The Bidens, and six other political dynasties in the making
Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, returned from Iraq Wednesday. He's tipped to run for the US Senate. Several other political families also have members eyeing 2010.
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• Tennessee lawyer and businessman Mike McWherter is taking a run at the governor’s mansion, where his father, Gov. Ned McWherter, served from 1987 to 1995. His campaign website promises that “Mike will follow the examples of his father, former Governor Ned McWherter, and Governor Phil Bredesen by standing up for working families and applying his common-sense business experience to State Government.”Skip to next paragraph
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Family ties not always helpful
Being a son or a daughter of a prominent politician does not always make someone a shoo-in. “Some famous names don’t last for long,” says Senate historian Donald Ritchie.
Franklin Roosevelt Jr. served in the House of Representatives from 1949 to 1955, but lost his bid to be the Democratic
Party’s nominee for New York governor. And when House majority leader Richard Armey (R) of Texas announced his retirement in 2002, his son, Scott lost his primary election bid to replace him.
“There’s historical precedent for family dynasties going back to John Adams and John Quincy Adams, but what you have now that you didn’t have decades ago is personal campaign organizations in place of standard party organizations,” says John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.
The Kennedy model
“The Kennedys pioneered an ongoing Kennedy organization – a loose network of supporters who can come together to form a campaign. A lot of politicians have that in some form or another, and it makes it easy to switch from father or mother to the son or to the daughter,” he adds.
Another Biden for Senate?
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