Sunday, December 9, 2012

For twenty-eight years, from...

...1801 to 1829, the Democratic-Republican Party controlled the White House under four presidents: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. Ten of those years, 1815-25, were known as the "Era of Good Feelings."

Later, the Republican Party occupied the Oval Office from 1869 to 1885, under Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur. (Not exactly a Murderer's Row.) Another group of Republicans, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, matched that sixteen year stretch from 1897 to 1913. Finally, the modern-day Democratic Party held the White House for twenty years, from 1933 to 1953 under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S Truman. (And, no, I didn't forget to put a period after the "S" in Truman's name. The thirty-third president didn't have a middle name, only a middle initial; his parents couldn't agree on a name.)

Why the history lesson on a Sunday morning? Because I just read a front page article in the Times about whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016. (Everybody seems to think "yes," but I'm not convinced she has the fire in the belly. We'll see.) But assume for a minute that she does run and is elected to two terms, ending in 2025. And, what if -- bear with me here -- Michelle Obama runs for the United States Senate from Illinois in 2016 (like another First Lady whose name escapes me right now)? And, what if -- indulge me -- Mrs. Obama ran for president in 2024 and served until 2032? That would make 24 consecutive years that an Obama or a Clinton would occupy the White House. Wouldn't that be something?

You could almost call it the "Second Era of Good Feelings."

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