I can't believe anyone in the Democratic Party seriously wants another Clinton at the head of their ticket, nor that any Republican seriously wants another Bush. The media would love to have the game of a second Bush v. Clinton election, but surely we as a people are not going to craft dynasties to rule over us.
I would hope not, but name recognition goes a long way in politics.
Bingo.Just as an aside, how rational is it to discount a candidate because he shares a last name with a prior president? FWIW, I haven't even begun to look at Jeb Bush, but shouldn't it be his *record* that we look at?It's not as though there were any serious suggestion here that the Presidency passes down by divine right. We still have elections, and in the end (whether it's name recognition or something else) that's how a candidate gets into the oval office.There are precious few qualified candidates out there. Walker is one, Bush is possibly another. Both were successful governors. I hate to see feelings rather than qualifications driving the election but after watching the past few, I suspect that's really what does drive voting.
We've talked occasionally about how every President is related to George Washington, either by blood (mostly) or by marriage. That seems surprising to me, although it becomes less surprising with each generation.Still, it seems rational to me to say that a people who values something like political equality ought not to prefer particularly well-connected families for the highest political offices. At some point, that stops being anything like equality and becomes stratified. He's qualified because he was a governor / he became a governor because he had the right family ties.I think we need to look for a different set of qualifications, if that's where we end up. You could qualify by being a military officer who had dealt with organizations at a certain level, I think; you could qualify by being experienced in other fields.
Perhaps I'm unusually annoyed about this, though, since our recent Senate election in Georgia passed to a Perdue with no previous experience in government at all, based on his family connection to the former Governor and subsequent ability to be introduced into the right circles to be taken seriously as a candidate. It may be a hot button of mine.
I'm not remotely concerned with the dynastic issue. I would have no problem with another candidate who happened to be George W. Bush's brother, unless he were kind of a RINO squish. Obviously, I'd prefer Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton in a heartbeat. I just think it's hilarious that the MSM is so desperate every cycle for a Republican that's their kind of guy, i.e., not one of those nasty conservatives. "What about Huntsman! We like Huntsman!" They have absolutely no idea what appeals to conservatives. Or at least I hope they don't, because I'd so much prefer to have a nominee like Scott Walker than one like Jeb Bush.
Perhaps I'm unusually annoyed about this, though, since our recent Senate election in Georgia passed to a Perdue with no previous experience in government at all, based on his family connection to the former Governor and subsequent ability to be introduced into the right circles to be taken seriously as a candidate. It may be a hot button of mine.Given that his opponent was a woman whose major qualifications for the same office were that she was the daughter of a popular politician and some work with non-profit organizations with an equal lack of government experience... I fail to see where she was any better.I certainly don't advocate disregarding, or forbidding someone for running for elected office based on who they are related to. But I also dislike the idea that relation to someone else somehow counts as a qualification. Frankly Grim, I'm glad I had no vote in that Senate race (being a South Carolina resident), because neither of them seemed particularly well qualified. And that's a shame.
Well, right. It may just be annoying me particularly right now, because it appears to be an issue in Georgia.Family is important, but we can't let particular families come to dominate the political landscape.
I certainly don't advocate disregarding, or forbidding someone for running for elected office based on who they are related to. But I also dislike the idea that relation to someone else somehow counts as a qualification.That seems very sensible to me: IOW, look at the candidate's record, not his/her familial connections.So much of politics seems to be driven by the assumption that group identity drives everything rather than looking at who a person really is and what they have to offer.
Family is important, but we can't let particular families come to dominate the political landscape.I really, really disagree with this.I've never voted for a family. If some idiot does, they're voting for the wrong reasons.If any family reliably turns out good civil servants, and the particular candidate has a good track record, it seems awfully foolish to vote against them because they belong to the wrong (perceived) group.
That seems very sensible to me: IOW, look at the candidate's record, not his/her familial connections.That's me to a T, "very sensible". :PNow if someone would just convince my wife...
