Can America move past sequels and reboots in 2016?

posted at 12:41 pm on March 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Although I love to write about films, that headline isn’t an anticipatory shot at the blockbuster summer season for Hollywood two years from now. No, the headline refers to the 2016 presidential primary races, whose emerging theme seems to be “Blast From The Past,” or a “Dynasty” reboot. We already have Hillary Clinton crowding out most of the other potential Democratic contenders in the next presidential race, and a panoply of super-PACs emerging to keep it that way:

The prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy hasn’t just fostered the network of semiofficial outside groups that comprise her shadow campaign in waiting. Clinton fever has also led to a proliferation of smaller groups and websites that hope to capitalize on Clinton’s name, but may not help her get to the White House.

More than two and a half years out from the 2016 election, there are no fewer than nine PACs or super PACs that include Clinton’s name in their own, according to Federal Election Commission records, on top of dozens of Hillary-themed websites. Some are serious efforts with real money and professional staffs; others seem well-intentioned, but politically unsophisticated; more still seem out make money or have missions and strategies too nebulous to comprehend. …

This week, another super PAC was added to the mix when Hillary PAC launched. Sam Deskin, a Los Angeles lawyer who started the new PAC, says that while he respects other pro-Hillary groups, he wants to do something more—though what exactly that is remains a bit hazy at the moment. “Ready for Hillary is important, I get it. They’re a very big organization with a lot of Clinton friends in there, but there needs to be someone who fights against extremists in Congress,” Deskin told National Journal.

The group’s Facebook page—”Hillary Clinton for President 2016,” which started way back in April 2012—has more than 380,000 “likes.” Hillary PAC partnered with the special-effects company behind Team America: World Police to produce a comical Web video that riffs on the introduction to Mission Impossible, warning that extremist tea partiers have taken over Congress.

Tea Partiers haven’t “taken over Congress” by a long shot — after all, Democrats still control the Senate, although they like to forget that when it’s convenient. They’re also not taking over the early 2016 conjecture. Both Reuters and the Associated Press ran stories on Tuesday speculating that former Florida governor Jeb Bush is preparing to toss his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination, and that his inner circle are “at the beginning of a very serious conversation.” The AP said that Jeb’s potential candidacy overshadows GOP preparations for the next presidential election:

The scion of the Bush political dynasty will likely be asked the question many times in the coming weeks as he raises his profile with appearances in Tennessee, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas — where he’ll bump into another possible 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Bush’s “yes” or “no” is one of the most significant factors looming over the 2016 Republican presidential contest. A White House bid by the brother and son of presidents would shake up a wide-open GOP field, attract a legion of big-money donors and set up a showdown with the influential tea party movement. Bush has said he’ll consult with his family this summer and make a decision by the end of the year.

In general, I like Jeb Bush, and think he made a fine governor in Florida. He may have made a better President than his brother George, although that’s sheer speculation; I’m not sure he would have had any different approach to policy, but might have been better prepared for the public-relations fight.

However, Jeb’s a figure from the past, and as I argue in my column at The Fiscal Times, his appeal parallels the impulse in Hollywood to produce sequels and reboots rather than risk some original thinking. The Republican Party — and the Democratic Party too, for that matter — needs original thinking and proven success in the present, not a look back to formerly-successful franchises as a lazy way to market to voters:

Republicans ought not to fight dynastic fire with fire. First, the field is very uneven; while those American voters who remember Bill Clinton’s personal peccadilloes might be wary of his return to the White House as First Gentleman, the memory of the Clinton economy and relative (and short-lived) peace caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union will offer them an opportunity for gauzy nostalgia. Voters thinking about the Bush era are more likely to think of economic collapses and unpopular nation-building, the consequences of both still get blamed on George Bush as much as Barack Obama to this day.

More to the point, though, we should use these election cycles to look for fresh voices and fresh approaches, not demand reruns of old dynastic franchises. Republicans have a better opportunity to offer that kind of nominee, thanks to the lack of any dominant figure in their party at the moment.

