February 9, 2006
200 YEARS FROM NOW HOW WILL ANYONE DIFFERENTIATE 41 FROM 42?:
The Nation's Dual Political Dynasties Are Growing Closer Than Arm's Length (ELISABETH BUMILLER, 2/08/06, NY Times)
When the Bushes and Clintons held hands before 15,000 mourners at Coretta Scott King's funeral on Tuesday, it looked like a prayerful moment in the life of the nation. But as almost anyone watching America's two leading political families knew, underneath the tranquil image was a drama of ambition, rivalry, love and alliance that could shape the 2008 presidential election.
The scene, a riveting tableau in the six-hour celebration of Mrs. King's life and the political power of black America, offered complex layers of interconnecting relationships: father and son, husband and wife, president and former president, adversary turned ally and first lady turned senator turned probable presidential candidate.
It was one of the most public manifestations to date of the odd friendship and mutual need of two dynasties that, on the surface at least, have almost nothing in common. But as President Bush put it in an interview with CBS News last month, "Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton." Mr. Bush made the remark in a telling exchange with Bob Schieffer, who said, "Well, you know, if Senator Clinton becomes president."
"There we go," Mr. Bush said.
"Maybe we'll see a day," Mr. Schieffer continued.
"Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton," Mr. Bush responded.
The interesting thing is the continuity historians will trace from Ronald Reagan through Jeb Bush's presidency, with the eldest Bush and Bill Clinton being just mild deviations from the more conservative norm. Hillary could interject herself into that line of succession if she ran to John McCain's right, as her husband ran to George H. W. Bush's, but she doesn't seem likely to do so. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2006 11:52 AM