by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
It has happened to the Braganzas of Portugal, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, the Bourbons of France, the Hapsburgs of Austria… royal and imperial families which, for whatever reason, find themselves throneless princes. These are the saddest people of all, for they know so very well their metier — to rule — but must stand by and watch others, lesser beings, fill their roles — always inadequately.
Such people, bearers all of the most illustrious names on earth, are surrounded by aging courtiers (the intransigent who want total restoration and nothing less) and by schemers of every kind; the people who see in you… in your high destiny…. an elevator to place and prominence.
You try to live your own life, to carve out a career far from the corridors of power… but your name is magic… and legions of people you do not know and will never meet are ready to cheer you on. And they have lavish expectations for you to fulfill.
You are Joseph P. Kennedy III, the white hope of the dynasty and the best hope for ending the frustrating, unaccountable interregnum and ensuring the inevitable restoration.
It was just the other day (January 3, 2011), when the 111th Congress of the United States concluded that something odd, unsettling took place: the last Kennedy holding federal office — U.S. Representative Patrick, son of Senator Edward M. Kennedy — ended his elected career; for the first time in 63 years there would be no member of the dynasty in federal office.
You are Citizen Joe Kennedy, and you are expected to change that and put the family back in power, bathed in limelight and consequence again.
Joseph III, born October 4, 1980, is the son of former U.S. Representative Joseph II and his first wife Sheila Rauch. He has a twin brother, Matthew.
He was raised in Marshfield, Brighton, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, he is a former Peace Corps volunteer, now 18 months into his first job as a lawyer, an assistant district attorney on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. For anyone else it would be an unlikely launching pad to power… but you forget: he has the name, the look, the aura of the Kennedys… and he is surrounded by people who in candid ways and subtle tell him that he is The One, The Chosen One, the white hope of an impatient dynasty, exasperated by interregnum.
To see whether this is true (or merely more wishful thinking), the family is beginning to showcase their prince. They have a need, the old adage is true: “out of sight, out of mind”… and, at 30, Joseph III is already behind whilst the relentless clock is ticking.
John F. Kennedy was 29 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; Uncle Teddy 30 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Such facts, and such comparisons, are at the fingertips of every Kennedy friend –and foe. And all aspiring to the throne know them, too… as they know that, unlike the great brothers, candidates of this generation lack the cold cash and insistent pushing of the first Joseph P. Kennedy, the legendary patriarch who never merely wished.
Anxious courtiers in need of a candidate grumble and behind closed doors ask whether Something Is Wrong. They have been disappointed before, and, plus royaliste que le roi, their futures are at risk. They are concerned…
There was the undoubted Crown Prince, John F. Kennedy, Jr. Dead too soon at 38 (July 16, 1999), his own arrogance and carelessness were contributing factors. His sister Caroline dead, too, politically after an embarrassing 2008 foray into New York politics. After that the dynasts clucked that the time for a Kennedy woman to lead was not at hand and this was proof.
Then there was the prospect of Joe III’s cousin Patrick, of Rhode Island. But he couldn’t cut the mustard and was too often in the news for all the Wrong Reasons, drugs, alcohol, mayhem; not the stuff of future rulers.
Then there was his own father, Joseph II. We have yet to hear what Joe III has to say about how his father mistreated his mother, Sheila; demanding (and getting) an annulment of their marriage, despite their children. It was what insistent Kennedys get when they Want Something. His mother’s book “Shattered Faith” (published 1997 ) with all the sordid details didn’t help. Joe II doggedly (and publicly) pursued the matter right to the Vatican, but it cost him a run at the Massachusetts governorship. Daddio Joe II, then, had too much baggage…
Which leaves you, tall, red-haired, a decided resemblance to your grandfather, Robert and, too, to tv personality Conan O’Brien…
Like an heirloom of the greatest value, you were asked last year whether you would run for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives then held by retiring family friend William Delahunt. You declined and the seat is now held by first-termer John F. Tierney. No worry. Kennedys have always found ways to create openings for themselves when necessary. It’s Tierney who should be looking over his shoulder…
Meanwhile often self-designated “friends of the Kennedy family” (of whom former Massachusetts Democratic chairman Philip W. Johnston is the most egregious), pipe up whether requested or not with the usual puffery. “What’s not to like? He’s like Jack,” says Johnston. Massachusetts State Senate President Therese Murray called remarks Joe III made upon the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his great-uncle John’s “City on a Hill” speech “another historic speech.” It wasn’t, of course; no where near, but hungry courtiers, tired of waiting for a restoration which may never come, cannot restrain themselves. They see portents everywhere, rather like the faithful who see the profile of Jesus in a half eaten devil dog, to be promptly offered on E-bay.
But what of you Citizen Joe? Do you dream of the Oval Office, of your own elegant Jackie and Camelot, of setting the nation’s agenda and transforming the planet? You are not, I think, being coy when you say the door is open.. but not yet. Rather, I think you truly don’t know, have not decided. That is no surprise for the weight of expectations on the one dubbed the Heir of the Kennedys are astronomical, unimaginable by the average citizen.
Asked how he will know if it’s time to run Joe III told the Boston Globe (published February 20, 2011): “You just know, when the issues are ones you want to get involved in, and you feel you could contribute to the debate and the direction of the country, right? If you don’t have that passion, you should hold off.” And there we must leave this story… for now.
About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is a well known marketer and historian, he has 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer http://SuccessClicks.com. Check out e Master Classes -> http://www.SuccessClicks.com/?rd=fz0SziPp