The Death of the Political Legacy

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readMar 5, 2020

The grandson of George H.W. Bush was defeated on Super Tuesday- in Texas. Is this the end of legacy politicians?

“Remembering Barbara Bush” at Engage at the Bush Center, presented by Highland Capital Management, was held on September 24, 2018. The two-part event celebrated the life and legacy of Mrs. Bush. Moderated by Cokie Roberts, the panels included Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Pierce Bush, Jeb Bush, Jr., Ellie LeBlond Sosa, Andy Card, Susan Baker, and Susan Page. (photo: Grant Miller for the George W. Bush Presidential Center)

What Is In a Name?

Is it true, as Shakespeare contended, that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?

Does a famous political name mean anything anymore?

Despite his famous political name, a long family legacy in politics, and a famous presidential grandfather, Pierce Bush lost his congressional race for the 22nd district in Texas on Tuesday. Though he raised more money, and received more endorsements from high-level Texas elected officials, the Bush name did not win the day.

Does a Bush’s electoral defeat in Texas prove that political legacies aren’t what they once were?

Or are there new political dynasties forming, even now? In a few years, will the U.S. see a veritable parade of Trump children running for- and winning- public offices?

Perhaps it is more a question of what specifically is in a certain name?

Hillary Clinton was a political legacy. The Clinton name, or so it was thought way back in 2016, was to be worth its weight in votes. After all, for a good many decades of politics in America, name recognition was everything.

It is one of the many reasons defeating a presidential incumbent so often proves impossible; a sitting president has just about all the name recognition they could want.

But unbeknownst to Hillary Clinton, and to the Democratic Party mandarins who backed her for president in 2016, the Clinton name had come to carry an unfortunate stigma; that of Bill Clinton.

History hasn’t exactly been kind to the former president. And it might be about to get a great deal more unkind. His authorship of the dread NAFTA that crippled American manufacturing by outsourcing jobs to cheaper labor markets hasn’t helped his legacy.

Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act, which maintained that a legal marriage could only take place between a man and woman, hasn’t stood him in good stead either. Certainly not in the Democratic Party of today.

Nor will 2020 Democrats much appreciate Clinton’s founding of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell,”