Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy will retire after eight terms in office, bringing an end to his House career just months after his father, legendary Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, passed away.Well here's another dubious distinction:
"My father instilled in me a deep commitment to public service," Kennedy said in a video announcing his retirement. "Now having spent two decades in politics, my life has taken a new direction and I will not be a candidate for re-election this year."
Kennedy has easily held Rhode Island's 1st district since 1994 despite the occasional attempt by Republicans to knock him off.
Kennedy's time in Congress was decidedly uneven. He was rumored to be planning a Senate bid in 2000 but decided against running. He was tasked with chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in that same cycle with expectations within the party that they would seize back control of the House. It didn't happen.
After his stint at the DCCC, Kennedy took on a far less high-profile role in Congress -- emerging only infrequently and not always in the best light. In the spring of 2006 Kennedy crashed his car into a police barricade near Capitol Hill; he entered rehab for addiction and depression days later. Over the summer, Kennedy admitted himself to a rehabilitation facility again.
Patrick Kennedy's retirement means that for the first time in nearly five decades there will not be a member of the Kennedy family in Congress.Depending on who's paying attention, there are some people out there who are very happy about that.
Of course there have been several Kennedy's who have been interested in politics. In Illinois, Chris Kennedy who runs the Merchandise Mart has flirted with taking on political office, but has failed to pull the trigger. So if you wish for another Kennedy to get into public life we may have a decent wait yet.
BTW, I saw the Ted Kennedy funeral. I think Patrick has a resemblance to his uncle, President John F. Kennedy. Of course since Patrick is in his 40s, President Kennedy would probably give this young man a run for his money in his 40s as well. lol
OK, what is your feelings about having no Kennedy's in Congress?