Yes, the Clinton-Bush era is upon us once again, having begun, in essence, on May 1, 1979, when George H.W. Bush announced his plans to run for the presidency. He suspended his campaign in May of the next year -- apparently ending the Clinton-Bush era before it began. But in July, Ronald Reagan picked Bush as his running mate, and we were off. Until President Obama took office in 2009, that respite was our only break from the two families.
In 1988, Bush won the presidency. In October 1991, Bill Clinton began the Clinton branch of the era, announcing his challenge to Bush. He won, of course, and served until 2001 -- at which point he was succeeded by George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush's son.
It's easy now to forget what the end result of a successful Hillary Rodham Clinton bid for the presidency in 2008 would have been. Had she won and been reelected, we would be entering our 34th straight year of a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. Obama's upstart campaign ended that odd possibility.
Only for a while. With Jeb Bush's sort-of announcement Tuesday (and Hillary Clinton's inevitable decision to run, probably this spring), the era will be back upon us, in force. Until one or both did not win the nomination or neither won the presidency, at which point we'd have another respite. Until 2019, when Chelsea Clinton or George P. Bush make their announcements.
Count Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) as one of those not looking forward to the prospect. "I don't think we need another Bush. Period," he said Tuesday. "I like 'em all, but I don't think we need another Bush." One assumes that he isn't thrilled about the prospect of another President Clinton, either.