Thursday, May 29, 2014


I don't think it's a wonderful thing for democracy that we're probably going to have another Clinton running for president, and possibly another Bush -- but I don't find it as appalling as many other people do. And we're reminded today by John Harwood that voters gravitate to multi-politician families the way they gravitate to familiar brands:
Three business school professors recently set out to discover what accounts for regional differences in product choices by consumers.

Although about 60 percent of it had to do with regional sales and marketing, a startling 40 percent stemmed from what they described in The American Economic Review as "persistent brand preferences." Past experiences with the product or memories of family and friends using it shaped their buying decisions.

Democrats' hopes of holding the Senate this fall rest significantly on the political equivalent of that "brand capital." In four states that usually lean Republican, Democrats will be running candidates from families with multigenerational records of political success -- the Pryors of Arkansas, the Landrieus of Louisiana, the Begiches of Alaska and the Nunns of Georgia. If at least two of the four legacy candidates can eke out victories, the Democrats' chances of holding the Senate will be better than even....
People vote for dynasties all over the country, though it seems to bother the bloviators only when the members of the dynasty are named Clinton. (I don't even consider the Clintons a true dynasty yet, since Bill and Hillary are both first-generation strivers who happened to get married, unlike the Bushes. Get back to me when Chelsea is running for something.)

Dems are running members of dynasties in Southern states, where they're at a disadvantage. I'm OK with running a Clinton in the 2016 presidential race because Democrats will have hurdles to overcome then, too -- President Obama's low poll numbers, an economy that never got fixed, the traditional difficulty of keeping a party in the White House for three terms, court victories Republicans have been winning on campaign finance and voting rights, a Republican Party that blocks everything Democrats want to do and then leaves Democrats with the blame. It would be nice if Democrats could win in 2016 on the Democratic brand, but the brand isn't looking too good these days, even if the Republican brand looks worse. And if Clinton wins on her brand name, well, don't blame her -- that's how people vote.


Victor said...

I noticed that in the North, there's a lot of Coke sold when you go to a fast-food joint, or pizza parlor.
Whereas in the South, it seems like Pepsi prevails.

And I get that political brand thing - we had a Hamilton Fish winning the House seat in our district, seemingly forever.
First, the father, and then the son.
If I remember right, they often ran uncontested, because the Democratic Party chose to spend money elsewhere - where beating the incumbent Republican might have had a chance.

I'm also ok with Hillary if she runs.
She's a well known brand, and she might have some powerful coattails!
ANY Democrat for President, though!

The Republican Party is comprised of Christo-Fascist, stone-cold, loons!

Anonymous said...

Republicans are on the wrong side of the culture war right now. Clinton is in a perfect position to pull off a coup by allying with the business community and turning them into the financial backers of the Democratic party. They get what they want on business issues, we have a massive injection of cash to bloody the hell out of the right in the culture fight.

It's the ideal outcome for 2016 and hopefully the start of a long alliance.

Nefer said...

I am not crazy about dynasties in the sense that I don't think anyone should believe or be treated as though their name entitles them to election.

On the other hand, what if Chelsea decides to run for office some day? If she has done the work, and has educated herself on the issues and how government works, why not?

In any other endeavor, it is considered a great thing if the offspring wish to continue in the family business. Why wouldn't a child raised in a political environment and exposed to the workings of the governmental system want to follow that as a career?

I would be more willing to give her a chance to prove herself than the "It's our turn" Romneys.

Ten Bears said...

I thought you people fought a revolution to get away from that kind of shit?

The Rodham family, as in Hillary Rodham Clinton, is as every bit old school robber baron money as the Bush, Kennedy, Koch and Rockafeller. We'll leave aside her membership in the Bilderberger Group, Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission.

George Bush in a dress.

No fear.