Governors like Susana Martinez in New Mexico could bring a fresh look to conservative principles or Mike Pence in Indiana who can claim both executive and Congressional success. Scott Walker has fought and won critical reform battles that allow taxpayers to control government costs. Walker just won a big battle in Wisconsin to return those savings to citizens through a tax cut that ended up drawing bipartisan support.

Republicans, at least, have better options than just sticking a number after an old, well-known brand name. Instead of looking backward, as Democrats seem intent on doing, the GOP can offer a fresh perspective and solutions for the future. That may mean that the branding will take more work, but if they focus on the product, the GOP might end up with a bona-fide original that can capture the imagination of voters rather than a retread that only energizes the true believers. Consider that the recipe for a real Republican reboot.

Some will argue that holding the Bush fatigue against Jeb, who had little to do with it, is unfair — and there would be some justification for that challenge. In the end, though, that’s reality, and no one is owed a nomination for the presidency on a party ticket. The real issue is whether Republicans (and Democrats!) want to live in the past in 2016 or look to the future. We don’t need reruns of Dynasty or Bush III: The Return of the Jebi. We need original thinking by people who have less baggage and more innovative experience at governance.


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No dynasties in the USA!!!

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Is there going to be an election in 2016?

Is the current occupant of the White House going to leave 1/20/17 when he’s supposed to without force?

I think those two questions need to be answered first.

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Both Reuters and the Associated Press ran stories on Tuesday speculating that former Florida governor Jeb Bush is preparing to toss his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination, and that his inner circle are “at the beginning of a very serious conversation.”

Perfect end to the GOP.

nobar on March 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Hillary is going to make a lot of people sad when she doesn’t run.

Most of them, Republicans.

Moesart on March 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Jeb Bush isn’t running either.

More wannabe crap from the media.

Moesart on March 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Is the current occupant of the White House going to leave 1/20/17 when he’s supposed to without force?

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Even if he does, he’s not going away. We’ll see for the first time ever The Office of the President Emeritus, just like we had The Office of the President-Elect when this doofus was elected in the first place. It’ll come complete with its very own podium with a creepy, 0-shaped logo on the front, flanked by styrofoam Greek columns.

CurtZHP on March 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I have to agree with Moesart here.

At the end of the day, I do not think either of these two
will run….the country is simply worn out from
these two families.

ToddPA on March 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

No Phony Aristocratic Political Dynasties!

workingclass artist on March 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I think that there is a good chance that it will be Clinton v. Bush in 2016. The media certainly wants it and both parties are designed to nominate them.

JQA on March 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM

No dynasties. Period.

WitchDoctor on March 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM

NO

Clintons
Kennedys
Bushs
obamas

…or back to kingdoms, and on your knees, sheeple, just like the foolish Russians. Russians and Americans s/b on the street now, protesting Putin/obama, the two global thugs.

Hillary was/is in obama’s camp, even if he hates her guts.

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

OT: Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church, is dead.

CurtZHP on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

At the end of the day, I do not think either of these two
will run….the country is simply worn out from
these two families.

ToddPA on March 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

That would take self-awareness.

JQA on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Is there going to be an election in 2016?

Is the current occupant of the White House going to leave 1/20/17 when he’s supposed to without force?

I think those two questions need to be answered first.

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Be sure to check your tinfoil hat at the door.

WitchDoctor on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

The MSM would love for Jeb to run. It’d make Hillary’s victory even more likely.

DisneyFan on March 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I have to agree with Moesart here.

At the end of the day, I do not think either of these two
will run….the country is simply worn out from
these two families.

