What do the “worst candidates of 2016” have in common?

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post names Hillary Clinton the worst political candidate of 2016. It’s an easy selection, I think.

Clinton underperformed to a significant degree against Bernie Sanders and then against Donald Trump. She had some good moments — several of the debates against Sanders and the first debate against Trump — but her body of work during the campaigns was consistent with her results.

As runners-up, Cillizza selects Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, and Ted Strickland. I never saw Bayh or Strickland in action, but the results speak for themselves.

Jeb Bush’s performances — I saw him in Iowa and during the primary debates — generally weren’t bad, in my opinion. However, the whole was less than the sum of the parts. Donald Trump “done him,” as English soccer players sometimes say.

What do these candidates have in common? Three of the four are members of political dynasties — including the two major dynasties in contemporary American politics. And all four were ex-office holders trying to come back. (One also thinks of George Allen and Tommy Thompson in 2014.)

A big name isn’t what it used to be in politics. Having one these days may even be a liability.

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