|How the sausage is made|
A nepotism president is one who was selected by their party mainly on the grounds of their family name, regardless of their actual merit for the job. If they are then appointed to the job while contested ballots are being counted by a Supreme Court loaded with several appointees of their family, friends, and former employers, that seals the case.
General and ancient
- Monarchy (where all pretence is cast aside).
- The Julio-Claudian dynasty of Roman emperors begun by Augustus Caesar who styled himself as simply "the first among equals" and kept up the facade of republicanism in the Roman Empire.
- Despite not being allowed to, many popes were sexually active, with some even having children. These children would later in life be created cardinals, but with the pope claiming that the new cardinal was his brother's son rather than his own. Thus, the cardinal-nephew was born. This is where the word "nepotism" comes from, as the Italian for "nephew" is "nipote".
- Even when England briefly abolished its monarchy, Oliver Cromwell was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son Richard.[note 1]
Similar concept: Wives and widows
In many parts of the world, particularly the Americas, wives of popular or powerful politicians often run for office in their own right. This can be done either to circumvent term limits, or as a "substitute" for her husband if he died (this later called widow's succession). Examples include:
- Cristina Fernández de[note 2] Kirchner — widow of former President Néstor Kirchner, started her first term while her husband was alive (Argentina)
- Alabama: Lurleen Wallace, George Wallace's wife, was governor when her husband ran up against a prohibition on serving consecutive terms as governor.
- The below mentioned Corazon Aquino was mostly elected as a "replacement" for her murdered husband
- Violeta Barrios de Chamorro — President of Nicaragua, 1990-1996; widow of popular journalist Pedro Joaquín Chamorro who was assassinated[note 3] in 1978
- Isabel Martínez de Perón — third wife and widow of Juan Perón of Argentina, who was president before the shit really hit the fan
- Hillary Clinton — wife of Bill Clinton. Attempted on several occasions to serve as POTUS, most notably becoming the Democratic nominee in 2016, but ultimately could not find the support or cohesive political platform to succeed. Was however elected senator for New York (serving eight years), until being chosen as secretary of state by Barack Obama (serving four years).
Getting it wrong
Our dear friends at Conservapedia, headed by Saint Schlafly,[note 4] perhaps miffed about Dubya getting slapped with the nepotism label, decided to get back at the lib'ruls by calling Barack Obama an Affirmative action President.
The United States
- Washington family: George Washington didn't have any children himself, but several of his relatives entered politics. His nephew Bushrod (yes, really) was appointed to the Supreme Court, but he was nominated by George's successor John Adams, so at least the nepotism wasn't overt. George's grandnephew George Corbin Washington served four terms in the House, and was the vice presidential nominee of the Know Nothings in the 1852 election.
Addams FamilyAdams family: John Quincy Adams.
- The Harrisons: Benjamin Harrison.
Dead KennedysKennedys: John F. Kennedy Robert F. Kennedy Ted KennedyAny Kennedy (plus, Arnold Schwarzenegger).
- The Bushes: George W. Bush (Jeb Bush tried, but failed).
- The Browns in California - Governor Moonbeam served four full terms, after his father already served two terms from 1959 to 1967[note 5]
- Andrew Cuomo became governor after his father, Mario Cuomo
- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump served as senior advising officials for Donald Trump
In addition, there are several US political dynasties that have produced presidents but are less clear-cut examples, e.g. the Tafts (William Howard Taft and Robert A. Taft) and the Roosevelts (Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, distant cousins of each other, and Eleanor Roosevelt niece of the former and distant cousin/wife of the latter).
- India: The Nehru/Gandhi dynasty (Indira, Rajiv, and Sonia Gandhi who are all related to Jawaharlal Nehru, the founding father and prime-minister of India, but none of them are related to the "real" Gandhi).
- Indonesia: Founding president and darling of the Non-Aligned Movement Sukarno is the father of Indonesia's first female president Megawati Sukarnoputri. There was a 34 year gap. As vice-president, she became president after President Abdurrahman Wahid was impeached and only served the remaining term, as she did not win re-election.
- Japan: When Shinzo Abe became prime minister, he went in his maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi's footsteps. Shinzo's father Shintaro Abe and brother Nobuo Kishi both served as ministers, and several other members of the family held prominent roles in politics.
- Malaysia: Former Prime Minister Najib Razak is the son of Malaysia's second and nephew of the third.
- North Korea: The Kims (Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un).
- Pakistan: The Bhuttos (Benazir Bhutto and her husband
Mr Ten PercentAsif Ali Zardari).
- The Philippines: Political dynasties have become a major problem in the Philippines, with many provinces being controlled by the same family for generations. Some of these local dynasties have leveraged their influence to enter national politics. Prominent examples include the Aquinos (Corazon Aquino and her son Benigno Aquino III) and Marcoses (actual dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his son Bongbong Marcos, who benefited from a disinformation campaign that covered up or whitewashed his father's cruelty when he became president in 2022).
- Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore forever before his son Lee Hsien Loong took the reins. There was a place holder in between though.
- Sri Lanka: The first prime minister, Don Stephen Senanayake, was succeeded by his son Dudley Senanayake.
- Syria: The Assads (Bashar al-Assad).
The rest of the world
- Canada: The Trudeaus (Justin Trudeau).
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Kabilas (Joseph Kabila).
- Denmark: Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, leader of the agrarian liberal party Venstre and foreign minister during the 1980s and 1990s, had two children who went into politics. His son Jakob Ellemann-Jensen is the current leader of Venstre, while his daughter Karen Ellemann was an MP and minister. Other political families in Denmark includes the Helvigs (founded by Niels Helveg Petersen) and the Hækkerups (founded by Hans Kristen Hækkerup). Former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt married into a British dynasty, as her husband is Stephen Kinnock (listed below).
- Haiti: The Duvaliers. The father François was nicknamed "Papa Doc" and the son Jean-Claude) was "Baby Doc".
- Kenya: Fourth president Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of first president Jomo Kenyatta. Funnily, Uhuru's 2017 election opponent Raila Odinga was the son of Jomo's vice president Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
- Nicaragua: The Somozas (Anastasio Somoza García (father), Luis Somoza Debayle (older son) and Anastasio Somoza Debayle (younger son) were all presidents/leaders of the national guard/unelected strongmen and de facto dictators of Nicaragua 1936-1979 and were pretty influential behind the scenes as early as the 1920s).
- Peru: imprisoned former dictator Alberto Fujimori and almost-president Keiko Fujimori, both are "Fujimoristas"
- Togo: Faure Gnassingbé, son of Gnassingbé Eyadéma. (Interestingly enough, long-time opposition head Gilchrist Olympio is also the son of first president Sylvanus Olympio.)
- United Kingdom: Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, whose father Joseph and uncle Austen both held important ministerial roles (ironically, Neville is now considered one of history's greatest villains for his appeasement policy). Hilary Benn (son of Tony), Stephen Kinnock (son of Neil), and Winston Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames are other, more modest examples of hereditary legislators.
- ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Commonwealth of England.
- ↑ "de" literally meaning "of" is the usual suffix between maiden name and married name in Latin America, in North American parlance she would be Cristina Kirchner (née Fernández)
- ↑ Either on Somoza's orders, or by people believing to do him a favor or by agents provocateurs
- ↑ What? Who said Phyllis?
- ↑ He ran for a third after promising not to do so, which got him a close primary and a general election loss against one R Wilson Reagan - a middling actor and union leader past his prime
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