Ted Kennedy says no to 2012 — again

Ted Kennedy Jr. told reporters after a speech in Bridgeport tonight he will not run for U.S. Senate in 2012.

It’s pretty much the same answer he’s given me twice, beginning in October, when he said before a campaign event for Richard Blumenthal in New Haven that he has no interest in running while he has school-age children.

“I like my life here, because I think it’s a great place to raise my family,” Kennedy said then about living in Branford. “I don’t want, you know, to infect them and their lives with the political craziness that comes with being a member of my family.”

Such statements did little to discourage media speculation. One columnist in Boston even suggested that Joe Lieberman announced his retirement plans for fear that Kennedy would run against in 2012.

When I ran into Kennedy after the election, he said his thinking hadn’t changed: He would like to run some day, but now was not the right time. In recent weeks, he did not return my calls seeking a definitive statement about 2012, leaving me to wonder if he had a change of heart.

Tonight, he made clear that he hasn’t.