Odds have Clintons moving back to D.C.
By By Steve Flowers
Our nation's founding fathers were determined to create a democracy where anybody could become president. They espoused and formulated an egalitarian republic that would spawn a person of common birth. The Constitution requires that our president be born in America. Our original leaders had weathered the travails of a revolution and war in order to break the shackles of a British monarchy. They fought to rid themselves of the tyrannical yoke invoked by noble born aristocrats who ruled by virtue of privilege rather than ability. A king or queen ruled England and the House of Lords and House of Commons were subservient to the crowned monarchs. However, our presidents were intended to be men of the people.
I say men because in our 230 year history we have never had a female president. That may well change next year. Women have only had the constitutional right to vote for less than a century. In that time, less than 100 years later, women now constitute the majority of voters in a presidential election. The question is will they choose one of their own?
The Las Vegas odds makers say that Hillary Clinton is the favorite to take home all the marbles next year and move herself, and former President Bill Clinton, back into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If this occurs all sorts of historic landmarks will be recorded. Not only will she be the first female president, but they will be the first husband and wife tandem. She has made no secret of her intentions to make Bill Clinton a vital part of her administration and makes no qualms that she may even appoint him to a cabinet position, most likely Secretary of State.
Another obvious pattern that is happening in our presidential order of the past 20 years is that we have developed a familial dynasty. Our forefathers would look scornfully with disdain at the fact that two families have held the presidency since 1988. If Hillary Clinton succeeds next year the dynasty will extend to more than likely twenty-eight years, nearly three decades.
That would be an amazing run that will have historians in wonderment for centuries. The British have relegated their monarchs to nothing more than tabloid fodder who are only ceremonial figureheads. They now have no actual power today. However, we have crowned the Bushs and Clintons monarchs of America. They may as well have a royal scepter.
We have only had one other father and son presidential dynasty in our history prior to George H.W. Bush and the current President George W. Bush. John Adams, one of our founding fathers, was the second President of the United States from 1797-1801. He was defeated for reelection by Thomas Jefferson. His son, John Quincy Adams became our sixth president twenty-four years later. The only other blood relatives to occupy the White House were cousins Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
This current dynasty of Bush-Clinton is unprecedented. We have had George H.W. Bush from 1988-1992, Bill Clinton for two terms from 1992-2000, and then George W. Bush for two terms from 2000-2008. If Hillary prevails it will indeed be like a royal dynasty.
Less you think it ends there, Jeb Bush is waiting in the wings. He was a popular two term governor of the most important swing state in America. He had a sterling record as Florida's governor. He was a proven chief executive of a large state. He has perfect credentials on conservative social issues such as abortion, gay rights, and guns and he has a Hispanic wife.
The Hispanic vote is a very integral key in today's presidential politics. Many of the large swing states that are pivotal in determining the winner are dictated by the turnout of Hispanic voters. States such as Florida, Arizona, and New Mexico will be very much in play in 2008 and in the future. It will not be a surprise if Hillary Clinton selects New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson to be her running mate.
Richardson is Hispanic and has a remarkable resume as a successful congressman, ambassador, cabinet member, and now governor of an important western swing state. It is predicted that the West will be the deciding battleground of next year's election.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is Alabama's leading political columnist. His column appears weekly in 70 Alabama newspapers. Steve served 16 years in the State Legislature. He may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.