Posts tagged Joseph P. Kennedy III
Posts tagged Joseph P. Kennedy III
Could this man revive Camelot?
By David S. Bernstein, January 18, 2011
We are all mere mortals, Massachusetts pols like to say, and they are Kennedys. That reality helps explain the constant stream of political speculation surrounding members of that clan in the two and a half years since the death of Senator Edward Kennedy in 2009.
Many — myself included — were convinced that the widow Vicki Kennedy would run for his seat in the Senate. Others insisted that his nephew, former congressman Joe Kennedy II, would take on that challenge. After Ted Kennedy Jr. delivered an engaging and emotional eulogy for his father, rumors ran rampant that he would move back from Connecticut to run for office. Caroline Kennedy, who took a high-profile whiff at winning a Senate appointment in New York to succeed Hillary Clinton, was similarly rumored to be considering a Bay State return. And Joe’s twin sons, Joe Kennedy III and Matthew Kennedy, were floated for any number of races, including the congressional district containing the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, which Bill Delahunt vacated in 2010; and the special election for State Senate, just won by William Brownsberger earlier this month.
Finally, we have more than rumor and speculation. Joe III has opened an exploratory committee in preparation for a campaign in the state’s Fourth Congressional District, to succeed Barney Frank.
It’s hard to overstate the level of interest Kennedy’s announcement engenders in this state. It is the first political run by a Kennedy since Ted’s death. Ted’s son Patrick Kennedy chose not to run for re-election to Congress in Rhode Island in 2010, leaving Washington without an elected member of the storied family for the first time in more than a half-century.
Perhaps even more important, 31-year-old Joe is the first of the so-called fifth-generation Kennedys to seek office. He and Matt are among the oldest of some six dozen (and counting) members of that cohort, which includes Cuomos, Lawfords, Schlossbergs, Schwarzeneggers, Shrivers, and Townsends.
Perhaps if the first of that crop came from one of those branches, with a different last name — or in another state, or while there were still members of the older generations in office — it could be just a slight novelty.
But the first campaign of this generation comes here in Massachusetts, in the form of a handsome young man who, but for the startling red hair, looks like he belongs right in those old photos of the young JFK, Teddy, and his grandfather Bobby.
There is no escaping it: Kennedy will be scrutinized not merely as a potential representative of the fourth district, but as The One, the next great Kennedy, the liberal hope — the man who could bring the revival of Camelot.
‘WE WANT ANOTHER ONE’
Kennedy, currently a prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, is not yet speaking with the press. He is, however, rapidly assembling a campaign team that is said to include Nick Clemons, Doug Rubin, Tom Kiley, Brian O’Connor, and his brother Matt.
Unlike his father, who had to best 10 Democratic opponents in his first congressional campaign, in 1986 — to succeed Tip O’Neill for the seat once held by JFK — it appears that Kennedy may face a relatively small field. Several people eying the race have backed down since Kennedy revealed his plans. Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter quickly announced his intention to run in the new ninth district instead. Brookline Selectman Jesse Mermell bowed out. Businesswoman and former lieutenant-governor candidate Deborah Goldberg tells me she is “not running for this seat at this time” (wording that potentially leaves the door open if Kennedy flops). Former Senate candidate Alan Khazei and State Senator Cynthia Creem are both said to be unlikely to run now.
It’s not surprising. Not only will Kennedy have plenty of funding and institutional support, the family name is gold these days, particularly in that district. That wasn’t entirely true for his father in 1986, six years after Ted’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. But a recent poll (not commissioned for Kennedy) showed sky-high favorable attitudes toward Joe III — which, given how little people know about him, is probably a reflection of the Kennedy brand.
“We’ve moved to the Kennedy nostalgia phase,” says one Democratic operative in Boston. “We want another one.”
The field has not been entirely cleared, however. The most prominent Democrat remaining is Boston city councilor and Newton native Michael Ross, who previously opened his own exploratory committee. Ross appears to be moving ahead with his efforts, but many insiders say he will find his support — including funding — deserting him for Kennedy.
On the GOP side, the front-runner is Sean Bielat, who gave a strong challenge to Barney Frank in 2010. Bielat proved adept at raising money nationally off of conservatives’ animus toward Frank, and may be able to do the same if he faces a Kennedy.
Kennedy’s family name will, after all, energize opposition as well as support. And even among Democrats, some voters will undoubtedly be turned off by his apparent bigfooting of the race.
But in conversations with Massachusetts Democratic insiders, I could find no hint yet of a Kennedy backlash.
While reserving judgment about how he will prove as a campaigner, let alone a congressman, people almost universally describe him as smart, warm, down-to-earth, and serious about the family legacy.
Voters, says someone who knows the family, “will see a thoughtful, hard-working young man, who believes deeply in public service.”
