I read the 3 Kennedy profiles so you don’t have toDecember 21st, 2010 at 4:43 pm by Ted Nesi under General Talk
When Congressman Patrick Kennedy retires at the end of this term and is succeeded by David Cicilline, it will mark the first time since 1946 that no Kennedy has been serving in Congress. That was the year JFK was first elected to a House seat in Massachusetts at the age of 29.
The combination of the Kennedy name and Patrick’s troubled personal life has proven irresistible to reporters, and over the past week three papers have published profiles of the 43-year-old: The New York Times (Thursday), The Boston Globe (Friday) and The Providence Journal (Sunday).
The articles clock in at a combined 4,947 words and each one covers some of the same ground. Since Nesi’s Notes is all about constituent service, here are the highlights from the three stories. I’d also recommend Globe columnist Brian McGrory’s reflections on Patrick from last winter.
Kennedy plans to remain a Rhode Islander and is keeping his Portsmouth farmhouse, which he either recently renovated (NYT) or is renovating (Globe). He also may keep an office in Washington. (NYT)
Kennedy’s next focus will be on promoting brain research, and he’s planning a brain research conference in Boston on May 25. He’s also set up a website, Moonshot.org, that compares the effort to JFK’s push to put a man on the moon. (NYT)
In another echo of his uncle, Kennedy calls neurology the “new frontier” of science. (Globe) He hopes he can “put together something like the American Cancer Society for brain research” (Globe), and thinks it could do a huge amount to help wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
David Cicilline is going to take over Kennedy’s Capitol Hill apartment. (Globe, Projo) A Republican will get his old House office. (NYT)
Kennedy’s signature accomplishment as a lawmaker was the 2008 mental-health parity law, which requires insurers to treat mental and physical illnesses the same way. (NYT, Globe, Projo)
After initially voting in favor of the Iraq war – unlike his father and the rest of the Rhode Island delegation – Kennedy has now become a vocal opponent of the military effort in Afghanistan. (NYT, Globe, Projo)
Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver is the only Kennedy who currently holds political office. (NYT)
Kennedy thinks his highly publicized May 2006 car crash jolted him into acknowledging his addiction to prescription drugs and helped set him on the path to advocating for mental health issues. (Globe)
Kennedy has hired a “sober coach” to help him fight his addictions. The person “just checks in daily or weekly and ensures that you’re not isolating, not falling off the edge.” (Projo)
Kennedy says he never considered remaining out of politics because he was dead set on following in the path of his famous father, Ted. (NYT)
Kennedy’s dad was “the most important in my life,” but now he is “looking forward to developing those emotional relationships with others, because there’s more to life.” (NYT)
Kennedy says our February WPRI 12 poll showing he might face a tough reelection fight is not what caused him to retire, although he made the announcement shortly after it was released. (Globe)
The NYT and the Projo interviewed Kennedy at his office. The Globe’s Mark Arsenault – a former Projo scribe who wrote the Rhode Island Monthly piece which revealed Kennedy would not run again – got to go to his apartment, where he saw some open bags of potato chips. (Globe, NYT, Projo)
The Projo’s Washington bureau thinks this is the 112th Congress, but it’s actually the 111th. Whoops. (Projo)
Darrel West thinks the lack of Kennedys in office is “symbolic of the decline of liberalism” – an odd assertion the same year national health reform was enacted. (NYT)
The NYT’s profile had a pretty down feel to it, actually. “The Kennedys have been woven prominently through the political and social history of the last half-century,” the paper said, but then ticked off only bad things: two assassinations, Chappaquiddick and JFK Jr.’s plane crash. (NYT)
The Journal profile is the only one that mentions Kennedy’s feud with the Bishop of Providence and Scott Brown’s upset to his father’s Senate seat. (Projo)
(Photograph: Eric Draper/White House)