Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Hillary Dilemma

Larry Sabato makes some astute observations about Hillary's chances. Most interestingly, he closes with this caution to the voters:

Let's finish up this essay by broadening our critique, and offering a point that ought to concern all Americans. Every four years, observers pronounce the presidential contenders to be a "weak field," and that is as unfair as it is predictable.

A much more reasonable criticism is directly related to the dominating presence of Hillary Clinton in this election cycle. The population of the United States now exceeds 300 million, and the talent pool of the world's only superpower is deep and rich. How is it that the country is on the verge of filling its highest office for the sixth consecutive term from one of two families? That every President from 1989 to 2017 may be a Bush or a Clinton is a national disgrace. What has happened to the American Republic? How does it differ from a banana republic--where a couple of dominant families often run everything for generations? Have we driven the vast majority of the potentially best Presidents out of the contest because of the high personal and professional costs of running for office? Are we the voters responsible because we are too lazy to go beyond the simplistic attractions of familiarity and high name identification? Or, most disturbing of all, has our political system become ossified, so that we are too fearful of change to seek out the most outstanding leaders among us for the toughest job in the world?

We don't pretend to have the answers. But we are shocked and dismayed that more people aren't even bothering to ask the questions.