Another Kennedy from Massachusetts?

posted at 10:12 am on August 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

No one doubts that the Kennedy surname still carries considerable cachet in American politics, and especially in Massachusetts.  However, even the Boston Globe carefully asks whether the dynasty has exhausted itself after the death of Ted Kennedy.  A number of Democrats not named Kennedy are lining up for their chance at taking his seat, but people still look towards the Kennedy clan for their cues:

Several prominent Democratic office-holders, including two members of Congress and the state’s sitting attorney general, lead the list of potential contenders who have been quietly laying the groundwork for a campaign. It has been a politically delicate task, with Kennedy battling brain cancer. The Republican list of would-be candidates is considerably shorter.

Seasoned political analysts say the campaign will be defined by the decisions that two potential candidates with the Kennedy surname – the senator’s wife, Vicki, and his nephew, former US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II – make in the coming weeks. Joe Kennedy has not given a clear signal on his intentions; a Kennedy family confidant said last week that Vicki Kennedy is not interested in the seat.

The presence of a Kennedy could overshadow the other competitors and would probably thin the Democratic field. Much of the state’s Democratic establishment – political operatives, activists, and consultants – would be at their disposal. The formidable local Democratic fund-raising operation, which can tap into donors nationally, is likely to be with either one.

Or would it?  Other observers sound more as though the dynasty may have reached its end:

“The last powerful Kennedy in Massachusetts is gone,’’ said Dan Payne, a veteran Massachusetts Democratic media consultant.

Payne said the family’s political history played out the way its patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, had planned, but it may well have reached its end.

At least the Globe sticks with actual residents of Massachusetts.  Speculation yesterday ran not just to Kennedy’s widow Vicki and his nephew Joseph, but also to his son Patrick and niece Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.  Patrick represents Rhode Island in the House, though, which would make representing Massachusetts in the Senate rather difficult.  Caroline has been in the news this year about a Senate seat — as a potential appointee for Hillary Clinton’s vacant seat in New York, filled eventually by Kirsten Gillibrand.  Caroline didn’t fare well in her first political campaign, either.

Vicki and Joseph at least qualify as residents, but both are hardly the best choices available to voters in the state.  Vicki has never held elective office before now, and is apparently uninterested in changing that.  Joseph’s main problems are that he has held elective office, serving 12 years as a Congressman.  During that time, he served on the House Banking Committee while it built the structure for the housing bubble and subsequent collapse.  After he left office ten years ago, he began working for Citizens Energy, which Hugo Chavez used as a political prop while attempting to embarrass George W. Bush.

Certainly, Massachusetts has other candidates with the talent and background to serve in the US Senate — and that’s really the point.  The Kennedys do not own a seat in the Senate, nor should they.  There should be no room in the US for dynasties, and this has been one of the longest and most obvious.  Any Kennedy who meets the legal qualifications of residency and age has the right to run, but voters of Massachusetts should have more sense than to support someone simply because of their last name and the connection to a long-gone, supposed golden era of politics.  And the media should be pointing that out, not acting complicit in dynasty maintenance.


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SwampYankee on August 27, 2009 at 11:13 AM

As a fellow MA swamp dweller I concur especially with the thoughts on Mitt.
I’m waiting to see if Patrick gets some sort of special one time override and is allowed to appoint someone to the position. Of course it will be to honor TK service to the state and we residents will be just fine with it.

I have a friend that is deep into MA politics and serves on the board of selectmen for one of the southeastern towns. I’ve asked his opinion based on his insider status.

RagTag on August 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Well, how did he get away with an anulment?

TXMomof3 on August 27, 2009 at 10:57 AM

$$$$$$$$$$$ I’m Catholic and I’ve noticed over the years that the church is willing to accomodate for the moolah. I have a Catholic relative who was engaged to a divorced man. The Catholic church refused to marry them even though he wasn’t Catholic and his first marriage was performed by a judge and not in a church. So, they were married in a local Methodist church. It’s all about the $$$$$ and the connections…unfortunately.

atlgal on August 27, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Take Peaches Patrick, please. RI needs a break.

Wade on August 27, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Can we be so lucky to have run out of royals?

There are a few elite, classless addicts left in the family, but they probably are busy trying to keep their place in tertiary seats.

Maybe they’ll eventually go back to what made them rich in the first place, dealing illegal substances.

Hening on August 27, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Well, since Obama is now being hailed as the “last Kennedy brother” I suspect the Governor will appoint Aunt Zuni…isn’t she still a resident in Boston? I know she’s not a citizen, but the Birthers will atest that that pesky qualification didn’t stop her nephew from taking office.

wordsmithy2009 on August 27, 2009 at 11:57 AM

How many stupid people can you fit into one family?
It’s like a clown car!

TexasJew on August 27, 2009 at 11:18 AM

ROTFL. Of course the corollary is:

How many stupid people can you fit into one family?Congress? Scarier and still TBD.

gonegaltinstl on August 27, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Citizen Energy’s website says they are still partners with Citgo, even though Chavez cut off the spigot in January. Didn’t hear a peep out of them when Chavez seized Venzuela’s TV and radio stations this year either.

Jack Kennedy would have spoken out.

Noel on August 27, 2009 at 12:05 PM

This is a true story I’ve told before. Once working a crime I had a chance to talk to a Lt. from Boston PD. Nice guy. I had to ask him why in the world the state voters kept electing Kennedy time after time.

