2008 “ALL MY (KENNEDY) CHILDREN” YEAR IN REVIEW
In the early primary season, the Kennedys split down the middle between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Watching the squabble over endorsements certainly kept the pundits busy during the winter months. The media’s constant comparisons of Obama to JFK resulted in increased awareness of the Kennedys and an encouraging resurgence of interest amongst members of a generation too young to have any firsthand memories of him.
But in May, the golden glow of “a return to Camelot” was dimmed by the tragic news that Sen. Edward Kennedy had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The Mighty Teddy was suddenly rendered vulnerable before our eyes; his illness a poignant reminder that the last surviving Kennedy brother can’t stay with us indefinitely.
This year also marked two other sad anniversaries for the family: 45 years since the assassination of President Kennedy, and 40 years since Senator Robert Kennedy’s murder.
But we’d like to focus your attention on another important event which passed without much fanfare this year.
On the last day of 2008, it is interesting to “flashback” now and read this article (dated June 4) again. What a critical turning point moment it turned out to be in such a historic election year, although we didn’t fully grasp it’s future importance at the time.
Let’s rewind and take a closer look with some hindsight, shall we?
The news of Caroline heading up Obama’s VP search team came on June 4th, the 40th anniversary of former NY senator Robert Kennedy’s assassination. (Curious timing, that.)
As fate (or the voters) would have it, the current occupant of that same senate seat – Hillary Clinton – announced her campaign was over on June 4th. (Although in truth, her campaign really ended two weeks earlier, thanks to a tasteless and ill-timed remark she made about the RFK assassination which RFK Jr. defended, incidentally.)
Clinton’s “I’m out of the race” announcement finally came, curiously enough, in perfect synchronicity with Obama’s Veep committee announcement. Within a matter of hours, in fact. Smell test, anyone?
At the time, of course, everyone whispered “back room deal!” Clinton loyalists scrambled to explain why their candidate, who had famously vowed to stay in the race until the bitter end, ultimately decided otherwise: “Hillary is only giving up her campaign because she’s angling for …the Vice Presidency!”
Well, that didn’t happen, but the series of events to follow unfolded in a most unexpected and even puzzling way:
The persistent political rumor this year was that RFK Jr. endorsed Hillary because he wanted to reclaim his father’s senate seat. As many of our readers will recall from past coverage, that endorsement didn’t go over so well with the party’s liberal base. To say the very least.
Meanwhile, Caroline, Teddy, et al…suddenly jumped off the Clintons Good Ship Lollypop and got on board Obama’s Soul Train, Bound For Glory.
By November, another sudden turn…now Obama is the President-elect, Hillary is offered SoS, and Bobby Jr. ….WHAT?…takes his name out of the running for that senate seat he’s always wanted? Days later, RFK issues the stunning statement that he will not accept that rumored cabinet appointment at EPA, either. Really?
The mind boggles.
So what’s the real deal, you may ask? What kind of political backslappin’ and palm-greasin’ is REALLY going on behind the scenes? And who writes this stuff? It’s a soap opera, I tell ya: “All My (Kennedy) Children”!
I actually heard a pretty logical theory today from a friend of mine, and I’m not so inclined to disagree with his take on things. Tends to explain a hell of a lot, really. Here’s the logic tree he followed, and his inevitable conclusion:
– Hillary offered to “help” RFK Jr. get the NY senate seat in return for *his* endorsement if she won.
– Obama offered to “help” Caroline get the same senate seat in return for *her* endorsement, if he won.
– Once it became clear that Hillary had lost the nomination, she made a deal with Obama to just go quietly…in return for consideration as VP or a very high level cabinet position…and for “help” paying off her campaign debts. (Who’s your Sugar Daddy, baby?)
– Once it became clear that Obama had the nomination cinched in early June, he brought Caroline onto his VP search committee to “help” prepare her for bigger things ahead, and….
Six months later – ba-da-bing! – whaddyaknow, Hillary’s leaving the senate for the promised cabinet post, RFK Jr. (who backed the wrong horse in this race) is out in the proverbial cold, and Caroline is a shoo-in for the promised Senate seat.
Whew, ya got all that?
Okay, now just don’t say anything to Blago about this wild conspiracy theory. He might just get some crazy idea in his head about how to sell (cough!)…ahem, excuse me, I mean FILL Obama’s vacant senate seat…;)
What 2009 has in store for the Kennedys, for the Obamas, indeed for us all, is anybody’s guess. But the new season of “All My (Kennedy) Children” starts this week, and it’s not to be missed. (Cue cheesy organ music here…)
PROMO SCRIPT FOR “ALL MY (KENNEDY) CHILDREN” – Week of January 5, 2009
V/O: OVERBEARING ANNOUNCER
Will Caroline easily get the NY Senate appointment?
Or will she be matched against her former in-law Andrew Cuomo (the plot thickens!) Who would Kerry Kennedy be campaigning for?
Will Hillary Clinton pass the test for Secretary of State in her Senate confirmation hearings?
And what of Bobby Jr.? If he’s not serving in President Obama’s cabinet or filling a vacant senate seat, what will he do next?”
Tune in tomorrow for another episode of “All My (Kennedy) Children”…