A bit of otherwise unnoticed news this week brought some context to the in-vogue discussion of the Clintons and Bushes as political dynasties. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (R) is considering running to fill the Maryland Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) in 2017. Townsend, you might be aware, is not the first member of the Kennedy family to have run for office.

We decided to run a little experiment: How do the Bush, Clinton and Kennedy dynasties compare? So we made family trees.

We'll start with the Clintons. (Click on the image to view it at a larger size.)

The Clinton name in politics started with William Jefferson, and then branched outward to Hillary Rodham. That was it, essentially. When Chelsea Clinton got married, though, the clan extended sideways a bit; both her father- and mother-in-law served in Congress.

The Bushes, meanwhile, have both a longer record in government — and a bigger family.

The patriarch of the Bushes is Prescott Bush, a former senator from Connecticut and the father of former president George H. W. Bush. H. W., of course, had two sons that went on to hold office — George W. Bush and John Ellis Bush, who we know as Jeb. Jeb's son, George P., was elected to statewide office in Texas last year, making him the fourth-generation Bush to hold office.

And then there are the Kennedys. Nobody can hold a candle to them.

I'm not going to walk through all of this. You get the point.

There's a difference between being a president (as two Bushes have) and being elected to Congress (as multiple Kennedys have). And the Kennedy family started ballooning in size and trickling into politics a generation earlier than the Bushes. The Clintons, with a small family, are only a generation deep.

If you want to talk about dynasties, it seems to be worth waiting until a second generation of people is involved, at the very least.


Update: We originally downplayed Mary Kerry Kennedy's marriage to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, since they divorced before he was governor. People thought we made the wrong call, and we are pushovers, so: Voila! Updated.