It's been a while, but slowly and surely the cycle has started anew — the Kennedys are coming back to Washington. Apparently Ted Kennedy Jr. will run for the Connecticut state senate, seeking to replace the 12th district's retiring Democrat Ed Meyer. After the death of family patriarch and former Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy in 2009, followed by then-Rep. Patrick Kennedy's departure from his Rhode Island seat in 2010, no member of the famed political clan held a Washington job, the first time this could be said in some 60 years.
But the downtime was short-lived, as a new generation stepping into the breach signals a possible renewal for one of America's oldest political dynasties. 52-year-old Ted hasn't announced officially just yet — that's expected to come Tuesday morning at the Blackstone Library in Branford — but his ambition already looks like a safe one.
At present, two members of the Kennedy family are serving in Washington, one in elected office, and another via appointment. The former is Joe Kennedy III, grandson of former presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who in 2012 won a House seat in Massachusetts, while the latter is Caroline Kennedy, former President Kennedy's daughter, currently serving as the U.S. ambassador to Japan.
While he got out of Washington game officially, the aforementioned Patrick Kennedy is no less political in how he spends his time, as well — curiously, he's become a strident anti-marijuana voice, chastising President Obama over the issue.
This news about Ted Kennedy may rankle conservatives, as well as simply those dubious of political dynasties within ostensibly democratic system — despite the problems with assuming certain families as predisposed for leadership, it does seem to be a natural impulse that American voters are moved. The Bush family for Republicans would be a telling example, as would the Clintons for Democrats.
And given the iconic stature of the Kennedy name, the seat having previously been in Democratic hands, and the lack of a compelling Republican opponent with anything like those advantages, that dynamic looks likely to play itself out in Connecticut. The safe money, before he's even officially running, is undeniably on Ted Jr. to win.
But hey, Republicans, don't despair for lack of big-name newcomers — George P. Bush is busily working to rebuild his family's shattered reputation, as a candidate for Texas Land Commissioner.