Guns and Gear

Gun & Politics: Bill Clinton’s Wife And The Power Of Political Dynasties In America

Susan Smith Columnist
Font Size:

If, God help us, Hillary Clinton wins on November 8th, does that mean the beginning of yet another political dynasty in the United States?

Let us say, in classic Clintonian fashion that depends on what the meaning of the word ‘dynasty’ is.

We can begin by illustrating the Presidential race of 2000.  The Governor of Texas, who was the son of a President, grandson of a Senator and brother of another Governor, ran against a Vice President and former Senator who was the son of a Senator.

That was Bush v. Gore, a dynasty versus dynasty of political elites.

Include as well, in the blending of political dynasties, that Bush and Clinton, (to whom Bush came to refer as his “brother from another mother”), were both graduates of the same scholastic institution, Yale, as was the current Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, for whom it is said Republican George W. Bush (her brother from another mother?) is voting as opposed to the non-dynastic nominee of his own Republican party. President George H. W. Bush is also rumored to vote for his son’s brother from another mother’s wife and thus keeping the Republican and Democrat party “in the family.”

It really does depend on what the meaning of the word ‘dynasty’ is.  ‘Dynasty’ normally implies descending from an appropriately distinguished ancestor, not just having an office handed to you, or inheriting it.

First of all, we know it doesn’t apply to our current candidate for President on the Republican ticket, the un-dynastic and humble Donald J. Trump.  This is because Mr. Trump is not only the grandson of immigrants, he is also the son of an immigrant, and is married to an immigrant; well, there were two of those, actually.

Nor can the term be attributable to Mr. Trump’s understated Vice Presidential nominee, Mike Pence, who is the grandson of Irish Catholic immigrants, (perhaps the most discriminated against minority ever to have arrived on the shores of this nation), with nary a dynastic connection.

There are numerous Americans who could be described as families of a political dynasty, like the Cuomos of New York, the Daleys of Illinois, the Lees of Virginia, the Udalls of all over the place, and, of course, the Kaines, whose most recent descendant involving public service is Tim Kaine, and who is currently running for Vice President on the Democrat’s ticket.  This former Virginia Governor and Senator is a member of a dynasty by virtue of his wife being the daughter of former Virginia governor Lynwood Holton.  Yes, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is the son-in-law of Virginia Governor Abner Linwood Holton Jr.

And where did all this dynasty business start you may ask as America was formed with most definite anti-dynastic tendencies in mind?  The first political dynasty formed in America was the Adams family; no, not the one with Uncle Fester, the one with the patriarch, John, becoming the second President of the United States, having first served as George Washington’s Vice President.  His son, John Quincy, became a later American President, with a great-great grandson following in the Adams family political footsteps by being Secretary of the Navy under Herbert Hoover.  Though the first Adams was a great patriot, he was an irascible little man who was an undistinguished President, and the same lack of accolades was attributed to his son.  It is not entirely known how the third member of this particular dynasty fared as Navy Secretary; suffice it to say that the whole Hoover Administration went down in flames, as it were, ending in a prolonged period of woe known as the Great Depression.

The Harrison family comprised another political dynasty in America with the first of the Harrisons, William Henry, winning the Presidency to serve the nation as America’s ninth President; he was also the last President to be born as a British subject.  We will never know if he would have been a success in this office, as he quickly fell ill with a rather nasty cold, which proved to be so nasty that it killed him 32 days after he was inaugurated.  He is the President known to have served the shortest time in office.  The Americans, being a charitable people, gave the Harrison family another chance at leadership, and elected William Henry’s grandson to the highest office in the land as the 23rd President in the late 19th century.  As federal spending for the first time reached a billion dollars during his Administration, with the American populace being horrified by this, and the high tariffs that resulted from several actions taken by President Harrison, after one term he was defeated by the man he had defeated to win four years before, Grover Cleveland.

Speaking of large persons, another notable American political dynasty would be the Tafts of Ohio, whose original member was William Howard Taft, perhaps most well known for having such tremendous girth that he was once stuck in the White House bathtub, (Grover Cleveland was quite hefty himself, thus the above reference).   Taft was considered a capable leader during his one term, but when Theodore Roosevelt (who’s fifth cousin was President Franklin D. Roosevelt) split the Republican Party with his unfortunate run in 1912, Taft lost, to the dreadful Woodrow Wilson, in his bid for a second term in 1912.  He was later appointed as Chief Justice to the Supreme Court, the only individual in our history to have served in both positions.  In the Taft family, there have been two Governors, (of Ohio and Rhode Island), two U.S. Senators, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, an Attorney General and a Secretary of Agriculture.

The great American family the Rockefellers are considered a political dynasty along with greatly influencing their country in other ways, as well.  Perhaps the most well known political figure of this family who rose to political prominence was Nelson Rockefeller, who ran for the Presidency on three different occasions in the 1960’s, always losing to less moderate, i.e., liberal, Republicans.  The grandson of the family patriarch John D. Rockefeller, Nelson eventually served as the U.S. Vice President, albeit briefly.  Nelson’s Uncle Winthrop was a reform-minded Governor of Arkansas, and his great-great grandfather, Nelson Aldrich, was a three-term Republican U.S. Senator from Rhode Island.   A rogue Rockefeller later emerged, as a Democrat, representing the state of West Virginia for several terms in the U.S. Senate.

Then of course there is the Kennedy family of Massachusetts, a large group of moral reprobates perennially praised by the left for various members of that family’s numerous accomplishments in the attempted destruction of the United States of America.  Various members of this appalling group of parasites and prevaricators have been accused of promiscuity of such an extreme nature that it was unequalled until Bill Clinton entered American political heights, along with election-rigging and murder, among other things.  Though they are acknowledged as an American political ‘dynasty,’ the less said about this insalubrious group the better.

Now we come full circle to the Clintons, of Arkansas, Illinois, New York and Grifterville.  Riding on her husband’s coattails, and why that repellent pig Bill Clinton even has coattails is something I cannot begin to comprehend, Hillary snared a snatchable Senate seat, most likely illegally, in the state of New York where neither she nor Bill had ever lived.  She went on to have a thoroughly undistinguished career in the U.S. Senate, and then was appointed Secretary of State by the man who defeated her in her humiliating run for the Presidency in 2008.  Her Executive Branch term was not only considered undistinguished, it was an out and out disaster whose results we are still dealing with to this day.

Now the old girl is running hell bent for leather to become the 45th President of the United States, using every trick in her and Bill’s considerable grifters’ playbook to steal just one more election.

So, while one must give credit where credit is due, here it just ain’t due.  But the final nail in the Clintons’ coffin will definitely be a loss to Donald J. Trump on November 8th.  Thus will the word dynasty be ultimately defined as most definitely not being applicable in the case of the Clintons.

Susan Smith brings an international perspective to her writing by having lived primarily in western Europe, mainly in Paris, France, and the U.S., primarily in Washington, D.C. She authored a weekly column for Human Events on politics with historical aspects.. She also served as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism, and Special Assistant to the first Ambassador of Afghanistan following the initial fall of the Taliban. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and Georgetown University, as well as the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France, where she obtained her French language certification. Ms. Smith now makes her home in McLean, Va.