with two terms, but what he’ll be most remembered for is not his economic management but his endless sex scandals, culminating in unsuccessful congressional efforts to have him impeached following the Lewinsky affair.    

Dubya, rather more mysteriously, also got himself re-elected, but if there’s one thing that partisans on both sides of the political divide can agree on, it’s that he will not be entering the pantheon of great presidents, and a consensus might well be formed that he’ll go down in history as one of the worst.     

This long-running Clinton-Bush feud, if it’s worth anything, it’s as fodder for a television series.  Aaron Sorkin, of laudatory West Wing fame, would be the man to write it.  In real life, though, the Clinton-Bush saga cocks a snook at American voters who feel – as much their counterparts here in Britain – increasingly ignored and abused by the cosy, self-serving governing elite that seems to grow ever more remote from their concerns. 

And, worryingly, by the time the next Clinton or Bush presidency had run its course there would be a new generation of Clintons and Bushes to take up the family cause.  Chelsea Clinton is already reported to be considering a political career.  Jeb has three children of similar age.

This damn soap opera, like those afternoon network tear-jerkers, could run and run – not that anyone with an ounce of sense admits to watching them.

My money, or at least my postal vote, would go on Elizabeth Warren, the senior senator from Massachusetts, a Democrat, coming in with a surprise late run.  I have no idea what she stands for, other than taking down cheating Wall Street fat-cats – which in itself has great appeal – but at least she would bring a new name to the contest.

And the Republicans will no doubt come up with a long list of nonentities, as they did last time around.  And what’s Sarah P. up to these days?

Don’t laugh.  Such is the dearth of plausible candidates for the most powerful office in the Free World that anything could happen.

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