I suppose it’s better that this is a result of celebrity rather than tribalism, but it’s still rotten.
[quote=“Salon: Nepotistic succession in the political class”]Bill Clinton yesterday was forced to deny speculation that he would be appointed to replace his wife in the U.S. Senate. Leading candidates for that seat still include John F. Kennedy’s daughter (Caroline), Robert Kennedy’s son (RFK, Jr.), and Mario Cuomo’s son (Andrew). In Illinois, a leading contender to replace Barack Obama in the Senate is Jesse Jackson’s son (Jesse, Jr.). In Delaware, it was widely speculated that Joe Biden would be replaced by his son, Beau, and after Beau took his name out of the running because he’s now serving in Iraq, the naming of the actual replacement – lone-time (Joe) Biden aide Ted Kaufmann – “upset local Democrats who believe the move was a ham-handed attempt to engineer the election of Biden’s son, Beau, to the Senate in 2010.”
Meanwhile, in Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, who was appointed by her father to take his seat in the U.S. Senate when he became Governor, yesterday warned Sarah Palin not to challenge her in a 2010 primary, a by-product of tension between those two as a result of Palin’s defeat of Lisa’s dad for Governor. In Florida, Mel Martinez’s announcement that he won’t seek re-election in 2010 immediately led to reports that the current President’s brother, Jeb, might run for that seat. And all of that’s just from the last couple of weeks.
The Senate alone – to say nothing of the House – is literally filled with people whose fathers or other close relatives previously held their seat or similar high office (those links identify at least 15 current U.S. Senators – 15 – with immediate family members who previously occupied high elected office). And, of course, the current President on his way out was the son of a former President and grandson of a former U.S. Senator.
Isn’t this all a bit much? It’s true that our political/media class in general is intensely incestuous and nepotistic. Virtually the entire neoconservative “intelligentsia” (using that term as loosely as it can possibly be used) is one big paean to nepotistic succession – the Kristols, the Kagans, the Podhoretzes, Lucinanne Goldberg and her boy. [/quote]