Joe Kennedy III has big shoes to fill at DNC

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September 4, 2012, 1:13 pm
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(NECN: Eileen Curran) – It was a quick campaign stop Tuesday morning at a Newton, Mass. T station for Joe Kennedy III. The next generation of Kennedy candidates is running for congress in the fourth district.

But, at the Democratic National Convention, he’ll be in the national spotlight, as he introduces a video tribute to his great-uncle, the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

“(I’ll) just talk a little about his philosophy about politics, what he meant to me personally, what he meant to our party and our country,” said Kennedy III.

It was four years ago when an ailing Ted Kennedy energized his party at the 2008 DNC. This younger Kennedy III admits this will be an emotional speech for him.

“I think it will definitely be a special moment for me and I think for my entire family,” he said, “that the party is willing to do a tribute to my uncle and the causes that he fought for in his career in the senate.

“To me, he was always Uncle Teddy. To me he was always there and he was an uncle first and the impact and the attention that he brought to the people of Massachusetts, he showed that in droves to his family. We miss him.”

The decades-long string of Kennedys in Washington came to an end last year when Patrick Kennedy decided not to run for re-election in his home state of Rhode Island.

Since then, the family has been in the news for “other” reasons, like his cousin Conor Kennedy’s relationship with singer Taylor Swift.

Joe III laughs when asked if he has had to put Taylor Swift songs on his IPod.  

“She’s a remarkable young woman and I'm happy for my cousin.”

Kennedy III will be thinking of his uncle as he takes to the DNC stage Tuesday night. He said he always remembers, especially out on the campaign trail, the lessons “Uncle Teddy” taught him.

“Politics is always about people,” he said.  “That personal touch…shaking their hand, looking them in the eye and asking them what's on their minds, asking them what you can do to try to help. That's really what it's supposed to be about."

Tags: massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, DNC, Eileen Curran, Joe Kennedy III, Democratic National Convention
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