Presidential dynasties

November 05, 2004 ,

THE re-election of George W Bush as President of the United States means that for 20 out of 28 years there will have been a Bush in the White House.

George Bush Senior entered the White House in 1980, as Vice-President to Ronald Reagan.

He became President in his own right in 1988, but then lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.

His son, George W Bush, barring accidents, will be President until 2008, having been elected in 2000.

This may not be the end of the Bush political dynasty.

The President’s brother, Jeb, is the Governor of Florida.

For many years he was thought to be the more likely to become President.

If Jeb Bush were to run and win in 2008, it would suggest that America will have created its own form of elected monarchy.

Political dynasties are nothing new in American politics.

Had he not been assassinated in 1968, Bobby Kennedy might well have become President like his late brother Jack.

John Kerry’s colleague as Senator from Massachusetts, Teddy Kennedy, was tipped as a future President.

Those ambitions were sunk when Mary Jo Kopechne drowned in his car at Chappaquiddick in 1969.

But perhaps the Democrats have their own new royalty waiting in the wings.

If Senator Hillary Clinton runs against Jeb Bush in 2008, it would mean that there would be a Clinton or a Bush as President for at least 25 years.

It would also create the intriguing possibility of ex-President Bill Clinton becoming America’s first male ‘First Lady’.

The serious side to this, of course, is what does the re-election of George W Bush mean for the world?

The new American monarchy, unlike ours, has massive political power, which makes it much more than just a constitutional soap opera.