You think the British monarchy is bad? Well, it's got nothing on the US when it comes to political dynasties, writes Margaret Carlson on Bloomberg View. Look no further than how popular Michelle Obama is in a hypothetical 2016 Senate bid in Illinois (a survey shows she'd beat the incumbent Republican 51% to 40%). "We talk about the pernicious influence of money in politics. But when it comes to pre-emptively shutting out the competition, a family name may be more valuable than money," Carlson observes. "Who is going to take a good look at Joe Schmoe from Delaware when state Attorney General Beau Biden decides to run for the Senate?"
Sure, the first lady has no apparent plans to get into politics. But just look at the Kennedys, the Bushes, and the Clintons. We only managed to get through one session with no Kennedy in Congress, and when it comes to US presidents, the list looks like this: Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama—and another Clinton could well be next, if Hillary does indeed run. If not Clinton II, it could be Bush III if Jeb decides to throw his hat in the ring. "There are lots of governors and senators who should be on the short list for the presidency in 2016, but I’m afraid I can’t quite remember their names right now," Carlson writes. Of course, she warns, "the downside of a dynasty" is that "as quickly as it can build you up, it can just as easily bring you down." Click for her full column. (Read more political dynasty stories.)