Hillary Clinton's increasingly likely candidacy for president in 2016 must be extremely frustrating for Republican strategists. Clinton is a strong candidate, but she is not invincible. If Clinton runs, she will face nominal opposition within her own party, but obviously a Republican will run against her. The most recent polls show her defeating any Republican challenger by between 7-9 points.
The growing possibility of another Clinton-Bush race is also something that reflects significant problems with our democracy. In most other countries, the spouse of a former president running against the son and brother of another former president would be prima facie viewed as evidence of structural problems with the country and probably widespread corruption as well. This election will not be seen that way because, well Hillary Clinton is beloved by many Democrats, and Bush can become beloved by many Republicans if he is seen as the guy who can beat Clinton. It is probably, however, worth taking a closer a look about what a Clinton-Bush matchup tells us about about our democracy.
The quandary in which the Republican Party now finds itself is not due to a public relations problem, but stems from being strongly identified, and not without good reason, with the Bush administration. The Bush administration is broadly viewed as a failure, not because it didn't present itself well, but because it mishandled both the economy and foreign policy to disastrous effect. Additionally, some of the ideas which have been foundation of the Republican Party have, in the cases of radical social conservatism and unregulated financial sectors, become the views of an increasingly small minority of Americans. Other bedrock Republican views, such as fiscal conservatism and a realist based foreign policy, were abandoned altogether by the Bush administration and the Republican Party in the last decade. These are problems are profound and go to the core not just of the party's image, but to its vision, message and raison d'etre.