OPINION/Mike Hardman: Dems Need Kennedy
Whether he wants to be or not, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is being thrust into the spotlight Tuesday when he delivers the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union speech at Diman Voke Regional in Fall River.
The 37-year-old three-term congressman from Brookline has been low keying his future political aspirations, whether it be to run for governor against Charlie Baker or move to the Senate. In fact, he dodges questions by saying he doesn’t even know what he is going to have for lunch that day.
That is about to change if Kennedy’s rebuttal to the Trump agenda strikes a chord with voters across the country. Recently, the Congressman has been a vocal opponent of the current administration policies. With that approach and being chosen to represent Democrats, Kennedy is taking a step towards a possible presidential run whether wants the position or not.
What it comes down to it, the Democrats needed Kennedy in a higher profile role. His strong positions on health care, his fighting for the working class, his immigration and gay rights stances make him very appealing to the core values of the party.
Democrats don’t need repeats of John Kerry, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or Hilary Clinton campaigns. It’s time to move forward with a new voice leading the Democrats if they want to wrestle away control from the Republicans.
Whether Trump decides to mount a re-election campaign or not, Democrats need to return to the party’s values to offer an alternative to Republicans and that’s where Kennedy comes in.
Kennedy does enter a national campaign with family name recognition, but he needs to introduce himself to the American votes as an appealing alternative to the Republicans.
If he does that, then his next stop might just be the White House.
(Mike Hardman is the digital managing editor for WBSM. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.)