The Kennedy family is divided over the 2008 presidential race, with some members endorsing Hillary Clinton and others backing Chris Dodd, but the biggest catch — Sen. Ted Kennedy — remains on the sidelines.
“Senator Kennedy has no immediate plans to endorse a candidate,” his office declared in a statement.
“He has very strong relationships with many of these candidates personally, and he has a lot of respect for them. Senator Kennedy believes that any one of them would make a great president. He looks forward to the campaign and seeing a Democrat elected to the White House.”
Kennedy in the past has had considerable clout with voters. He is influential among both national and New Hampshire Democrats, and his 2000 endorsement of Al Gore “was key to helping him put away Bill Bradley” in New Hampshire and seal the Democratic nomination, according to The Hotline.
Gore won the New Hampshire primary by a 50-to-46-percent margin.
Sen. Kennedy is close to presidential hopeful Chris Dodd, and Sasha Issenberg of the Boston Globe observes: “There is thinking that he would be unlikely to endorse one of Dodd's opponents while he's still in the race. But if Dodd doesn't make it past Iowa, we may hear from Kennedy -- although where he goes is up for grabs.”
Other members of the Kennedy clan have already chosen sides, however.
Environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr., human rights activist Kerry Kennedy, filmmaker Rory Kennedy and former Maryland Lieutenant Gov. Kathleen Kennedy are backing Hillary Clinton, according to The Politico. Family members, including Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and her husband Edwin, have contributed more than $15,000 to the Clinton campaign.
Ted Kennedy Jr., Rep. Patrick Kennedy, and Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver are among those supporting Dodd, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver has contributed to the $17,000 that Kennedy family members have given to the Dodd campaign.
No family member has endorsed Barack Obama, politico.com reports, although several have contributed to his campaign.
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