Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Udall Political Dynasty At Stake In 2008 Senate Races

"One reason to call those two the 'Kennedys of the West' is because they share a very liberal voting record with the Kennedys of the East"--Bob Schaffer's campaign manager, Walt Klein, on Mark and Tom Udall's Senate bids in Colorado and New Mexico

Can't add it to the scoreboard, but the analogy hits the liberal record of candidate Mark Udall dead on--his is no ordinary moderate Democrat vote, and his family no ordinary political dynasty:
"I think the West in the 2008 election is all about the Udalls, and it's all about the return of the Udall ethic," said Terry Bracy, chairman of the Udall Foundation, which was founded in part to honor the environmental and civil rights legacy of Mark's father, former U.S. Rep. Morris Udall, D-Ariz.

"The Udall ethic is really an ethic of public service, of conservation, of civility, of seeking to lead, and it reaches into both parties in the West," Bracy said.

The family's history in politics has led some to call them "the Kennedys of the West."
Hagiographical puff pieces by the MSM aside, aren't America's democratic (little d) ideals better supported through the election of a wide variety of citizens from all walks of life instead of political dynasties? Isn't that part of what we fought a revolution for?

Michael Barone had an enlightening piece earlier in the year on the specter of royalism that could occur under the constitution. A Hillary Clinton victory in 2008 and reelection in 2012 would mean 36 years with either a Bush or Clinton in the White House as President or VP. It is already true that a sort of hereditary qualification for office has devolved upon the descendants of politicians or their immediate family. One only needs to look at the political fortunes of the Salazar brothers in Colorado to witness an example. Families like the Udalls have made election to office seem an almost familial duty.

That Udall's family has had such electoral success shouldn't be a reason to vote against him, but it should also not prevent the discussion over the long-term viability of a republic willing to hand over the reins of government to political dynasties from any party. However, being labeled the "Kennedys of the West" won't help too much in establishing either Udall's moderate credentials--certainly a reason not to vote for either candidate in 2008.

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