A Kennedy Renaissance?
At Politico, the overriding goal is to “win the day,” or dominate the news cycle, by breaking something new, exciting, or particularly buzzworthy. No one wins the day more frequently than Politico reporter Mike Allen, who offers up the Playbook, an early morning news roundup that’s read and obsessed over by politicians (including the White House), Wall Street, and journalists.
In other words: Mike Allen is Washington’s chief fire starter, the kind of guy that people approach when they want to see how the public and media will react to a new or buzzy idea.
Today, Allen chose to pour gasoline on rumors that Ted Kennedy Jr., son of the late senator and brother of Rep. Patrick Kennedy, is gunning for John Kerry’s Senate seat. Kennedy Jr., of course, could be an appealing candidate for Democrats: He has the famous name, access to lots of fundraising dollars, and a career as a disability rights advocate and businessman.
The Playbook item is followed by a few words from “a Ted Kennedy friend and adviser”:
“It’s no secret that Ted is interested in entering politics, after a long and successful career as a disability rights advocate and businessman. Numerous people in Massachusetts have reached out to him to ask him to consider running for office there, and, if Senator Kerry is nominated to a Cabinet post, it’s fair to say that he will be giving this very serious consideration.”
But, at this point, his idea of a run is nothing more than rumors because Kennedy Jr. has several strikes against him. First, Allen’s evidence is one anonymous quote from a Ted Kennedy friend. Second, Kennedy Jr. lives in Connecticut, not Massachusetts. Third, he chose not to run this past year in Connecticut, despite the fact that he would been a frontrunner to replace Joe Lieberman. And fourth, as Globe columnist Scott Lehigh points out, he’s going to face charges of nepotism:
“Any hint of a deliberately conferred political advantage would foster accusations of entitlement and spark voter resentment.”
Will he run? Won’t he? Get ready for more and more fun Kennedy rumors.