Archive for Monday, December 27, 2010

Rep. Patrick Kennedy to exit from Congress, leaving a family void

December 27, 2010


— The Kennedys have held congressional seats, the presidency and the public’s imagination for more than 60 years. That era ends when Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island vacates his U.S. House seat next month, leaving a city council post in California as Camelot’s sole remaining political holding.

The son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy said he has no qualms about walking away from politics. His departure marks the first time in 63 years there won’t be a Kennedy serving in elected office in Washington.

“In my family, the legacy was always public service, and that didn’t necessarily mean public office,” Kennedy, 43, said in a recent interview on Capitol Hill with The Associated Press.

He recited a long list of Kennedy family members who have spurned politics and chosen lives as activists promoting issues such as the environment, human rights and women’s issues.

Kennedy plans to continue the tradition by championing a national effort to boost brain research. He hopes to inject the same urgency that his late uncle, President John F. Kennedy, inspired during the 1960s with his challenge to Americans to put a man on the moon.

Still, Kennedy’s exit from the nation’s capital marks a bittersweet turn for one of America’s most powerful and prominent political families, a family that has seen its influence in Washington fade in recent years as its younger generations have largely shunned public office.

“It is a milestone,” said Allan J. Lichtman, an American University history professor. “Frankly, it’s not as if there’s a new generation of Kennedys ready to move into public life in a major way.”

Politics was the family business, the lifeblood of a dynasty that often dominated the public stage with its triumphs, as well as its personal traumas.

The family name has been writ large for decades. Camelot. The New Frontier. Chappaquiddick.

JFK arrived as a young congressman in 1947, later capturing the White House and leaving an outsized stamp on the nation’s history. Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential ambitions were snuffed out by an assassin’s bullet, but he inspired generations of activists. Edward M. Kennedy was seen as one of the most influential senators in history.

Now it’s Bobby Shriver as the lone holdout in politics, serving as a city councilor in the seaside Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica.


slowplay 6 years ago

For someone who's only contribution to society is 11,000 posts on a useless blog, you are quick to criticize others who have dedicated their lives to public service. Like them or hate them, only a few Americans can measure up to them.

Fossick 6 years ago

Exactly. It is not "public service" to sit in an elective office for decades while you work out your societal control issues, spend your weekends at dinners thrown in your honor, and use the power of your office and family to escape the consequences of behavior that often lands regular Americans in jail.

A pox on both their houses. The guy who picks up aluminum cans on the streets to recycle them performs more public service than the Kennedy's and Bushes together.

slowplay 6 years ago


I put you in the same category as Shewmon, all talk and no walk. You will never achieve the level of influence these families have had on the social fabric of America. Whether these accomplishments were good or bad is merely a perception of political ideals. To denigrate their accomplishments when you have no concept of the ability required to be in that position is moronic.

Fossick 6 years ago

"You will never achieve the level of influence these families have had on the social fabric of America."

Without a doubt. Fortunately that has absolutely nothing to do with whether that influence was good or bad. It has even less to do with whether wielding that influence, from which which one receives almost unlimited personal benefit, can in any way be called "service."

Hoots 6 years ago

Self service, not public service. Worse than the Bush's because it lasted longer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Finally. Now we can get a teabagger in there who'll tell his constituents how evil Democrats and immigrants and gay soldiers are, and then go vote however his Wall Street and other corporate overlords order him to do.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

This comment pre-removed for using a vulgar sexual term to refer to someone on the sinister side of the aisle.

beatrice 6 years ago

What vulgar sexual term are you referring to?

Fossick 6 years ago

Sinister: 4a : of, relating to, or situated to the left or on the left side of something; especially : being or relating to the side of a heraldic shield at the left of the person bearing it 4b : of ill omen by reason of being on the left.

My guess is that the vulgar term that Bea doesn't know comes from the sinister side, not towards it.

