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Pundits are claiming that lack-lustre invisible man Biden is to be replaced by someone, well anyone really, who might get some marginal votes out and enliven the campaign. So I thought I might look at the three men whose names keep coming forward as possibilities and look at them through the lens of oligarchy.  Would they be oligarchs or non-oligarchs?

Indeed there is quite a list, and it is interesting to someone convinced of an oligarchic element to the American political system to take a look at who is being suggested. The three below are the three who keep coming to the top of that list.

Apart from Evan Bayh III, we find that the top three include Al Gore, and John Kerry, which in a blog dealing with genealogical connections is interesting, as all three are indeed oligarchs to their fingernails.

Let’s examine each in turn.

Evan Bayh III was United States Senator for Indiana from 1999 to 2011 and was himself the son of Birch Evans Bayh junior, another Senator from Indiana 1963 -1981.  Birch pere was also a Democratic Delegate to the Presidential nomination in 1964 and was a contender for nomination as candidate in 1976.

Additionally Evan also has descent from Presidents.  A fact, one suspects, he will be playing down in an election year that is unlikely to be overly sympathetic to candidates of the 1%.  William Henry Harrison, 9th President and grandfather of Benjamin Harrison 23rd President, was noted proudly as his father’s relation in his autobiography “From Father to Son: A private life in the public eye”.  Not too much money perhaps, only the odd million or so, but with two Presidents a definite possibility.

Second out the traps is John Forbes Kerry, who is being mooted again for great office.  In the 2004 Presidential race he came second to George W Bush.  Then he was often described as the grandson of Czech grandparents, which was certainly true as far as it went, but was a classic oligarchical diversionary tactic.  As indeed was the fact that Kerry is old enough to be a war hero and he was lucky enough to marry the heiress to a baked bean manufacturer, who was herself the widow of another United States Senator, John Heinz III.  But Kerry was also described as a distant relation of George W Bush and a total of four presidents.

This was in the usual shock-horror-fancy-that school of journalism. Most articles (and there were not many) chose to elaborate on the interest that arose (which was admittedly not much) and took the line up through nine generations of his well connected other grandmother Margaret Tyndal Winthrop to her daughters Margaret and Elizabeth Reade – who lived back in the early seventeenth century.  One daughter led back to Kerry and the other down to George W Bush.  So that takes care of three presidents, two Bushes and Barbara Bush’s relative Pierce. But who was the fourth?

It was not made clear at all who this distant noble might be, the assumption left with the reader was that this nugget was so obscure that it could only be diligently winkled out of the woodwork by some dusty old genealogist.  Of course it was closer than that.  Kerry was fortunate, or unfortunate, enough to have a cousin, Alastair Forbes, a charming malicious, gossipy journalist and bon viveur who made much of his connections not only with the then young Senator, but also with his cousin F D Roosevelt.  Presidential family was not so far away then.  Neither, of course, is money.  Wifey has easily $500 to $750 million dollars from the bean company and he has a few million himself.  Four Presidents in the family, so the most oligarchical of the three and very well funded.

Source: Bilderblog 

Al Gore is the third of this triumvirate tipped for Vice Presidency and the one who oozes most of privilege and position.  Like Kerry, he too is an oligarchic loser candidate from 2000, whose entry today would only manage to deny entry to a fresher candidate who might more strongly represent the nation.  Like Bayh, he too is a former Senator and son of a Senator and from as top drawer as one can get, he is connected with all the right people.  But no Presidents.  As for money, fat Al is easily the richest of the lot of them, if not of the whole senate, with his millions made from scaring us all silly about Global Warming.  He was estimated at having $60 millions back in 2009 and it’s only got better since then. Indeed some sources say he is set fair to become a “carbon billionaire”.

So Obama has an excellent choice of representatives of the 1% to lumber his campaign with.  Wonder if he will select one of them?

Copyright David Macadam 2011