ToddPA on March 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

maybe…

“CNN reporter Peter Hamby said a report out of today’s Wall Street Journal indicating the White House is trying to organize meetings to prep Hillary Clinton’s staff for a 2016 run must be causing consternation in Vice President Biden’s office…”

http://weaselzippers.us/179967-cnn-heads-exploding-in-bidens-office-as-top-obama-admin-officials-begin-preparing-staff-for-hillary-clintons-presidential-run/

workingclass artist on March 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

I agree with you Ed. Can’t imagine anything worse than a Clinton/Bush election.

We can certainly do better than Jeb Bush.

cat_owner on March 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

At the end of the day, I do not think either of these two
will run….the country is simply worn out from
these two families.

ToddPA on March 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

That would take self-awareness.

JQA on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Which I think will happen on our side…of
course the Dem voters do not know what Self Awareness is…

..point made.

ToddPA on March 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM

So should Rand Paul run….cause his daddy ran repeatedly…

workingclass artist on March 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM

God, she’s one ugly broad.

lostmotherland on February 26, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM

All of those old, tired has-beens of the past need to be put out to pasture so we can revitalize America.

rplat on March 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I agree with you Ed. Can’t imagine anything worse than a Clinton/Bush election.

We can certainly do better than Jeb Bush.

cat_owner on March 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

We can, but the political establishment and LSM will certainly be pushing hard for this match-up. You betcha!

hawkeye54 on March 20, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Is there going to be an election in 2016?

Is the current occupant of the White House going to leave 1/20/17 when he’s supposed to without force?

I think those two questions need to be answered first.
ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I don’t think that’s a real concern. Obozo is quickly becoming a huge embarrassment to the liberals. By the time 2017 rolls around, half the democrats in the country will pretend they’ve never heard of the guy.

Flange on March 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Some reruns are great. Mannix, Cannon, Columbo, The Wild, Wild West. Got ‘em all on DVD and watch them at my leisure.

When Hildebeest is elected (yes, Amerikans are that dumb), I’m not even switching on the internet unless it’s to shop for more reruns.

MisterElephant on March 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

If Jeb runs, it could be the impetus for the development of a serious third party.

bw222 on March 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Politically, it is the biggest impediment to Jeb.

MJBrutus on March 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM

…(yes, Amerikans are that dumb)….

MisterElephant on March 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Intentionally so. Props to forty plus years of exposure to Leftist indoctrination and propaganda posing as education, news and entertainment.

hawkeye54 on March 20, 2014 at 1:05 PM

OTOH, Florida is indespensible to getting to 270 Electoral Votes and Bush is still popular there.

A successful governor is probably a better candidate against Clinton than a sitting Senator in that there are no difficult to explain voting records and a lot more executive experience. So, Walker, Pence, Martinez, Christie, Kasich, Jindel, and Bush would all cross that threshold. Bringing a major state in with them is a big plus as well. Walker might bring WI; although polls suggest not right now. Christie probably would not bring NJ. Indiana and LA would go GOP anyway. NM might follow Martinez but is small. Ohio with Kasich or Florida with Bush are real possibilities and both are big.

KW64 on March 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Actually Ed, when you put it that way, no I don’t think we’re past re-runs, and I think it’s very likely we’ll see Hil and Jeb running. I guess 2016 is still a long, long way out yet, but I just don’t have a lot of confidence in the process anymore. People who re-elect the slow motion horror that the Obama admin was aren’t going to be bright enough to care about whether they’re voting for dynasties. Think of them more as established brands.

Tacitus on March 20, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Tacitus on March 20, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I am having my doubts that Shrill will even run. She is a lousy candidate who is as uninspiring as it gets. Of course the LSM will drag her dead carcass all the way to Nov if they have to but I’m not sure she will do it.

I don’t think she likes running for office. She loved winning a gimme like the NY Senate seat and she loves power, to be sure. But I think she hates speeches, pressing the flesh and answering questions. I’m not sure that she’s up for a trip through the meat grinder of a competitive race.

