Nov 26, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 11 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook was just getting pleasantly accustomed to a Congress without Kennedys—our personal favorite, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.), announced his retirement in 2009—but on the morning after Election Day, we discovered they’re back. (Or baaack, depending on your point of view.) The new Kennedy in town is 32-year-old Joseph Kennedy III, who in turn is the son of former congressman Joseph Kennedy II, best known for his marital misadventures and frequent temper tantrums on the House floor.
The freshman Kennedy will be representing Barney Frank’s old district in a southeastern segment of Massachusetts. In the family tradition, young Kennedy moved into the Fourth Congressional District, immediately filed to run—and, we concede, is not entirely unqualified: He is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law School, and was an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County. On the other hand, his Republican opponent, Sean Bielat, was a successful high-tech executive and Marine Reserve major, a graduate of Georgetown with an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy (!) School of Government. But of course, this is Massachusetts.
He'll grow into the job.
Ap / Bizuayehu Tesfaye
What intrigued The Scrapbook, however, was not this specimen of standard Kennedy behavior—unearned sense of entitlement endorsed by voters—so much as what we might call the hereditary principle.