It's not official, but a Clinton-Bush matchup in 2016 is looking more likely by the day. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has announced that he's exploring a run, and Hillary Clinton has been meeting with potential campaign managers.
The prospect of becoming president seems increasingly reserved for those who have a husband, brother, or father who has previously held the position. American Democracy is now controlled by political dynasties. Even former first lady Barbara Bush has criticized the notion of only 2 or 3 families running for high office in a country of over 300 million people - a sentiment that 69 percent of Americans agree with.
All the more disturbing are the recent reports describing the close bond the two families have developed. I'm not saying they shouldn't be friends, but a tight knit ruling class breaks down the illusion of the great partisan divide. As Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald told me on HuffPost Live this week, Wall Street is giddy about the option of either candidate.
While technically we're still dealing with the hypothetical, the speculation-obsessed media doesn't seem all that bothered by the prospect either. That's what happens when we treat politicians like celebrities and exchange paychecks for access.
The worst offender in this case is NBC, which has formed a habit of hiring the politically connected and related and giving them cushy jobs. Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton was employed as a "special correspondent" earning a whopping 600 thousand dollars annually. Her hard hitting reporting included interviewing the Geico gekko, and feel good pieces about charity. Overall, it's estimated that Clinton produced 28 stories, or about one a month at 50 thousand dollars each. This wasn't without reported frustration within the NBC ranks, but clearly executives weren't bothered by perceptions of nepotism or the lack of any real journalistic contributions on Clinton's part.
Then there's Jenna Bush Hager, who's been employed by NBC since 2009 as a contributing correspondent for the Today Show. She's landed tough to get interviews with her father about his paintings of fellow world leaders, enlightened us on the lessons she's learned from her "Gampy" Bush senior, and "taken on" former President Bill Clinton, as well as current President Barack Obama with questions about family life. No word on her salary, but you wonder how many journalists were passed up in order to curry favor with the political elite.
It's no wonder then that the same faces continuously grace our screens and show up on ballots. It's obviously more complicated than that -- the political system is rigged in favor of the well connected and wealthy, and is beholden to special interests. But instead of challenging political entanglements and entitlement, our media establishment has been blinded with power worship while it tries to marry into the family.