What Happens To Joe Kennedy III or Ed Markey When One of Them Loses Tuesday?

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/08/29/what-happens-to-joe-kennedy-iii-or-ed-markey-when-one-of-them-loses-tuesday/

Either U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III or U.S. Senator Edward Markey will lose the Democratic Senate primary in Massachusetts this upcoming Tuesday.

Since that’s the case, then what? What ends up happening to the losing candidate? Will he be done with politics, or will there be another role for them to serve?

Political scientists told New Boston Post this week what they think Kennedy and Markey’s future may look like if he’s the one making the concession telephone call.

Kennedy, 39, might seem to have more options than Markey, 74, but it’s not clear what they would be.

University of Massachusetts Boston political scientist Maurice Cunningham said that regardless of who ends winning the race, there could be opportunities in politics for the other one in the future. However, he said it could be a challenge for Kennedy to overcome.

“I’d think Markey would stay involved,” Cunningham wrote in an email message. “I could see him in a major role at an environmental non-profit where he could continue to make a difference on climate change.

“Kennedy could certainly have a future in politics,” Cunningham continued. “He’s young and has been a good congressman. The problem is the same one lots of ambitious Democrats face in Massachusetts: where to run? He’d certainly have private sector opportunities, he’s an able guy. But if he wants to return to politics he might want to seek out an opportunity that would help him develop a rationale for another candidacy, something he never accomplished this time.”

One possible non-government opportunity would be a family affair.

Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy II, left the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999 amid speculation he would eventually run for higher office, but never has. Now 67, Kennedy heads Citizens Energy Corporation, which provides below-market-rate heating fuel and supplies for poor and elderly people . Ass chairman and president, Kennedy earned $885,180 in 2018, according to federal tax documents.

UMass Lowell political scientist John Cluverius presented another idea — if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the 2020 presidential election.

“It’s hard to see it through the mudslinging, but both Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III are well-respected members of their party and are connected to issues that are important to Democrats,” Cluverius wrote in an email message. “Either one who loses would be a candidate for a position in the Biden administration assuming Joe Biden wins the presidency. You could imagine a defeated Markey in a position with maximal leverage to implement a climate agenda, probably head of the EPA. A defeated Kennedy might win a plum ambassadorship, which would burnish his foreign policy credentials. While Markey, given his age, is probably less likely to seek elected office again.

“I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Joe Kennedy III,” he added. “Unexpected defeats are common in political narratives, including presidents.”

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth political scientist Shannon Jenkins sees a job in a future Biden administration as a possibility for one of them.

“If I would have to guess, I would imagine that Markey would semi-retire if he loses,” Jenkins said. “He will probably still be active in politics around issues he cares about, but I don’t think that he would seek another office.

“Kennedy is much younger than Markey, so the issue is more pressing for him,” she added.  ”If I had to hazard a guess, I suspect he would spend the next few months working to get Biden elected, potentially with the goal of securing a position in the Biden administration. But he might also look for non-profit or other political work as well.”

Worcester State political scientist Anthony Dell’Aera laid out several possibilities for each candidate.

In elected politics, he sees a Biden administration as Markey’s best hope for a future in government if he loses next week.

“Given how closely he identifies himself with the Green New Deal to combat climate change, it might make sense for Ed Markey to be considered to lead the Department of Energy. Such an appointment would excite the party’s progressive wing,” Dell’Aera told New Boston Post in an email message.

“Markey also has a strong record addressing the telecommunications industry, so perhaps the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) might be a landing spot for him as well,” he added. “If Markey were interested in a less bureaucratic position, he may be considered for an ambassadorship, which is somewhat common for an elder statesman after leaving elected office.”

And if Kennedy loses the race, Dell’Aera noted that running for governor or Massachusetts Attorney General would be possibilities, although he said running for governor in 2022 might not be the most likely option given Governor Charlie Baker’s popularity.

“Should Joe Kennedy lose the Senate primary, it might make the most sense for him to pause his political career to work with a community organization or non-profit, where he can do a lot of good, before staging a political comeback whenever Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate seat becomes vacant,” he said.

Markey leads the race in three polls released this week. Suffolk has him up 51 percent to 41 percent; Data For Progress gives him a 50 percent to 43 percent lead; and he leads Kennedy 52 percent to 40 percent in the latest UMass Lowell poll.