Another Clinton, another Bush (2)

The US Presidential Election is one of the great entertainment events of our time and the 2016 aspirants – declared and undeclared – are getting into position. I am looking forward to an exciting 6 months in 2016; perhaps not as exciting as in 2008 (Obama > Clinton v. McCain ± Palin) but surely not as boring as in 2012 (Obama/Romney). From an entertainment perspective I’m hoping for a Bush – Clinton battle. It could be quite interesting with Clinton attacking George Bush’s legacy and Jeb Bush pouring scorn on Obama’s non-accomplishments! Bill Clinton could be a a hidden flaw in his wife’s stable while Jeb Bush will have to keep his elder brother out of sight!!

Even in our various forms of democracy around the world, “hereditary” politicians have replaced the hereditary barons and kings of old. This is not just in India or Malaysia but also in Japan and across Europe and in the US. Dynastic politics in the US is not new and the passing of political positions of power – always subject to electoral victories – to marital partners or siblings or offspring happens quite often. A year ago a Hilary Clinton – Jeb Bush battle in 2016 seemed – at least – plausible. Now with 2 years to go the room for complete outsiders to emerge is shrinking. It is still very early of course. Each has still to first stand for and win their party’s nomination. Yet judging by the pairings that the polls envisage, the likelihood of a Clinton – Bush fight has just increased.

As of today Clinton would trounce Bush. But things could be much closer in two years. Though there seems to be no Democratic candidate to challenge Clinton, she will likely have to overcome the burden of the negative perception of the Obama years. While the perception of the Reagan years is of economic well-being at home and the Cold war victory abroad, the perception of the Obama years will be quite different. They will be seen as being long on hype and short on substance. A period of economic malaise at home and ineffectual foreign policy abroad. If Obama’s last two years in office continue to be as pedestrian and exhibit the same caution as the preceding six then, Hilary Clinton will have a significant incumbent factor against her.

Jeb Bush is not even the front-runner in the Republican party. He has not yet declared that he will run. But he may well be perceived as being more politically astute than even his father was and far more intelligent than his brother (though that is not saying very much).

Washington Post: 

The 2016 Republican presidential nominating battle is shaping up as the most wide-open in a generation, with a new Washington Post-ABC News poll showing five prospective candidates within four percentage points of one another at the top and a half-dozen more in the mix.

The picture is very different on the Democratic side, where former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton is the clear front-runner. In a hypothetical matchup, Clinton leads former Florida governor Jeb Bush — seen by many GOP establishment figures as the party’s strongest general-election candidate — 53 percent to 41 percent.

Fox News:

A new poll that looked at how Florida registered voters would cast their ballots in a 2016 Republican primary, former Gov. Jeb Bush led by about a 2-to-1 margin over other GOP contenders.

Bush leads in the hypothetical GOP contest with 27 percent compared to 14 percent for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 11 percent for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and 7 percent for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. As for other GOP hypothetical candidates, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, none received more than 6 percent.

But when the poll included former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the mix, she beat any potential Republican challenger in a head-to-head match-up, according to the Quinnipiac University survey. In a potential faceoff between the former First Lady and Bush, Clinton snatched 49 percent support compared to 41 percent support for the former governor.

Politico:

The biggest parlor game on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms these days is guessing whether former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will run for president and save the GOP’s old establishment base from its rising populist wing.

The second most popular game is guessing what happens if Jeb says no. …….. if Bush doesn’t run, the list of Republican saviors could be short. Some donors fear Christie will never overcome the Bridgegate scandal. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin so far seems more inclined to stay in the House than to run for president. And to varying degrees, other candidates — such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio — are either unknown or untrusted.

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