In a fascinating note regarding our political culture, Michael Medved observes in the Wall Street Journal that “For the seventh consecutive election, the next president will either be a privileged son or a man with no relationship with his biological father.” All of the current candidates, and strikingly, each of the previous seven presidents, is either the son of a notably powerful and accomplished patriarch, or else lacks any substantive relationship with his biological father. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich fit neatly in the latter category; Obama’s father left for Kenya before his first birthday, Ginrich’s father abandoned his seventeen year old wife when Newt was only several days old, and Clinton’s father died in a car crash three months prior to Bill’s birth. Mitt Romney and George Bush, on the other hand, represent the privileged-son type presidential candidate, following after fathers highly accomplished in both business and politics. Apparently, growing up in an intact, traditional family of average distinction is no way to become a United States president – a fact which, whatever its exact significance, surely does not speak well about the state of our political culture.
For further discussion of the phenomenon and its political significance, see Medved’s article here.