American Royalty: The Bush and Clinton Families and the Danger to the American Presidency (The Evolving American Presidency)
Matthew T. Corrigan
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If Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Party nomination in 2008, it would continue a trend of a Bush or a Clinton being on a national presidential ticket for the last 28 years in the United States. Never before in the history of the nation have two families dominated the political process in such a manner. This two-family domination has endangered the American presidency as a representative institution and has allowed personal, family issues to dominate policymaking at a crucial time in American history. The problems with the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 and the current struggles of the second Bush presidency should give pause to those Americans who are contemplating a second Clinton presidency or a third Bush presidency. By examining the political careers of three Bushes (George H.W., George W. and Jeb) and two Clintons (Bill and Hillary), this book will highlight the problems and the consequences of combining the most powerful political office in the world with family legacies.
the lives of Joseph Kennedy’s children and grandchildren, and in many ways the political life of the United States for twenty-five years. World War II would change the fate of the Kennedy political machine. In 1943 in the Pacific Ocean, John Kennedy commanded a Patrol Torpedo (PT) boat. His boat was attacked by a Japanese destroyer and the ship was disabled. He somehow managed to keep his men alive by swimming to a nearby island. The crew was rescued three days later. The PT 109 incident became
John Kennedy was not the ideal candidate to take up the political banner. Unlike his brother Joe, he was skinny and slight in appearance. He did not show the interest in pursuing political office that his brother Joe demonstrated. Yet his fate was sealed. He knew that his father would demand a political career.79 John Kennedy told a friend in referring to his deceased brother “I’m shadowboxing in a match the shadow is always going to win.”80 Thus John Kennedy began a legendary political career.
into a national political network. In some ways, this national network exceeded anything that the Kennedys ever put together. The core of the Bush network was other people who would contribute and get their friends to contribute to the campaigns of the Bushes. The Kennedys had to fund most of their political activities on their own. From Connecticut to Texas George W. would have to confront his father’s accomplishments and defeats, but he would also benefit from his political organization. This
indication of “the central fact” of their relationship and future marriage.29 Bill Clinton’s reckless interest in other women would continually endanger his marriage and his political career. Rumors of his continuous infidelity also gave Hillary Rodham an unhappy power over him. Bill Clinton’s reported infidelities clearly hurt Hillary Rodham as they would any girlfriend or wife.30 Clinton’s habits also gave Hillary Clinton a veto power over Bill Clinton’s political life. If he strayed too far
oil venture would start a pivotal period in his life. With his father as the sitting vice president of the United States, the pressure on George W. Bush was immense. “His father was raising the bar of achievement yet again.”30 A Bush cousin remarked “I think all the boys felt the pressure . . . The fact that he also carried his father’s name added enormous built-in pressure.”31 At one point his oil company was ranked 993rd in the state of Texas. During this period, friends and observers saw that