Tags: kennedys | run | governor | dynasties | alive

With 2 Kennedys Running for Governor, Dynasties Are Alive in 2017

Image: With 2 Kennedys Running for Governor, Dynasties Are Alive in 2017
(MARA LAVITT/WNPR)

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Friday, 14 Apr 2017 09:52 PM Current | Bio | Archive

As far as those of us who cover national politics are concerned, there was one story of national note from the announcement Thursday that Connecticut's Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy would not seek re-election. Namely, that one of the Democrats vying for nomination to succeed him would be a Nutmeg State Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy, Jr.

The candidacy of the namesake-son of the late Massachusetts senator means that there will be national reporting on Connecticut.

In addition, it also means the widespread assumptions made after the defeats of Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush last year — that Americans are fed up with political dynasties — is moonshine.

"Americans have always liked familiar names — the Adamses and the Hamilton Fishes — in the early years of the Republic and kept turning to them," said Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institute, author of the much-praised book "America's Political Dynasties,"

Hess added that, "John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy had a lot of children and grandchildren. As long you have Kennedys, you'll have a political dynasty."

In Illinois last month, Chicago businessman Christopher Kennedy — Ted., Jr's first cousin and the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D.-N.Y.) — announced he will seek the Democratic nomination to opposed Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018.

Of the 15 grandchildren of George H.W. and Barbara Bush, only one is in elective office: George P. Bush, son of Jeb and state land commissioner of Texas.

"George P," as he is known, is "a potential candidate for governor or senator in a few years," according to Hess. "And keep your eyes on his younger brother, [Florida businessman] Jeb Bush, Jr. He is an attractive guy with a future, if he wants it."

Hess also pointed out that Chelsea Clinton has yet to rule out running for Congress from New York next year.

Nevada's Attorney General Adam Laxalt, grandson of former Sen. and Gov. Paul Laxalt, is widely regarded as the leading contender. The late Rep. Peter Frelinghuysen (R.-NJ) served in Congress from 1954-94 but never got to serve in the majority and thus never chaired a committee. Not so his son Rodney, now in his 23rd year as a congressman from New Jersey and chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, recently named as the Republican National chairman, is the daughter of past office-seekers in Michigan. Her uncle, Mitt, and grandfather, George, were governors of Massachusetts and Michigan respectively and both past presidential hopefuls.

"Some dynasties fade," Hess told us, noting that "the names of Roosevelt and Taft have passed with time. But others live on and on."

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John-Gizzi
As far as those of us who cover national politics are concerned, there was one story of national note from the announcement Thursday that Connecticut's Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy would not seek re-election.
kennedys, run, governor, dynasties, alive
429
2017-52-14
Friday, 14 Apr 2017 09:52 PM
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