strong>Q: Rep. Patrick Kennedy says he won't run for re-election, raising the possibility that his family's political dynasty has come to an end. To what degree do family connections and famous names fuel success? By giving up his political power and status as keeper of the Kennedy legacy, is Patrick Kennedy letting down his family and followers?
Family connections and name recognition do help open certain doors that may be closed to others.
Patrick Kennedy has been a congressman for eight terms. By not running for re-election, I do not think Rep. Kennedy is letting his family down in any way. Maybe he is evaluating his own priorities in life after his father's death.
One can always make a difference without being in the political spotlight. For instance, his cousin, Joe Kennedy, continues to make a difference in a variety of ways. There is also the probability that the younger generation of Kennedy's will be inspired to come forward and continue the family legacy in the politics.
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