Gang of 14 (million)

January 23, 2007

In the “spirit of John McCain,” I think 7 million Republicans and 7 million Democrats need to get together and make a pledge that they will not vote for another Bush or Clinton. It’s time to move on.

What gave me this idea?

Both of these warnings have been overlooked in the debate over Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential run. But if she secures the Democratic nomination, wins and serves two terms, by 2017 the United States will have been governed by either a Bush or a Clinton for 28 years. That’s three decades governed not just by the same two families but much of the same supporting staff. As Dick Cheney is a name familiar to both Bush presidencies (as George H.W. Bush’s secretary of Defense and his son’s vice president), so too may a Hillary Clinton presidency resuscitate familiar names such as Harold Ickes, Paul Begala and James Carville.

And it might not end there. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, encouraged by Republican leaders and the current president (who said, “I would like to see Jeb run at some point”), has not ruled out a White House bid or a vice presidential slot on the ticket in 2012 or 2016.

If Washington’s caustic, partisan atmosphere is to change, the era of Bushes and Clintons needs to end in 2008.

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