This week, current Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III stated his intention to become the next Senator from the state of Massachusetts; the formal announcement was to take place on Saturday. Backed by the legacy of the Kennedy Family, JPK III is a grandson of U.S. Senator and former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, a grand-nephew of the 35th President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, and a great-grandson of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Kennedy, 38, has entered as the front-runner against Democratic incumbent Senator Edward J. Markey, who took office after the appointment of John Kerry to the office of U.S. Secretary of State under President Obama. Markey was elected to serve out the balance of Kerry’s sixth Senate term in a 2013 special election, where he defeated Republican Gabriel Gomez in the general election.
Both candidates differ drastically; Markey being “of the people,” a blue-collar, ex U.S. Army Serviceman, against JPK III, who cloaked in privilege, attended elite private primary schools, followed by Stanford University and Harvard Law. The Democratic Party is almost split about Kennedy’s campaign. Some have urged him not to run and join in the DNC’s ambitions of defeating Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election. Others, however, have encouraged the “silver-spoon child of political aristocracy” to throw his Kennedy name, brand and money into the full swamp of Washington DC.
The political race between Markey and JPK III is shaping up to take on a generational theme: Kennedy is 38, and Markey, 73, and has been in Congress since the 1970s. What Kennedy is making up for in money, he lacks in political endorsements when compared to Markey, who has received endorsements from prominent lawmakers such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. However, Kennedy is banking on the breed and the Kennedy name; and perhaps, that is serving him well. A public poll conducted around Labor Day of 2019 found JPK III 14% ahead of Markey in a head-to-head campaign.
Can Camelot make a comeback? The Kennedy Family has been elevated in American politics since Joseph P. Kennedy assisted President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his bid in 1932; only to be rewarded by FDR when he was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1938. Joseph’s children, John F. Kennedy, would be elected as the 35th American President in 1961, only to be assassinated on November 22, 1963. His brother, Robert F. Kennedy, served as U.S. Attorney General under his brother’s administration, and as a U.S. Senator from New York until he was also gunned down on June 1968. Their youngest brother, Edward “Ted” Kennedy was elected in a 1962 Senate special election in Massachusetts when JKF took office as President. Ted would go on to seek seven reelections, to go on to be crowned “The Lion of the Senate” – however, he, like his grandfather, father, and siblings, was not without scandal.
Anti-trust, abuse of power, infidelity, drug abuse, medical ailments, assassination conspiracy theories, and murder coverup are but some of the drama that has encapsulated “Camelot” since their arrival to the United States. Every generation since the early 1900s has dealt with a Kennedy in Washington. Despite all the dramatic events, the Democratic Party loves a Kennedy, and the fame, fortune, prestige, and wealth that all seem to bring to the “party.” Does JPK III see the writing on the wall – can he break down the past “dooming barriers,” avoid scandal, and adequately serve the people of Massachusetts? Or, will he, like his great grandfather, grandfather, uncles, and cousins, bring about another disastrous chapter of failed politics, that bring about further destruction to the Kennedy name, and the “Kennedy Curse to Camelot?”