Now that Senator Hillary Clinton announced this weekend on her website that "I'm in. And I'm in to win" there is the possibility that if she won the nomination and then won the presidency that a Bush or Clinton would have occupied the Oval Office for the last 28 years!
Look at the last elections:
1988: George Herbert Walker Bush
1992: Bill Clinton
1996: Bill Clinton
2000: George W. Bush
2004: George W. Bush
And, if Senator Clinton were to serve two terms as president:
2008: Hillary Clinton
2012: Hillary Clinton
Add up the numbers. That would be 28 years of having either a Bush or Clinton in the White House. And, this weekend a reporter from the Palm Beach Post newspaper had an article in The Washington Post saying that if Jeb Bush doesn't run in 2008 for president he would be a good candidate in 2012 or 2016.
If that actually happened and he won his party's nomination and then served as president for two terms:
2016: Jeb Bush
2020: Jeb Bush
That scenario would have a Bush or Clinton leading our country for 36 years without another family being in the picture.
I don't know about any of you but I am really tired of anyone named Bush or Clinton being in the White House, no matter how qualified they might be for the presidency.
Surely, in a country of more than 300 million people we can find someone very qualified to be president who is not named Clinton or Bush.
Enough already! I am sure Senator Clinton has everything she needs to be president but I can't see voting for a Clinton or Bush again. We need more choices. Talk about political dynasties. This is really too much.
Of course, the name of the game is to win and these two families and their political advisors and consultants know how to win. But, to this columnist enough is enough. Let's vote for other well-qualified people and let these two families take a much needed rest and break from politics.
America has never seen this type of situation before in our history. We have had political families like the Adams and the Roosevelts and the Kennedys. Various states have their political families like the Bayhs in my home state of Indiana and next door in Ohio the Tafts and out west the Udalls and Jerry Brown is still holding elective office in California.
What is different these past 28 years is the exclusion of anyone else from the White House except a Bush or a Clinton. And, to carry it further George Herbert Walker Bush served as vice-president from 1980 until he was elected president in 1988. That means since 1980 a Bush or a Clinton has been in the White House as president or vice-president.
Let's step back and look around and we will find other families with qualified members who can run for president and serve ably in the White House.
Speaking of the announcements for president this weekend, Senator Clinton overshadowed the other candidates who announced officially such as Senator Sam Brownback and those setting up an exploratory committee such as New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Over time I feel Senator Sam Brownback's announcement may be more important than Senator Hillary Clinton's "I'm in" announcement.
Senator Brownback spoke at my Center on Politics and Foreign Relations/Financial Times breakfast last year at Johns Hopkins SAIS and was quite impressive. He now takes over from former Senator George Allen as the leading social conservative who has a chance to capture the nomination for the GOP. He is a conservative activist. He acts and talks outside the box. He travels to Africa and calls on drug firms to provide medicine for crippling diseases. He is speaking out against the "surge" in troops to Iraq the president has proposed. Brownback is casting himself as the heir to former president Ronald Reagan who is still extremely popular with the Republicans who vote in the primaries. Brownback could be someone who appeals to the conservative right more than a McCain or a Giuliani. It is a distinct possibility.
And, Governor Bill Richardson has the right resume to be a candidate for president. Along with being a popular governor who wins big in his state he has served as ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of Energy and he has just returned from Darfur working on a peace agreement.
Richardson, if he doesn't capture the Democratic nomination and he has the chance to win as much as any other candidate at this point in time, would make an excellent running mate in 2008 for any other candidates.
Let's take a rest from the Clinton and Bush family this time around and look closely at some of these other well-qualified presidential candidates. The change will do us all some good.