MJBrutus on March 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

How utterly uninspiring.

lucyvanpelt on March 20, 2014 at 1:18 PM

It’s much more likely that Jeb and Killary would be running mates, rather than rivals – Remember, Jeb Bush loves EVERYTHING about Killary …

JEB BUSH TO AWARD HILLARY ‘LIBERTY MEDAL’ ON EVE OF BENGHAZI ANNIVERSARY

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/09/Jeb-Bush-To-Award-Hillary-Clinton-Liberty-Medal

Pork-Chop on March 20, 2014 at 1:18 PM

On sort of a related question:

I wonder what happened the founding father’s families? Not in politics? Not that it would matter.

Oil Can on March 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I hate it when people point into a crowd.

portlandon on March 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Can America move past sequels and reboots in 2016?

I sure hope so. The Killary Klinton Kamp is already priming Chelsea Clinton for high public office. One of the George P Bush is running for Texas land commissioner. Etc………

We’ve finally, for the most part eradicated the Kennedy infestation. We don’t need no stinkin’ Bushes (or Clintons) and we sure as hell don’t need another Obama.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

OmahaConservative on March 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

If there were a Devil, he would have a new piss boy.

MJBrutus on March 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

We need original thinking by people who have less baggage and more innovative experience at governance.

posted at 12:41 pm on March 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

This is an odd liberal formulation for an argument against Jeb. Conservative principles are based on conserving tradition, and so conservatives are naturally skeptical about hopenchange.

sauldalinsky on March 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

So over 300 million people and we are looking at a Bush or a Clinton…..that’s the best we can do…. We are going to need someone amazing to turn us around and we just hit the default setting to see who! Maybe we are too far gone……

Caseoftheblues on March 20, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Jeb Bush continues to prove that he is a worthless, left-leaning “progressive” …

INVITED MEDIA ONLY AT TENNESSEE COMMON CORE EVENT FEATURING JEB BUSH AND SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/19/Invited-Media-Only-At-Tennessee-Common-Core-Event-Featuring-Jeb-Bush-and-Sen-Lamar-Alexander

Pork-Chop on March 20, 2014 at 1:30 PM

CurtZHP on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Good deal. May he burn in HeII.

Bmore on March 20, 2014 at 1:32 PM

CurtZHP on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

I can’t think of a nicer thing to have happen on the first day of Spring.

Bmore on March 20, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

If those two are my choices…..I will honestly say…..”What difference, at this point, does it make”.

HonestLib on March 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM

theres a plethora of reasons not to like jeb no matter what his last name is.

dmacleo on March 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM

The GOP has no plans to retake the Senate

Resist We Much on March 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Wouldn’t be surprised. If the eGOP took the Senate, people might expect them to do something – like maybe impeach King Putt.
And we can’t have any wacko-birds rocking the boat that way.

dentarthurdent on March 20, 2014 at 1:43 PM

If the eGOP took the Senate, people might expect them to do something – like maybe impeach King Putt.
And we can’t have any wacko-birds rocking the boat that way.

dentarthurdent on March 20, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The House impeaches and there won’t be 67 votes to convict and remove even if the GOP does take the Senate. Recall, the Republicans had 55 seats in the Senate during the Clinton trial, but only managed to get 45 votes for conviction of perjury and 50 for obstruction of justice.

Resist We Much on March 20, 2014 at 1:48 PM

That Bush pushed and pushes common core, which eliminates him from any consideration by me. I will help fund his opponents.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Hillary may appear to be the prohibitive Democratic favorite, but her attraction to under-30 voters is almost nonexistent.

She looks old, she acts old, she comes across as a phony, and, in general, is not a very likeable person. The media is locked-in, but I doubt that a significant percentage of the Democratic base is solid for Hillary, and independents certainly are not.

I put the chance of Clinton-Bush at zero, and Clinton herself at only 50%.

pilsener on March 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM

On sort of a related question:

I wonder what happened the founding father’s families? Not in politics? Not that it would matter.

I believe the only one of the founders who had political heirs of note was Adams. Franklin’s illegitimate son had a career in England as a crown appointee.

