Yet, from the Bush family to the Clintons, Americans have also expressed dynasty fatigue. Are there really enough Kennedy acolytes to carry the next generation of Kennedys over a general election finish line? In Illinois, where Chris Kennedy, the eighth of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children, is planning a 2018 bid for governor, the Globe’s Annie Linskey reports that “Kennedy” polls well, “particularly among older voters who tend to come out it in an Illinois Democratic primary.” In Connecticut, Ted Kennedy Jr., who is also considering a run for governor, has been dogged by reports in the Hartford Courant that he skirted the state’s campaign finance reform laws during his run for the state Senate.
Whether the new generation catches fire depends in large part on Representative Joe Kennedy III, who has the biggest advantage of all — a Massachusetts launch pad. Kennedy got a lot of recent attention for calling House Speaker Paul Ryan’s health care proposal an “act of malice.” But not too long ago, he preached the virtues of bipartisanship and made a point of exercising with Republican colleagues. In January, Kennedy riled up a group of Democratic activists in Newton, when he told them Democrats needed to work to understand those who voted for Trump.
Since then, he has gotten the message: Go left and loud against Trump.