January 4th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Are political dynasties good for the U.S.?


The Kennedys in a 1935 photograph. (PHOTO CREDIT: LIFE.com)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Politics just might run in the blood in the United States.

Political dynasties have a long history... from families like the Adamses, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys... to the Bushes and the Clintons.

And the newspaper "The Hill" reports the 2010 elections will be no exception - with the offspring of some well-known politicians trying to follow their relatives into power. Experts suggest if you have a famous and beloved name... it's "an advantage you don't want to throw away."

Some of the potential political dynasties in the making include:

  • Rory Reid, the son of senate majority leader Harry Reid ... who is running for governor of Nevada. In this case though, the name could hurt him. His father is facing a tough re-election battle and has pretty dismal poll numbers. Maybe that's why there are no scheduled events for the two Reids to campaign together.
  • Rand Paul, the son of Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul... is running for the Republican nomination for Kentucky's Senate Seat.
  • Robin Carnahan is running to replace Kit Bond in the U.S. Senate. Her father was the late Democratic governor of Missouri Mel Carnahan... and her mother, Jean Carnahan, served as senator.
  • Others include Ethan Hastert, son of former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert who is running for his father's old seat; Jason Carter, grandson of the former president; and Beau Biden - son of the vice president. Biden hasn't said yet if he'll run for his father's old senate seat in Delaware.

Here’s my question to you: Are political dynasties good for the U.S.?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government • Kennedy family • Washington
August 27th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

End of Camelot mean end of Kennedys' influence?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/27/kennedy.camelot/art.1948.jfk.jpg caption=" Ted Kennedy, far right, with brothers Bobby, center, and Jack in 1948."]FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

(CNN) - Despite the fact that the second generation of Kennedys has so far failed to distinguish themselves to the degree that Jack, Robert and Ted did – a bunch of them have still managed to find their way into elected office.

In addition to finding a replacement for Ted Kennedy in the Senate, it's likely to become a bit of a parlor game trying to figure out who will eventually emerge as the political leader of the remainder of the Kennedy family.

Some of the possibilities include the late senator's sons Edward Kennedy Jr. and Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, who have been named as possible replacements for his seat, along with his nephew, former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy the second.

The Daily Beast reports that when Caroline Kennedy failed to launch a bid for Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat, many thought that meant the end of the Kennedy dynasty, but they point out there are several younger Kennedys who might just be waiting to step in including:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and environmentalist.
Kerry Kennedy, who has led human-rights delegations to dozens of countries.
Christopher Kennedy, who's avoided politics up until now, but was seen as a possible replacement for Barack Obama's Senate seat.
-and Maria Shriver, wife to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been a very involved First Lady and is considered one of her husband's closest advisers.

Here’s my question to you: Will the end of Camelot mean the end of the Kennedys' influence in America?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Kennedy family • Ted Kennedy