I've never voted for a family. If some idiot does, they're voting for the wrong reasons.The real concern is that getting the nomination may depend more on family connections than qualifications. If Perdue (and, as Mike points out, Nunn) are the examples, then at least locally we've got a problem. There are tons of former military officers and NCOs in Georgia, which is home to Benning, Stewart, Hunter, and many other bases. The most promising people for office were two scions of politically tied families, neither of whom had experience in elected office?I'm willing to accept that I'm focused on the problem for local reasons, but I'm not willing to accept that it's not a problem locally at least. There's an issue here, even if there isn't one nationally. On the other hand, why exactly is Jeb Bush a contender? He's being talked up favorably, but he hasn't won an election nor held elected office as I understand it in quite some time. Maybe it's family?I say that as someone with a very high opinion of both Bush presidents to date.
Perhaps that's part of the problem as well. It's not that I can definitively say Jeb Bush is or is not suited to be President (though what I know of him politically so far does not place him in my top 60% of preferred choices). But the fact that he is assumed to be the leading candidate simply because of his last name is troublesome. Does any here believe that he is likely the best candidate Republicans can run in 2016? Or is his presence in the election "sucking all the air" out of other, better candidates. All because "he's got name recognition?"
Does any here believe that he is likely the best candidate Republicans can run in 2016? Or is his presence in the election "sucking all the air" out of other, better candidates. All because "he's got name recognition?"I don't think we have enough information to answer that question. Who runs isn't up to "the Republicans", but rather up to the candidates. They have to throw their hat in the ring, first. If there's a better candidate but he/she isn't willing to run, that's a moot point.I don't pay any attention to straw polls early in the race before we even know who's in the race. They're pretty much a waste of time and mental energy - they make about as much sense as getting all excited over how one candidate does against "unnamed opponent from the other party".Of course name recognition matters at this stage: it's all conjecture, and if you have nothing else to go on, it's probably not a bad indicator. Later, we'll have actual information about the candidates (not the least of which is the rather important question of "who's even running?").Sorry if I sound annoyed - the media really irritate me with this stuff (this is a particular pet peeve of mine) :pIf Jesus Christ himself descended from Heaven shooting lighting bolts out of his eyeballs at every Democrat in sight, I don't think he'd be good enough for a lot of the pundits shooting their mouths off right now. The whole spectacle tempts one to despair.No one's sucking all the air out of the race, because it ain't a race yet. If a prospective candidate is so weak he/she can't even survive an imaginary race against unknown opponents, he/she doesn't stand a chance in a real election.
Does any here believe that he is likely the best candidate Republicans can run in 2016?Define good enough. That's not your threshold, but any Republican candidate--including RINOs--who have a sound chance of winning the White House meets my threshold for good enough to run in the primaries. Through the primaries, we'll see who's best in the field.It's early days, too. I saw through the course of the '12 primaries' debates a lot of improvement in individual candidates, each of whom would have made a good President, and not just in comparison with Obama. Perry and Romney come to mind. It's likely that 20+ debates was overkill, and the currently planned ~9 is about right. I just hope the candidates don't waste time hacking each other (as Cruz and his ego are wont to do, and Paul to a lesser extent), which by and large they avoided doing in '12, and spend their time putting forward their positions and how those positions benefit the nation, which by and large they did not do in '12.Finally: can anyone detect a material difference between Obama and Trump? Besides the fact that Obama doesn't waste time on comb-overs, I mean.Eric Hines
In a primary I'm looking for the most conservative candidate I can find who has a good shot in the general election. That's not a precise science, unfortunately. I have to make all kinds of reasoned guesses about the mood of the electorate and the campaigning skill of the candidate. I quite like Ted Cruz, for instance, but I don't think for a second that he can win votes from independents. Rick Perry has the same problem. I think Jeb Bush can play very well to the middle, but the fact that he can't understand what's wrong with Common Core even enough to address its reasonable critics makes me wonder about his principles. (Nevertheless, as I always hasten to add, I'd vote for him over Clinton in a heartbeat in the general election.)So far Scott Walker does the best, by my lights, at combining conservative principles with the ability to make an effective case to skeptics. He can make a good case because he has a combination of a record showing his practical governing skills and an ability to communicate his principles using both reason and an appeal to gut values. He's stood up under withering pressure, so I don't expect him to fly apart when he faces a relentlessly hostile press. He seems to know how to control his mouth. If he's got any horrible skeletons in his closet, surely they'd be out by now. He's viscerally, at far as I can tell, only by government union enthusiasts, which on the whole probably wins him votes.
"Hated" viscerally. How I wish blogger comments had an edit function.
"hated viscerally, as far as I can tell"Sheesh.
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