PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Patrick Joseph Kennedy II, who has represented Rhode Island’s 1st congressional district since 1995, has announced that he will not seek reelection. Mr. Kennedy, 42, has wrestled with alcoholism, bipolar disorder, and drug abuse, both recreational and prescription, since his student days at Rhode Island Community College.
As some of the most forward-looking politicians have begun doing recently, Mr. Kennedy used the bully pulpit of his Facebook page to inform his supporters that the “overwhelming demands” of his office prevented him from “fully promoting” his family’s political legacy.
“I need to spend more time promoting my family’s legacy instead of trying to contribute to it,” wrote Mr. Kennedy. “I mean, my father was a senator; my Uncle Bobby was a senator and the attorney general; my Uncle Jack was the freakin’ president. How am I supposed to top that by representing a crummy little district in the smallest state the union? Even if I managed to get assassinated, the murder of a member of the house is small potatoes compared to the murders of a president and a presidential contender.”
Although Mr. Kennedy was fuzzy regarding his immediate plans, he was clear about the role that Facebook would play in realizing them.
“Facebook is the wave of the political future,” wrote Mr. Kennedy. “This is where policy will be set and battles lost and won. I hope to be in the vanguard of that movement.”
In related news, conservative Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin said that Patrick Kennedy’s decision not to seek reelection “would have no bearing” on the bishop’s ban against Mr. Kennedy receiving communion or—in the event that he was assassinated—extreme unction.
“He still owes me two thousand Our Fathers, one thousand Hail Marys, and fifteen Acts of Contrition for his pro-choice comments,” said the bishop. “All the Facebook malarky in the world isn’t going to change that.”