But in those days politics was not normally a lucrative career.

jclittlep on March 20, 2014 at 1:57 PM

I hope Jeb doesn’t run, although he will remain a viable candidate in the future. I remember in 1998 everyone thought HE would be the Bush to run in 2000. But, yes, it’s too soon.

But one thing sticks in my craw among those who agree he should not run. It’s very unfair.

“No one is ‘owed’ the nomination.” What has that got to do with Jeb?

Has he or anyone else EVER said he was “owed” anything? If his critics can’t beat him, they smear him. They are no better than Democrats. And that’s pretty low.

The only one who’s acted like they are “owed” a nomination in recent years is Hillary Clinton. Go smear her for a change.

Adjoran on March 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

I am having my doubts that Shrill will even run. She is a lousy candidate who is as uninspiring as it gets. Of course the LSM will drag her dead carcass all the way to Nov if they have to but I’m not sure she will do it.

I don’t think she likes running for office. She loved winning a gimme like the NY Senate seat and she loves power, to be sure. But I think she hates speeches, pressing the flesh and answering questions. I’m not sure that she’s up for a trip through the meat grinder of a competitive race.

MJBrutus on March 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Oh, but she’s in no ways taaard!

To paraphrase Hairy Screed, “Never has such an unattractive white woman been able to affect a Negro accent so poorly when she tries.”

ZeusGoose on March 20, 2014 at 2:24 PM

I am having my doubts that Shrill will even run. She is a lousy candidate who is as uninspiring as it gets. Of course the LSM will drag her dead carcass all the way to Nov if they have to but I’m not sure she will do it.

I don’t think she likes running for office. She loved winning a gimme like the NY Senate seat and she loves power, to be sure. But I think she hates speeches, pressing the flesh and answering questions. I’m not sure that she’s up for a trip through the meat grinder of a competitive race.

MJBrutus on March 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Oh, but she’s in no ways taaard!

To paraphrase Hairy Screed, “Never has such an unattractive white woman been able to affect an ethnic accent so poorly when she tries.”

ZeusGoose on March 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Oops,

It looked like HA blocked my use of the polite version of the N-word. It was apparently just a long time-delay. My second post was an attempt to Politically Correctify it.

ZeusGoose on March 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

ZeusGoose on March 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

My people are partial to the word “schwartze”. Say, there’s another biographical tidbit about me you can use :-)

MJBrutus on March 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I think Hillary will definitely run. She has too giant an ego not to. I doubt Jeb will run but I hope he does. The more moderates the better. Might be able to split that vote and get a true conservative in for a change.

Jack_Burton on March 20, 2014 at 3:27 PM

The only one who’s acted like they are “owed” a nomination in recent years is Hillary Clinton

Really? What about John McCain? Mitt Romney?

Cottonpony on March 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM

My people are partial to the word “schwartze”. Say, there’s another biographical tidbit about me you can use :-)

MJBrutus on March 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing!

I always liked Sgt. Schwartz(e).

ZeusGoose on March 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I’d be too embarrassed to step into a voting booth and vote for another Bush. Democrats are cultists at heart so they’ll have less problem voting for another Clinton. A conservative candidate needs to run against “30 years of Bushycrats”. That is the slogan I’d use. A new start. It diminishes the Democrats at the same time as it diminishes Jeb. This would win you the independents.

Buddahpundit on March 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM

I always liked Sgt. Schwartz(e).

ZeusGoose on March 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Uh, Sgt. Schultz? Who is this impostor Schwartz(e)?

hawkeye54 on March 20, 2014 at 5:17 PM

If Jeb Bush is the Republican nominee, he will get beat worse than than the last two losers.

Please say it ain’t so!

The base will not turn out for a conciliatory Dem-light.

Oh the humanity.

Sherman1864 on March 20, 2014 at 8:27 PM

No more dynasties = No more R. Pauls

thebrokenrattle on March 24, 2014 at 6:49 PM