Campaigns Show the Downside of Dynasties (‘The New York Times’)

In his latest post for the New York Times blog “The Upshot,” Dartmouth’s Brendan Nyhan says the Bush and Clinton campaigns demonstrate how disadvantageous belonging to political dynasties can be.

“Why have Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton struggled so much during this campaign?” writes Nyhan, an assistant professor of government. “It might seem as if the public is weary of Bushes and Clintons and has turned against dynastic politics, but voters don’t usually punish politicians for being members of political families. Becoming a long-term member of the House of Representatives, for example, substantially increases the odds that a relative will also serve in Congress.

“But the advantages that dynastic candidates enjoy come at a cost: Those who end up seeking the presidency may discover that they lack the campaign skills of other credible contenders.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 2/8/16 by The New York Times.