Kennedy Hot Air

Froma Harrop on the ridiculous presumptions of the Kennedys:

…JFK was indeed a charismatic figure, but the more we learn about his Camelot in Washington, the less perfect it sounds. (One might start at the 1960 election, which was stolen with an assist by the mob.) Daughter Caroline was adorable, but could someone please explain her cosmic significance today?

The career of dynasty elder, Ted Kennedy, meanwhile, is headed for a disgraceful end. The Massachusetts senator has been caught in a sneaky plot to kill a clean-energy project in Nantucket Sound. Seems he doesn’t want to see wind turbines from his waterfront estate. “Don’t you realize — that’s where I sail!” he famously said.

The heck with his constituents, who live with some of the foulest coal-burning plants in the country. The heck with the United States, trying to free itself from foreign oil. The heck with the planet, threatened by global warming. Environmentalists now boo at the Kennedy name — not that many in the media have noticed.

In 1994, the family parked Ted’s troubled son Patrick in a Rhode Island congressional seat. Patrick recently condemned a wind farm proposal for his state — with references to “monster windmills.” You see, making any New England waters safe for wind turbines would undercut Dad’s efforts to keep them off his Hyannisport horizon.

Patrick moves in and out of rehab over pills and booze. In 2000, he shoved a security guard at Los Angeles International Airport. Later that year, he “trashed” a leased sailboat, according to the vessel’s owner. In the wee hours two years ago, he crashed his car into a barrier near the Capitol building. One wishes Patrick luck in recovery, but doesn’t his district does deserve a fully functional representative?

A new Obama ad shows the Illinois senator flanked by Patrick and Ted, with Caroline spouting the same sort of vacuous platitudes that (sadly) have characterized his own speeches. Obama is better than any of these people, and the spot emphasizes what’s missing in his campaign: substance.

In a non-romantic look at the family, “The Dark Side of Camelot,” author Seymour Hersh described John’s 1960 strategy as follows: “He made his mark not in the Senate, where his legislative output remained undistinguished, but among the voters, who responded to Kennedy as they would to a famous athlete or popular movie star.”

Sound familiar?

The Obama campaign has, with justification, criticized Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as another example of dynastic politics. But now that Obama is playing adopted son of the Kennedy clan, that argument falls apart. As for Clinton, her trolling for the endorsements of other family members lacked dignity. And she missed an opportunity to dismiss the Kennedy mystique as so much hot air.

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