He is, they say, a good vessel to handle the pressure and scrutiny of being the first post-Ted Kennedy to seek office.
“He’s a very grounded person,” says Scott Ferson, consultant with Liberty Square Group and Ted Kennedy’s former press secretary.
Joe and Matt, people say, are very much their mother’s sons. Sheila Brewster Rauch, who went through a very public and contentious divorce from Joe II when the boys were 10, raised them in Cambridge and sent them to Buckingham Browne & Nichols. Joe opted to head west to Stanford for college, much as his father attended the University of California–Berkeley. He got his law degree from Harvard, spent two years in the Dominican Republican with the Peace Corps (and is said to speak fluent Spanish), and has worked in two district attorneys’ offices.
His political “coming out” came a year ago, when he delivered a well-received speech to the Massachusetts legislature after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.
Matt has often been considered the more political-minded of the two; since the two co-chaired Ted’s 2006 re-election campaign he has been more active in that realm, working for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire, and working for a stint in the White House.
More than one person I spoke with couldn’t help comparing the two to Jack and Bobby, with Joe, like Jack, the charming, affable candidate, and Matt, like Bobby, the savvy operator.
That comparison is not the kind of pressure Democrats want to place on Joe. Insiders expect him to run a low-key campaign of neighborhood hand-shaking appearances, to replace broad Kennedy stereotypes with personal contact.
“He’s going to define himself by virtue of running,” says political consultant Mary Anne Marsh, of Dewey Square Group. “He’s going to travel around that district, and people are either going to like him or not.”
He is also going to begin defining the next generation of the Kennedy family — whether he intends to or not. It was Ted himself who, in his surprise appearance at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, called again for “the torch to be passed again to a new generation of Americans.” He meant Obama, but in Massachusetts we will always look to apply it to the Kennedys.
MIAMI - Jan. 19, 2012 - The following is an open letter to Joe Kennedy III from Congressman Connie Mack:
Dear Mr. Kennedy:
I am deeply concerned you have formed an exploratory committee as a prelude to a run for Congress in Massachusetts. Normally I would not be concerned about your entry into this race, except your father, Joseph P. Kennedy II, has been a paid apologist for the repressive dictatorship of Hugo Chavez.
As Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I have been vigilant in exposing the dictatorial aspects of the Chavez-led government of Venezuela and have been demanding action of the Obama Administration to stop the threat he poses for our American way of life.
This weekend’s visit by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the latest example of why freedom-loving people must stand up and speak out loudly against Chavez and his corrupt enterprises like CITGO.
I realize the sins of the father should not be borne by the son. But your father’s outrageous and vivacious support of the ugly, dangerous despot, Hugo Chavez, is beyond the pale.
I have a simple question for you Mr. Kennedy - Do you support your father’s positions or denounce them?
All Americans await your timely response.
Sincerely,CONNIE MACKMember of Congress (FL-14)Chairman, Western Hemisphere Subcommittee
PS - I am giving you a platform to condemn Hugo Chavez, not perpetuate using our nation’s less fortunate as props for your father’s pro-Chavez campaign.
Joseph P. Kennedy III, who is exploring a run for departing congressman Barney Frank’s seat, is engaged to longtime galpal Lauren Anne Birchfield, the bride-to-be’s parents announced today.
The couple, who met at Harvard Law School, have been dating for more than five years. She is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law. Joe is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law. The future Mrs. Kennedy works in public service while Joe — the son of former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and his former wife, Sheila Rauch Kennedy — recently left his job as a prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s office to work on the congressional exploratory campaign.
The announcement came just two weeks after Joe’s twin brother, Matthew, announced his engagement to galpal, Katherine Lee Manning, a director of public affairs at The Glover Park Group in Washington, D.C. Matt is director of Strategic Partnerships at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in D.C. They plan a summer wedding at the Kennedy Compound. Perhaps it will be a double ceremony
Announcement from The Rev. Dr. James T. and Marta M. Birchfield
The Rev. Dr. James T. and Marta M. Birchfield of Houston, TX are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Lauren Anne Birchfield to Joseph Patrick Kennedy III, the son of Joseph P. Kennedy II of Boston and Sheila Rauch Kennedy of Cambridge, MA. Lauren is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard Law School. Joe is a graduate of Stanford University and also has a degree from Harvard Law School. Both are involved in public service.
The Joseph P. Kennedys. Ambitious father Joseph Patrick Kennedy (1888-1969), handsome and athletic Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (1915-1944), former Congressman Joseph Patrick Kennedy, II (1952) and the new hope of the Kennedy dynasty: Joseph P. Kennedy, III (1980)
Joe III refuses to rule out run for Barney’s seat
“I just haven’t had the time to give it any thought, the type of careful consideration that it requires,” Kennedy said outside Cambridge District Court. “I’ve always thought politics is an honorable profession. It demands that you give it careful thought before you jump into it. When I get the time to do that, I’ll think about it, but we’re not there yet.