Peacemaker452 6 years ago

Because we all know that the Kennedy fortune had nothing to do with big business. All that money came from saving puppies and kittens. Do a little research into the Kennedy clan before you elevate them too high on that pedestal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

And for you, the issue isn't about the issues of where to locate (and where not) wind farms, but rather the wish to spite the evil Kennedy clan (because they aren't on your team.)

Fossick 6 years ago

Who says there's no good news these days?

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

DC liquor stores are looking at some lean times.

bearded_gnome 6 years ago

... and the collective IQ and sobriety goes up at least 10%!

bearded_gnome 6 years ago

Boozo: Finally. Now we can get a teabagger in there who'll tell his constituents how evil Democrats and immigrants and gay soldiers are, and then go vote however his Wall Street and other corporate overlords order him to do.

---displays the ranting clown's ignorance and prejudice. just sad. a mind is a terrible thing to ... oh forget it.

daddy Joe Kennedy made a lot of money illegally on alcoholic spirits during prohibition and after.
JFK was a true war hero and some of his policies today would actually be called conservative.
Teddy was a total waste and a very bad example of a man.
today's robert kennedy=greeniewheenie is totally crazy.

generally these people are/were trying to destroy our country.
teddy pushed hard to keep increasing the minimum wage, though productivity din't go up. apparently ignorant or uncaring of the impact that would have on dollars' value, employment, and overall wage rates.
friend to working men? think not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"generally these people are/were trying to destroy our country."

I'm no great fan of the Kennedy brothers, but this is just an asinine statement.

"teddy pushed hard to keep increasing the minimum wage, though productivity din't go up. "

And this proves just how asinine it is. Increasing the minimum wage will not "destroy the country." BTW, worker productivity has gone up consistently over the years-- at a much greater rate than average pay for workers, or the minimum wage.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Was "asinine" on today's page of the New Words for Unpleasant Older Folks calendar?

Rich Noever 6 years ago

Let's not forget that daddy Joe would have sacrificed England to appease the Nazi's. Churchill and Roosevelt had very low opinons of him as a wimp.

monkeyhawk 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beatrice 6 years ago

I used that term a while back as well to describe the snap/tom/invictus/barry crowd (the people jumping to this story), and it too got removed. Instead, it looks like a little creativity is in order -- say, ring of self-celebrationists perhaps?

monkeyhawk 6 years ago

See, it got removed again, while the mean, uber lib's remains. AND, I put quotes around it.

Word to the moderator - you and your selectively biased types are what perpetuates the anger in this country. It must make you feel very powerful that you can squelch free speech with the press of a key. You need to get it that your own personal views are not necessarily mainstream and the M.O. here is grossly transparent. You should just come clean that you cater to the progressive point of view that can do or say no wrong, and that center / center right people need not try to express themselves. This is about as nice as I can be.

Of course if there was some valid, believable purpose for the removal of my above post, I would stand corrected.

Otherwise, I could contact the net neutrality police. At least they are there for people like me :::)))

monkeyhawk 6 years ago

BTW - Miss Whitney (or whomever is behind the curtain today), I have had great difficulty in locating the usage agreement rules. Do you think that it would be possible for you to post them here, or direct me to where I might find them?

Thank you so much.

wmathews 6 years ago

Tom - We don't go digging through PMs for offensive content. Like I've told you many times before, if you have a concern about threats and offensive content in PMs being sent to you by other users, please let me know via email or PM. Otherwise I can't help you out.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Yea, but look at it this way. It gave you the opportunity to declare your martyrdom at the hands of the evil liberal media.

beatrice 6 years ago

Unless it showed them dancing in front of images of a tombstone, I'm not sure you would even be able to recognize if they were disrespectful.

beatrice 6 years ago

I find it sad to see people get elected just because of their family name, even if it is a Kennedy. Families should not have political dynasties within a free society.

Fossick 6 years ago

"Families should not have political dynasties within a free society. "

Well said.

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