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Friday, February 01, 2008

The Dynastic Question - By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

In a presidential campaign that has involved battles over everything from Iraq to driver’s licenses, one sweeping topic has gone curiously unexamined: Does it diminish American democracy if we keep the presidency in the same two families that have held it since 1989?

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Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

If Hillary Rodham Clinton serves two terms, then for 28 years the presidency will have been held by a Bush or a Clinton. By that point, about 40 percent of Americans would have lived their entire lives under a president from one of these two families.

Wouldn’t that make our democracy seem a little, er, Pakistani?

Naturally, views on this are influenced by politics. Clintonians who dismissed George W. Bush as a dynastic puppet see nothing wrong with another Clinton in the Oval Office. On the other hand, Obama fans who shiver at the prospect of a Clinton dynasty bask in endorsements from an even greater dynasty, that of the Kennedys.

A tongue-in-cheek Web site called Bush-Clinton Forever is already proposing Jeb Bush in 2017, Chelsea Clinton in 2025, Jeb Bush’s son George P. Bush in 2033, Chelsea Clinton’s husband in 2041 and George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush from 2049-2057. [for more click on the heading]


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