Top 10 American Political Dynasties

Bush Dynasty
Before the Bush men were governors and presidents.
Before the Bush men were governors and presidents.

Americans may not romanticize the Bush family in the same legendary manner ascribed to the Kennedys, but they arguably are the most successful political dynasty of the 20th century. In 1952, Prescott Bush was voted in as a senator from Connecticut, and his son, George H.W. Bush moved down to Texas and followed in his father's footsteps winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives [source: Beschloss and Sidey]. In 1980, newly elected President Ronald Reagan kicked off the first of two terms with Bush as his vice president. Boosted by the popularity of the Reagan administration, Republican Bush succeeded the former Commander-in-Chief in 1988, but lost to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. Meanwhile, Prescott's grandsons George W. and Jeb were paving their own political inroads toward becoming governors of Texas and Florida, respectively.

In 2000, in a historically close election that hinged on fewer than 600 votes in Florida, George W. Bush reignited the dynasty with his narrow victory. When George W. Bush reached his term limit in 2008, he and his father had occupied the first or second most powerful positions in the U.S. government for 20 out of the previous 28 years. Some suspected that younger brother Jeb might court the 2008 Republican nomination, but he demurred. And with the 2016 elections and beyond already looming on the horizon, another family member has surfaced as someone to keep an eye on: George P. Bush, Jeb's son who reportedly has been groomed for the political stage from a young age [source: Ball].

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