Kennedy wows a labor crowd, but will remain on the sidelines in 2012

Ted Kennedy Jr. drank in the applause of a labor crowd Sunday in Hartford’s Bushnell Park after a speech that made him sound like a Democrat who is keeping his options open for a campaign some day – but not in 2012.


Ted Kennedy Jr.

“I am here today to honor you and to thank you. My family has been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with their friends in the labor movement,” Kennedy said. “My family believes in fairness. My family believes in justice.”

He recited the list of Kennedys who stood with labor in Congress: His father, his two uncles, a cousin, and his brother. He tallied it up as 100 years of Kennedys working with labor.

The crowd cheered.

“Nothing’s changed,” Kennedy said told a reporter after the speech about his political plans. He smiled and said, “We’ve already had this conversation.”

Kennedy, who lives in Branford, said his decision not to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut next year is firm for business and family reasons. His children are 13 and 16, and commuting to Washington would limit his involvement as a father.

“I look forward one day to being able to go into public service, and I hope that that happens,” Kennedy said. “I’ll just have to see what opportunities unfold in the future. I know that for the time-being, I’m too busy with my work and my family obligations, and that’s the honest truth.”

As he walked across the park, Michael Coyne of the Ironworkers shouted from the stage to the crowd, “How many of you want to see another Kennedy in Congress? When he runs, we’re all going to support him.”

Judging by the applause, it seemed to be a popular idea.

Kennedy turned and waved to Coyne.


As he leaves, Kennedy waves to acknowledge a call to run.