An era is ending as Patrick Kennedy, Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island and son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, announced his retirement at the end of this Congress.
There will be no Kennedy family member in Congress in 2011, after having had one or more Kennedys since 1947, with the exception of two years in the early 1960s.
John F. Kennedy served in Congress from 1947-1961 when he was inaugurated President. After a brief two year hiatus, Ted Kennedy was elected to his brother’s Senate seat and served from 1963 to last August, nearly 47 years. In addition, Robert Kennedy served from 1965-1968, and Joe Kennedy, Robert’s son served in the House from 1987-1999, and Patrick from 1995 to the end of this Congress.
This is in many ways a sad moment as the Kennedy Family served well and honorably overall, although of course any politician can be criticized in some way. Still, we owe our gratitude for their public service, as they could have chosen other pursuits but chose to do what they did, and in a way that overall we can admire and salute!