Kennedy — the son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy — was one of several Democrats whose name has emerged as a possible contender for U.S. Rep. Barney Frank’s seat after the 16-term congressman announced his retirement two days ago.
“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?”
Kennedy didn’t rule out a run for Congress yesterday as he did last year when political scuttlebutt had him eyeing the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. William Delahunt. And one source close to the family insisted Kennedy is seriously mulling throwing his hat in the ring.
“He looked at the Cape seat. Why wouldn’t he take a look at it?” the source said. “If you built a perfect Kennedy, it would be Joe the 3rd. Harvard Law degree, Stanford, speaks fluent Spanish, good looking, nice guy, and he has all the political discipline of his uncle (the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy). He’s humble … and he wants to serve.”
But Kennedy has no current ties to Frank’s district. He just moved to Cambridge a few months ago, which is outside the district, and bounced around in Cambridge, Brighton and Marshfield growing up.
One scenario has U.S. Rep. William Keating returning to Sharon to run in Frank’s open seat, while Kennedy moves to Cape Cod to compete in that newly created district.
Kennedy, a 31-year-old Middlesex assistant district attorney, said he’s happy in his current job.
“I had about five cases on for trial today and six on trial for tomorrow. I’ve got a job that I love, and it’s something that I find extremely rewarding,” he said. “So I haven’t had any sort of time to give the idea of running for office any thought whatsoever. That’s kind of where I’m at, at the moment.”
He also said he felt no pressure to jump into the family business.
“Each member of my family has found a way to do something they find extremely fulfilling and oriented to public service,” he said. “I think being a prosecutor falls right in line with that.”
Another family insider said the timing isn’t right for the young Kennedy to take a run at Congress.
“There’s nothing happening there,” the insider said. “There’s no connection between him and the district. He’s fine where he is.”
”Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.”
John F. Kennedy, January 21, 1961
“It is time for a change. For too long, the rhetoric from Washington has been toxic.This rhetoric creates an atmosphere of hate in particularly difficult times.
This isn’t what President Kennedy stood for. It isn’t what Dr. King or Robert Kennedy stood for.’’
Joseph P. Kennedy III, January 11, 2011
Joseph P. Kennedy III (30), the grandson of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and son of former congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, is joining the Middlesex district attorney’s office as a prosecutor, the office announced today.
Kennedy had been serving as a prosecutor in the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office.
“Joe’s extensive civic and community involvement combined with his impressive personal qualities gives us great confidence that he will be a strong and impassioned advocate for the people of Middlesex County,” District Attorney Gerard T. Leone said in a statement.
Kennedy, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School who served in the Peace Corps, was an assistant district attorney on the Cape for two years. He began as an intern at the office in 2008.
Last year, Kennedy flirted with a run in the 10th Congressional District, and some Democrats are eager to see him follow the footsteps of his legendary political forebears, the Globe reported in January.
An early job as an assistant district attorney has been on the resume of a number of prominent Massachusetts politicians. Kennedy’s uncle, the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, served as a prosecutor in Suffolk County. The state’s current senior senator, John F. Kerry, served as a prosecutor in Middlesex County.
The next Kennedy waiting in the wings
Joseph Patrick Kennedy III (born October 4, 1980) is an American law student at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who also works for a Massachusetts pro-bono law firm specializing in mortgage-foreclosure mitigation.
As a son of Joseph P. Kennedy II — a businessman and a Democratic former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the of Massachusetts (1987-1999) — and a grandson of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy from New York (1965-1968).
Early life and education
He was born to Joseph Patrick Kennedy II and Sheila Brewster Rauch and has a younger non-identical twin brother, Matthew Rauch Kennedy.
Prior to his father’s election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Kennedy’s father, in 1979, had founded and led Citizens Energy, a non-profit organization that primarily aids low-income families with discounted and free home-heating services and supplies. Since leaving elective office in 1999, his father returned to Citizens Energy and is its chief executive officer.
His mother is a member of the Brewster and Rauch families, both of which were socially prominent with a tradition in coachbuilding. Kennedy’s parents were divorced in 1991.
He is currently being suggested as a possible candidate for the Massachusetts 8th congressional district. This seat, in addition to having been held by Kennedy’s father, was also held (1947-1953) by Kennedy’s great uncle John.
Kennedy dates: Joe and Matt Kennedy arrive at the Kennedy Library Foundation’s 23rd Annual May Dinner with their dates, Lauren Birchfield and Kate Manning, Sunday, May 22nd, 2011