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The Last of the Kennedys

The recent announcement of the forthcoming resignation of Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy the son of the recently deceased Senator Teddy Kennedy – that he was to give it all up and to be the last of the Kennedys, breaking an unbroken run of Kennedys in Congress since 1947 that had run for 63 years – was greeted with a mixture of horror and disbelief.  This was seen as extraordinary –rather than the fact that one family should have held such power for those 63 years.

But Patrick was never a happy camper in his chosen career.  Nervous on stage, awkward in manner, and someone who clearly loathed being in public.  Very Washingtonian.

So that’s it then, it’s the end of the line.  The last of the Kennedys.  An age passes.  Camelot vanishes.  Tired of the struggle, burnt out, in need of a rest he wants out.  Yeah right, this is the Kennedys you are dealing with – the sort of people with whom you check the number of your fingers after you shake their hands.

How can I be sure?  Well, the obvious way to see if any politician is telling the truth is to follow the money.

How interesting then to read Philip Rucker of the Washington Post’s interview on Friday 12 March where there is a sudden backtrack …

“I consider it taking a sabbatical,” he [Kennedy] says. He will transfer his roughly $500,000 in campaign money to an interest-bearing account, which he says he might tap if he runs for the Senate someday”.

Even if he has paid 100,000  back to donors, it’s still a start for his re-election.

A backtrack?  A sabbatical?  Perhaps.  In my humble opinion he has recognised that come November the Democrats run the high chance of a complete drubbing.  So why not step aside, take that break,enjoy  that sabbatical he talks of.  He can use it deal with the depression or substance abuse, all of which are well documented, and therefore politically neutralised and unlikely to follow him into any future campain.  Indeed he could play them to advantage.  And afterwards, once the panic and blood-letting  that are certain to follow defeat die back, the party will gladly turn again to a Kennedy to save the party and serve the nation.

And he has already tucked away $500,000 in a war chest!  So even if, as reported, he hands back some $100,000 to donors he is still quids in.

Now let me guess – he’s not thinking of moving back to Massachusetts is he – just for ol’ time’s sake, you understand?

But there is more than one Kennedy. They are as the sands of the sea, with as many heads as a hydra.  And the one up for it is Joseph Patrick Kennedy III, grandson of Senator Robert Kennedy the Presidential hopeful who was assassinated in 1968.

At 29, the handsome local assistant district attorney can claim the public service stance and looks like a shoo in.

Only, he has said he won’t.

Maybe he too feels that the midterms in November will result in a bad loss for the Democrats  And afterwards, once the panic and bloodletting  that are certain to follow defeat die back, perhaps he too believes that the party will gladly turn again to a Kennedy to save the party and serve the nation.

Will they, won’t they, will they, won’t they, won’t they join the dance?

The last of the Kennedys?  I fear not!

Copyright David Macadam 2010