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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dynasty revisited

He's 31, a prosecutor who earns somewhere just north of $50,000 and splits his time living with his divorced parents in Brighton and Cambridge. And he's being considered prime congressional material for a district that just chased a 16-term Democrat into retirement?

Oh I forgot one thing: his father was a member of the House and his grandfather held a seat in the United States Senate. And there's a library commemorating his grand uncle's presidency that sits along Boston Harbor.

Joseph P. Kennedy III has been here before. His name was bandied about when Bill Delahunt announced his retirement. Kennedy was a Barnstable assistant district attorney then, so he at least lived in the district. Moving out from under his folks' roof would not be that blatant.

And changing addresses to run for Congress is nothing new. Bill Keating did it to replace Delahunt and is doing it again to avoid a showdown with Steve Lynch. His father moved from Marshfield to Brighton and his grandfather moved to New York.

In a race with a dearth of names, the surfacing of a Kennedy is inevitable.
“I think virtually everyone I know assumes at some point he’s going to be a candidate,” said Democratic strategist Michael Goldman. “No question he’s incredibly articulate. His entrance in the race would change the dynamic dramatically. He’d be the only candidate with a significant name recognition. ... The real question is: Is this the race that is a good place to run?”
But 2012 is not 1986, when his father won the seat vacated by a retiring Tip O'Neill, a campaign that also drew a Roosevelt into the fray labeled by some as the Duel of the Dynasties. Sen. Scott Brown, R-People's Seat, shattered the notion of history of Kennedy inevitability.

And no less an authority than the retiring Frank acknowledges the district has changed with the addition of towns from Scott Brown country. Speaking of delegation dean Ed Markey and his sway with the legislative redistricting committee, Frank says:
‘I talked to Ed Markey, and frankly I was a little disappointed there. I think Ed had some influence with them, but it was spent mostly on his own district ... There was stuff that Eddie got that, if I could have shared some with Eddie, it would have been a better district.’’
We knew Frank's announcement would set ambitions soaring and tongues wagging. Let those games begin!

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