01.30.2014 1

Why Hillary Clinton will likely not be the next president

Hillary_Clinton-Congressional_TestimonyBy David Bozeman

The most basic reason Hillary Clinton will likely not be the next president is that the 2016 election cycle will favor the GOP.

Only once since FDR has the same party held the White House for more than eight years, and that was Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush from 1981 through 1992. The conventional wisdom of the day tends to overlook the obvious cyclical aspects of politics (and there’s no guarantee she’ll even run).

Even if the economy roars back and Obamacare proves itself a rousing success, the pattern of succession does not favor Mrs. Clinton — peace and prosperity didn’t help Vice Presidents Nixon and Gore (though, granted, both lost disturbingly close elections).

Open elections tend to generate greater interest, and the promise of new leadership tends to favor outsiders.  Candidate Barack Obama in 2008, though a U.S. senator, was perceived an outsider against both Hillary Clinton and John McCain.  George W. Bush, governor of Texas, stood as the winning outsider of 2000.

George H. W. Bush in 1988 was hardly an outsider, but his election was, arguably, a third term for Reagan.  Jimmy Carter, a seemingly idealistic newcomer, defeated incumbent Gerald Ford in 1976 in an election that mirrored disgust over the scandal-plagued Nixon years.  Not really an open election, but Ford reeked of Washington the same way Mrs. Clinton does.

Notably, four of the last six presidents have been governors.  Also notable — Barbara Bush’s recent comments lamenting the over-abundance of both her own and the Clinton families on the national scene.  As of right now, a Clinton or Bush has been president for 20 of the last 25 years.

If Mrs. Clinton is elected, four out of five presidents will have been a Bush or Clinton.  Simply, that is un-American.  The White House has never been a revolving door for competing presidential dynasties.  The presidencies of John Adams and John Quincy Adams and both Bushes are the exceptions in our history, not the rule.

Theodore Roosevelt and FDR were distant cousins, and almost 50 years separated the presidencies of William Henry Harrison and his grandson Benjamin.  Consider also that our country’s premiere political dynasty, the Kennedys, has sent just one of its own to the White House.

In a nutshell, Americans instinctively recoil at the idea that anyone is owed the presidency.  The idea that “it’s my turn” may well secure Mrs. Clinton the nomination (though, as we have already seen, even that is not guaranteed), but far too many next-in-liners have fallen to fresher-faced, less qualified outsiders than can be listed here.

Our political system stands in direct defiance to the staid, predictable lines of succession of, in particular, England.  We relish the rough-and-tumble process of picking our leaders ourselves from our best and brightest, delighting in the challenge and unpredictability of changing course (yet all too often we suffer the consequences of opting for change for the sake of change).  We dare the chattering purveyors of conventional wisdom to tell us that our minds are made up, that the tickets are set, that our destiny lies in the hands of a narrow group of political families.

Nonetheless, Mrs. Clinton, if the nominee, will be hard to beat.  Elections are decided by factors often known only in hindsight, and no one knows how the landscape will look two years hence.

The preceding commentary should not be take as a prediction — anything could happen — but neither should anyone throw up their hands and accept as inevitable the ascendance of yet another opportunist who would use both the truth and individual freedom as pawns to secure greater power for herself and her next of kin.

The astute yet simple words of Barbara Bush, that it’s time for a new name in American leadership, reflect the common sense values that have sustained America.  Someone of similar reasoning could well be the next president, even if they have to cut in front of Mrs. Clinton of whoever else thinks he is “next in line” to enter the Oval Office.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

Copyright © 2008-2021 Americans for Limited Government