Ed Klein: Kennedy Family Divided Over Clinton, Warren for 2016

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 06:07 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Kennedy family is sharply divided on whether to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, best-selling author Ed Klein says.

"The family is split. That's the simple fact. Half of it wants Hillary and half of it is encouraging Elizabeth Warren to challenge Hillary,'' Klein said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"Bobby Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's younger son, is a Clintonite, whereas Joe Kennedy, the oldest son, is very much in favor of Elizabeth Warren, as is Ethel.

"Ethel has told Elizabeth Warren that if she throws her hat into the ring against Hillary Clinton in the primaries coming up in 2016 ... that she herself would throw a fundraiser at the Kennedy complex.''

Klein — author of "Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas," published by Regnery Publishing — said the Kennedys still have political pull despite the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

"The Kennedys remember the glory days, and they especially remember the tipping point when Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy appeared on stage with Barack Obama and Caroline said that Barack Obama was the first politician in her lifetime that reminded her of her father, the sainted John F. Kennedy,'' he said.

"Well, the Kennedys have invited Elizabeth Warren to their Hyannis Port compound and have urged her — at least some of the Kennedys have, Ethel Kennedy, the matriarch of the family, Joe Kennedy Jr., her oldest son, are enthusiastic about the idea of Elizabeth Warren challenging Hillary in the primaries.''

The family "auditioned" both potential candidates, Klein says.

"The Clintons were auditioned, and then a week later, Elizabeth Warren was invited to the same lunch at the compound and she was auditioned,'' Klein said.

"The Kennedy family is trying to figure out who they're going to back. Many of them love Elizabeth Warren because they remind them of Ted Kennedy's full-throated liberalism, which they absolutely adore.''

But Bill and Hillary Clinton are fighting hard to get a full-throttle Kennedy endorsement, he noted.

"The Clintons have spent six long years, ever since the Kennedys backed Obama instead of Hillary ... wooing the Kennedys,'' he said.

"They've done everything they can for Bobby Kennedy's conservationist programs, they've been in touch with the Kennedys, they've sent them congratulations on their birthdays, they've invited them to their homes.

"They are wooing the Kennedys because they don't want to happen to them what happened to them in 2008 ... This is based on several interviews with both people inside the Kennedy family and the Clinton family.''

Klein said Warren remains "on the fence'' about running.

"[She] and her people have been talking to potential Democratic donors. However, they have not begun personally raising money, although there are some outside groups that are raising money for her,'' he said.

"She has also not ... hired national political consultants, which she'd have to do if she is going to throw her hat into the ring. So she is still on the fence about this. But I'm told that she's very tempted to do it. We'll have to wait and see.''


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