Congressman Joe Kennedy Not Running for President … Yet

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By Colin A. Young

QUINCY — The Kennedy surname conjures up images of the White House and is synonymous with the American presidency for many people, especially in Massachusetts.

But when Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III — the young, red-headed Brookline Democrat seen by many as the scion of a new generation of politically ascendant Kennedys — made a stop in the City of Presidents on Monday, he threw cold water on the talk that he’s gearing up to follow the example of his grandfather Robert Kennedy, and grand-uncles John and Edward Kennedy, and run for president.

“Furthest thing from my mind,” he said after rallying with MBTA maintenance workers in Quincy. “Look, I’ve got an 18-month-old little girl, I’ve got a little boy on the way, we’re dealing with health care, taxes and scandal after scandal coming from the Trump administration.”

In addition to recognition and wealth, the Kennedy name also comes with the responsibility to answer persistent questions about ambition and presidential aspirations. Asked what he made of a headline in Town & Country earlier this month that declared him “ the next President Kennedy,” the congressman flashed a grin that would be recognized by anyone who has flipped through a U.S. history book.

“The headline caught me by surprise and I caught an awful lot of flack from friends, family and anybody I know,” he said. “So, no plans on that, thanks very much.”

No plans to run for president in 2020 or no plans to ever make a run for the White House?, this reporter asked Kennedy. His answer was emphatic but left the door open a crack in case plans change.

Kennedy said, “No plans on that, period.”