Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

How others see us

America awaits its royal baby

Chelsea: Looking ahead to 2052.

Chelsea: Looking ahead to 2052.

Editor's note: This is the latest installment of a series in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the U.S. media to describe events in other countries.

Though free of monarchy for more than two centuries, Americans last week were strangely fascinated by the news that one of the country's preeminent political families will be producing its next heir. Chelsea Clinton's pregnancy has sparked a new round of discussion about the role of powerful clans in the nation's public affairs.

The politics of the world's second largest democracy have long been dominated by a handful of influential families. In recent decades, it has often been a brutal contest of wills between two rival clans in particular.

For the past year, however, neither of the country's most powerful dynasties has had a member serving in the executive mansion or the cabinet — something that has not happened in 34 years. This week's news comes at a time when speculation is high that the Clinton dynasty may be angling to take the reins of power once more.

More than two decades ago, the Clintons swept out of the country's southern heartland — an economically depressed region with a bloody history — to storm the capital. They have dominated the national conversation ever since. After Bill was forced by term limits to surrender power in 2000, his wife Hillary entered the national legislature and in 2008, followed in the footsteps of a number of the Western Hemisphere's first ladies in recent years by running for the presidency herself.

She would have been the first female president of a country which, while highly westernized in many respects, still has an overwhelmingly male-dominated political culture. In a shocking result, voters rejected the Clintons' bid to return to the executive mansion and Hillary was forced to settle for a four-year tenure as foreign minister.

While the country's next presidential election is more than two years away, speculation is already running high that Hillary will be making another bid to return the family to power. (Unlike nearby Guatemala, America has no law barring spouses of ex-presidents from seeking office themselves.) At the same time, Chelsea — a frequent presence on a pro-government broadcasting network — has recently suggested that she may have designs on public office herself at some point, raising the possibility that the Clintons could create a multiple generation political dynasty. (Chelsea's child will not be eligible to occupy the country's highest office until the 2052 election.)

Meanwhile, the Clinton restoration may face a challenge from their longtime rivals the Bushes. Jeb, the younger brother of one former president and son of another, has lately been courting the support of the nation's growing foreign-born population but is mistrusted by many in his party's hardline nationalist wing.

America awaits its royal baby 04/20/14 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2014 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco considers new tax districts for parks, libraries, public safety

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Faced with growing costs amid an expected voter-endorsed tax cut, Pasco County is considering changing the way it pays for parks, libraries and public safety.

    
Pasco County is considering a new taxing district to finance an expansion and ongoing operations of the county's Department of Parks,Recreaton and Natural Resources. Shown is the Dick's Tournament of Champions at the the  Wesley Chapel District Park, the last district park developed by the county. It opened in 2007.
  2. Ruskin man sought in fatal stabbing of roommate

    Crime

    RUSKIN — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has issued an arrest warrant for the suspect who fatally stabbed his roommate in a Ruskin home on Monday afternoon.

  3. Romano: Why flood insurance might not be enough to save your home

    Local Government

    Irma is gone, and Maria never came.

    And yet this is as good a time as any to worry.

  4. Tampa's streetcar system looks to expand north through downtown

    Transportation

    TAMPA — The TECO Line Streetcar system that runs from Ybor City to the Channel District could be extended north through downtown all the way to Tampa Heights, according to the latest update of a $1.7 million study aimed at expanding the streetcar system.

    Riders take in the last few stops of the streetcar route in Ybor City during the tenth anniversary celebration of the TECO line streetcar system in Tampa in 2012. Now officials are looking for ways to expand the service north through downtown to Tampa Heights. [EVE EDELHEIT  |  Times]
  5. Interview: Steve Martin, Martin Short bringing 'best version' of their show back to St. Petersburg

    Stage

    Hot celebrity-spotting tip: Stop by the Salvador Dalí Museum on Jan. 19. You might catch a glimpse of Steve Martin.

    Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short will bring “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life” to the Mahaffey Theater on Jan. 19.