Dynasty Politics Turning Senate Into House of Lords

The Senate is America's House of Lords Dynasties continue to dominate supposedly democratic politics, especially the Senate
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2008 11:33 AM CST
Dynasty Politics Turning Senate Into House of Lords
Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall, D-Colo., left, and his cousin Democratic Senate candidate Tom Udall, D-NM.    (AP Photos)

The winning presidential ticket this year was the first since 1976 without a son or grandson of a senator on it. But don’t let that fool you: Royalism is on the rise in American politics, writes Charles Mahtesian for Politico. In the Senate, there are two new Udalls, a seat-warmer is saving Joe Biden’s seat for son Beau, John Salazar may replace his brother Ken, and, yes, Caroline Kennedy may join the club. All told, 2012 could see nearly a dozen congressional offspring in the Senate.

Why? The enormous cost of running a Senate campaign. "There are three issues behind this trend," says the president of Common Cause. "Money is issue number one, money is issue number two, and money is issue number three." Politico estimates the cost of winning Hillary Clinton's Senate seat in both the special election in 2010 and the general election in 2012 at $70 million.

(More Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg stories.)

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