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The Kennedy name no longer assures victory, even in Massachusetts


“JOE KENNEDY is aware of how a legacy is earned,” begins a brand new marketing campaign advert for Joe Kennedy, a 39-year-old congressman who’s working for the US Senate in Massachusetts. The advert weaves footage of Mr Kennedy serving to his constituents with photographs of his well-known household. His great-great-grandfather was a Boston mayor, his dad was a congressman, his great-uncle was president, one other served as senator and his grandfather was attorney-general, a senator and a presidential candidate. A Kennedy working for the Senate in Massachusetts ought to be a shoo-in, particularly one with an abundance of crimson hair. However the Kennedy name might no longer carry the identical resonance it as soon as did.

A College of Massachusetts Amherst ballot signifies that younger persons are extra drawn to his Democratic-primary opponent and incumbent, Ed Markey. Mr Markey is a Washington veteran. He served as a congressman for almost 4 many years earlier than turning into a senator in 2013. He has proved resilient, and his digital technique has cleverly focused youthful voters. One clip of him taking pictures hoops whereas sporting khakis and previous trainers has gone viral. Others star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive New York congresswoman extensively generally known as AOC, who launched the Inexperienced New Cope with Mr Markey. For the primary time in his lengthy profession this slightly cerebral politician has taken on a rock-star high quality.

In addition to AOC’s backing, Mr Markey has acquired that of Elizabeth Warren, the state’s senior senator. Mr Kennedy, in the meantime, has gained the endorsement of Nancy Pelosi, the Home speaker. That angered Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who implied the Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee (DCCC) was hypocritical in “cherry-picking” whom to help. Final 12 months the DCCC stated it might blacklist corporations that assist challengers to Democratic incumbents.

Regardless of arguments over who’s extra progressive, there’s little to differentiate the 2 likeable politicians past their age (Mr Markey, at 74, is almost twice as previous as Mr Kennedy) and that well-known final name. Maybe that’s the reason the marketing campaign has taken on a nasty tone as the first on September 1st attracts close to. In a single advert, which has had 3m views, Mr Markey says: “With all due respect, it’s time to start out asking what your nation can do for you,” a play on John Kennedy’s inaugural speech in 1961. In a debate, Mr Markey accused Mr Kennedy’s father and brother of funding unfavorable advertisements. Mr Kennedy has needed to beef up safety due to demise threats, which his marketing campaign blames on the “harmful” environment created by a few of Mr Markey’s supporters.

Polls have pointed to a decent race, however just lately Mr Markey has pulled forward. Some individuals might determine to not vote as a result of both candidate can be wonderful. Each have excessive approval scores in their respective jobs. Mr Kennedy had at first been cautious to not play on his household’s legacy as a result of it might need turned off youthful, progressive voters, a few of whom see him because the embodiment of entitlement and privilege. As major day approaches, nevertheless, he has began to lean into the legacy in an effort to steer older supporters to vote. A Kennedy has not misplaced an election in Massachusetts since John Kennedy turned a congressman in 1946. Mr Kennedy doesn’t wish to be the primary.

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This text appeared in the US part of the print version underneath the headline “Kennedy fatigue?”

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