Liberals were quite upset that a Kennedy was not in Congress since the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, whose career of booze, womanizing, and bending federal law to suit leftist ideology were legendary.
But RFK’s grandson has risen to continue the “legacy” by forming the committee to “explore” a run. He has also quit his job to run for office, a luxury few Americans can afford.
JPK III to the Rescue
In seeking the seat of Frank, Kennedy said he is committed, as the Kennedys always say, to “public service,” the Boston Globe reported: “My decision to look seriously at elected office is grounded in a deep commitment to public service and my experience — both my own and that of my family — in finding just, practical, and bipartisan solutions to difficult challenges.’’
The Globe noted that he will ride on his family’s name and money. “With his name and family legacy, Kennedy, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Peace Corps volunteer, would enter the race as the prohibitive favorite. One poll taken by a potential candidate showed him with a huge lead over possible Democratic rivals.”
He would also be able to depend on his family’s extensive fund-raising base and the lingering nostalgia among voters for the Kennedy family, allowing him to put together what veteran political observers say would be a formidable campaign.
Still, opponents are likely to question his background in a futile attempt to stop yet another of the brood from ensconcing himself in Congress for the next half-century. “His credentials and experience would undoubtedly be called into question by opponents, much as they were decades ago for his great uncles: future President Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy when he first ran for the Senate,” the Globe reported.
Critics will charge that he is riding the coattails of the family name and parachuting into a congressional district where he has not lived.
Carpetbagging is a Kennedy pastime. The 31-year-old Kennedy’s grandfather, RFK, represented New York in the Senate, while his auntie, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, another of RFK’s ubiquitous offspring, was Lieutenant Governor in Maryland, a state controlled by radical leftists.
As the media always do, they describe this Kennedy as a genius with a fine education. He lives with his mother, the Globe reported, and will do so until he moves into the congressional district where he will run.
Concerns about the "Era"
Liberals were greatly concerned about a Congress with no Kennedys. As the New York Times reported, “Last year was the first since the 1940s that no Kennedy held a federal office, after Representative Patrick Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island, declined to seek re-election in 2010. Some in Massachusetts Democratic circles have hoped that the young Joseph Kennedy would enter politics, relighting the family torch.”
Amusingly, the Times reported, “His interest in politics has been no secret.” That’s because he denounced the “atmosphere of hate” in politics during a speech to the Massachusetts legislature, the Times reported.
As well, Sen. Kennedy’s death in 2009 occasioned no little consternation that the Kennedy era had ended, and not on an altogether good note. But Doris Kearns Goodwin, hagiographer for the Kennedys and bed warmer for President Lyndon Johnson, said declaring the end of the Kennedy era was “premature.” “While the death of Ted Kennedy marked the end of an era, we are now seeing the emergence of a fourth generation that is following the family’s heritage of politics and public service,’’ she told the Globe. “It was premature to say the Kennedy era had come to the end.’’
Kennedy’s in Trouble
The question is whether this Kennedy can stay out of trouble, given that so many of his male relatives have wrecked not only the lives of others but also their own.
His great uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, famously killed Mary Jo Kopechne when he drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island. The elder “lion of the Senate,” who died in August 2009, was also famous for his alcohol-fueled exploits in Washington, D.C., not least of which was a rampage in a restaurant with fellow dipsomaniac Sen. Chris Dodd. On one another occasion, the jolly pair roughed up a waitress with some sexual horseplay.
JPK III’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy II, another scion of the RFK line, aborted a run for Governor of Massachusetts amid two scandals. His ex-wife accused him of trying to bully her into a proceeding for a declaration of nullity from the Catholic Church, and his brother, Michael, was accused of sex with a 14-year-old babysitter. A Congressman for Massachusetts’ eighth district from 1987-1999, JPK II, like his uncle, also had trouble behind the wheel of a car. In 1973, he wrecked a jeep, paralyzing brother David Kennedy’s girlfriend.
Kennedy’s cousins have fared no better. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s son, was smashed on prescription drugs and booze when he crashed into a concrete barrier at the Capitol and landed in rehab at the Mayo Clinic.
JPK III’s uncle David died of a heroin overdose in 1984. Another uncle, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the so-called environmentalist, was also a heroin addict. A third uncle, Michael, he of the babysitter affair, died playing football on skis in 1997.
Kennedy would replace Frank, a homosexual whose sexual proclivities have caused him trouble over the years.
Closeted until 1985, Frank landed in hot water when a male prostitute, Steve Gobie, divulged that he was having an affair with Frank and using the Congressman’s apartment on the Hill to ply his trade. The House ethics committee reprimanded Frank for fixing nearly three dozen parking tickets for himself and Gobie.
Frank also helped his boyfriend get a job at Fannie Mae, the federal home lending agency. That boyfriend pushed for the relaxed lending standards that led to the subprime mortgage meltdown, which in turn precipitated the economic woes the country now suffers.
Coincidentally, or perhaps not, Frank denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in trouble even as the Bush administration asked Congress to reform the reckless agencies some 17 times before their collapse and bailout.
Frank’s 16-term career will end at the close of his next term. He said redistricting had made running again too strenuous, Fox News reported.
Photo of Joseph P. Kennedy III: AP Images