|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Representative Patrick Kennedy, the final member of the legendary political dynasty serving in federal office, has decided not to seek re-election, telling his Rhode Island constituents that “my life is taking a new direction.”
In a recorded video announcement scheduled to be televised on Sunday, Mr. Kennedy announced his decision to step down after nine terms in office. The death of his father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and the challenging political climate for Democrats contributed to his decision, party officials said.
“We all know how difficult the last few years have been,” Mr. Kennedy says at the opening of a two-minute message, citing the economy, unemployment and mortgage foreclosures. He added, “Illness took the life of my most cherished mentor and confidant, my ultimate source of spirit and strength.”
The decision by Mr. Kennedy, 42, means that for the first time in nearly a half-century, a Kennedy would not be serving in Congress. The decision was expected to be formally announced on Friday, aides said, with the television advertisement to follow.
Mr. Kennedy was facing the prospect of a competitive race for re-election from a Republican state representative, John Loughlin III. Mr. Kennedy also voiced concern last month at the Republican victory in neighboring Massachusetts, where Scott Brown won the United States Senate seat that was held for generations by the elder Kennedy.
Two party officials said Thursday evening that the challenging race this fall was a factor, but that the death of Mr. Kennedy’s father played a larger role in his decision.
“My father instilled in me a deep commitment to public service,” Mr. Kennedy said in the video message, which was recorded about 10 days ago. “Now, having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction, and I will not be a candidate for re-election this year.”