American Political Families, American Political Oligarchy, Amire Gemayel, Beachir Gemayel, Doris Boustany, Edmund Reggie, Kataeb, Kennedy family, Lebanese political families, Lebanon, phalangist political families, Pierre Amire Gemayel, Pierre Gemayel, President of Lebanon, Senator Teddy Kennedy, Victoria Kennedy. Victoria Reggie Kennedy
This week speculation, emergeing in The Washington post of 14th August, expressed a possible 2012 run by Ted Kennedy’s widow Victoria Reggie Kennedy for the 2012 race against Scott Brown our favourite nudist Senator from Massachusetts.
Now this raises, for this blog at least, some very interesting connections. Victoria is a Lebanese – American one of a group of lesser known diasporas which inhabit the American political world. Unlike the Jewish Diaspora or the Irish they don’t get much publicity and it would be likely that Americans would find themselves hard pressed to recognise them as a sub group. Frank Zapper and Ralph Nader being the best known perhaps. Lebanese – Americans may well be arab, but are mostly Maronite Christians who, in America, often become Roman Catholics, and this is true of Victoria’s family too. All four of her grandparents are Lebanese.
Victoria’s family are steeped in politics and with regard to her Lebanese family as blood-soaked as any Kennedy. They have had their share of controversy as well, with her brother Michael being involved in a savings bank which crashed, and for which he was sued for $6 million. She should fit right in there.
Her father Edmund Reggie who was born in Lebanon, was a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic party and a four time Louisiana delegate to the Democratic National Conventions. A real smoky back room boy, he was considered a “kingmaker” amongst the party apparatchiks. His wife Doris Boustany, was as deeply involved with the party serving on the party’s Platform & Finance Committees.
Doris has another string to her bow. For our Doris was a first cousin to Beachir Gemayel the President elect of Lebanon who was assassinated prior to taking up his post, and who was succeeded by his brother Amire Gemayel. Both these brothers were the sons of her great uncle Pierre Gemayel President of Lebanon and founder of the Kataeb party, which is better known in the West as the Phalangists, a strongly nationalistic and anti Syrian grouping. Amire’s son Pierre Amine Gemayel, named for his grandfather, was himself gunned down in a hail of 9mm bullets in 2006. For this part of the Kennedy clan the bloodshed in the middle east is very close to home.
Victoria has some very interesting family.
She has been given the support of some heavyweights so far. Phil Johnston a former Massachusetts chairman and Rep William Delahurst (D-Mass) but its still going to be uphill all the way.
Surprisingly the family aren’t shouting from the rooftops. They say that it would be a distraction from the building of Teddy’s legacy. What! Complete rubbish! Teddy Kennedy was a massive political operator and deal maker. His legacy is raw gritty politics, not some soft diversion building libraries and writing biographies. Given a choice between getting stuck in or standing by on the side-lines indexing old speech notes and filing press photos, which way do you think he’d have advised Victoria?
A better question might be to ask her what her views on the Middle East are.