Feature

Vicki Reggie Kennedy: The next Sen. Kennedy?

Ted Kennedy's widow and his nephew are possible candidates to carry on the family tradition

If Vicki Reggie Kennedy wants the job, said John Nichols in The Nation, some powerful senators think she should be the one to take the seat of her late husband, Ted Kennedy. But Mrs. Kennedy has signaled to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick that she's not interested, even if he gets state lawmakers to change the rules so he can appoint someone to fill in temporarily until a January special election. That doesn't mean the seat will leave the family—nephew Joe Kennedy has the name and congressional experience to be a "formidable contender."

Don't count out Vicki Kennedy yet, said Lynn Sweet in Politics Daily. Until we hear directly from her, "we just don't know if the door is open or closed for a run." With senators Chris Dodd, a Democrat, and Orrin Hatch, a Republican, talking her up on a CNN Sunday talk show, she has a leg up as Ted Kennedy's popular and capable widow. "I know it's not fair, but fair has nothing to do with politics."

The Kennedy clan has yet to reveal whether it plans to try to hold onto what has become known as "the Kennedy seat," said Frank Phillips in The Boston Globe. The presence of a Kennedy—and Joe Kennedy seems the likeliest contender—would overshadow any other candidates for the seat once held by both Ted and John F. Kennedy. But even if a young Kennedy steps up, only the election will tell "whether voters are looking to extend the dynasty."

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