With a serious tone of voice thick with a Boston accent he said, “Well, it is like this. When we get made at Ted, we only vote for him once.”

It took a second to get the joke, but then we both laughed out loud. Sure Mass is corrupted. As are many, many states dominated by the Dems. It is and always has been about power and robbery. The new Kennedy will be elected IF he plays the game like Ted. If he shows up saying it is a new day in politics, he’ll be shoved aside for someone easily corrupted and willing to play the game of stealing from the treasury and lining the pocket of the corrupt.

archer52 on August 27, 2009 at 12:17 PM

They will have to put me under suicide watch if the crapulous Kennedy mythologizing doesn’t end here.
The election though could rely on Hugo Chavez. If he lays a lot of free oil on Joe Kennedy we will be inundated with the ‘Call Joe for Oil’ commercials that plague us every fall/winter (Joe, himself, delivering oil to some enfeebled octogenarian still under the mind fog of Kennedy mythology. And Joe basking in the profuse gratitude.)

thegreatbeast on August 27, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Please you dumb liberals in Mass please elect yet ANOTHER Kennedy to carry on the family legacy!!!

Can you imagine the jockeying at the Family compound with all these political animals clawing for the Senate Seat?

And go ahead you dumb Dems….name it after Teddy. After all if this unplugs Granny it will be a fitting tribute to someone who helped unplug 45 million unborn.

PappyD61 on August 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM

HELLS BELLS

Just give the freaking seat to Hugo Chavez already. What’s another Marxist in D.C. going to matter at this point anyway?

PappyD61 on August 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM

The Catholic church refused to marry them even though he wasn’t Catholic and his first marriage was performed by a judge and not in a church.

You can’t be married in the Catholic Church if you haven’t converted to Catholicism, that’s the rule for everyone.

NoDonkey on August 27, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Joe Kennedy II would be an excellent replacement for Splash. He’s already paralyzed one girl while driving a motor vehicle. As noted, he served on the House Banking Committee while it built the structure for the housing bubble and subsequent collapse. So the guy has a lot to recommend him for higher office. AND HE’S A KENNEDY!

GarandFan on August 27, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Well, the Kennedy clan still doesn’t have the “longevity lock” on a Congressional seat that another Democratic family does.

That honorific would belong to the Dingell family of Detroit (Wayne Co.), Michigan. The father/son duo have continuously held a seat in the United States House of Representatives since 1933, for a total of 76 years.

John Dingell, Sr., served until his death in 1955 and was succeeded by the current Congressman, John Dingell, Jr.

The current Dingell is 83 years old but has a son, Christopher, who still lives in Wayne Co., and could be a potential contender for the seat when his father dies (if the seat is not awarded as an honorarium to the current Dingle’s wife, Debbie Dingell, for her many years of service to the Democratic party).

Oh them Dingles . . .

Greyledge Gal on August 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Oh, for God’s sake.

Joe Kennedy is as dumb as a fencepost. And that may be an insult to fenceposts. Blithering idiot might be more accurate. He saved the family much embarrassment by getting out of Congress when he did. I don’t think they really want him to go back there in the grownup pool.

rockmom on August 27, 2009 at 1:52 PM

I went on Wikiepedia and there are like 100′s of Kennedy’s. They must good at sex and procreation

Oil Can on August 27, 2009 at 2:14 PM

All any Kennedy has to do is announce his/her candidacy and then hire one of the family speechwriters to throw together a “ask not” type speech and it’s as good as DONE. Criminal records simply are NOT a negative for Massachusetts Democrats. After the drunk walked off and left Mary Jo to die, he was reelected with 70% of the vote. How much more proof do you need?

GoldenEagle4444 on August 27, 2009 at 2:23 PM

$$$$$$$$$$$ I’m Catholic and I’ve noticed over the years that the church is willing to accomodate for the moolah. I have a Catholic relative who was engaged to a divorced man. The Catholic church refused to marry them even though he wasn’t Catholic and his first marriage was performed by a judge and not in a church. So, they were married in a local Methodist church. It’s all about the $$$$$ and the connections…unfortunately.

atlgal on August 27, 2009 at 11:30 AM

How does the Catholic Church continue to allow known political supporters of abortion to partake of the sacraments.

Jeff from WI on August 27, 2009 at 2:27 PM

The Republican list of would-be candidates is considerably shorter.

Yeah. Short, as in zero.

angryed on August 27, 2009 at 2:34 PM

The Catholic church refused to marry them even though he wasn’t Catholic and his first marriage was performed by a judge and not in a church.
You can’t be married in the Catholic Church if you haven’t converted to Catholicism, that’s the rule for everyone.

NoDonkey on August 27, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Uh, that wasn’t my experience….I was married (1968) to a Catholic, in a Catholic Church, by a Priest…..had to take “6 lessons” but was not required to convert. When we divorced I recieved a letter from the church proclaiming the divorce.

Sasnak on August 27, 2009 at 3:00 PM

I thought that Senate seats changed hands by succession, that’s what NPR indicated this morning.

exdeadhead on August 27, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Joe Kennedy appeared to have a wicked dope habit the last time I saw him testify before a house comittee last year.
I mean he had all the symptoms of a herion or diladid user.
I don’t think he could function as well as just an alcoholic like his uncle. just sayin……..

sonnyspats1 on August 27, 2009 at 8:55 PM

As Porky Pig would say, ” thats all folks ”

Good bye Teddy, Obambi says tell the devil hello

bluegrass on August 28, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Comment pages: 1 2