February 11, 2010

FLASH: ABC6 Reports Patrick Kennedy Won't Run for Reelection

Marc Comtois

UPDATE: Kennedy's office confirmed the ProJo's John Mulligan that Kennedy WILL NOT seek re-election. Here is the ad that started it all.

MORE: According to Cianci, RI Dem. Chair Bill Lynch was selling an ad package dealing with Kennedy's announcement to be released this Sunday. The ad was being sold as a Democratic Party ad. Word leaked out and Cianci confirmed at 8:30 tonight.

So, who's luckier? John Brien or John Loughlin? It's a wide open race, now. And we'll see if some other wannabe's suddenly have an itch to scratch. Names like Mayor David Cicilline, AG Patrick Lynch (or Bill). And, of course, what about Steve Laffey?

Would anyone be surprised to see Patrick in Massachusetts in 2012?

MORE 2: Here is an in-development RI Monthly piece by Mark Arsenault that was rushed out the door (h/t Ian Donnis).

ORIGINAL REPORT: Buddy Cianci is reporting via ABC 6 that Congressman Patrick Kennedy will not seek reelection this fall. It's worth noting that Cianci's WPRO colleague Dan Yorke has been speculating that this would be the case for the last few days. The story is still developing. Cianci will be on ABC 6 at 11 PM with more information.

MORE: From the Boston Globe:

A Democratic official says Rep. Patrick Kennedy has decided not to seek re-election for his seat representing Rhode Island in the U.S. Congress.

The official spoke to The Associated Press only on the condition that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak ahead of the official announcement....

Kennedy plans to air two-minute commercials about his decision to air on three Rhode Island TV stations on Sunday night.

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The best thing in the world for Rhode Island and for Patrick Kennedy. The death of Ted has had a profound effect on Patrick and he needs time away.
Question is will Laffey now run for this seat?? Or maybe Patrick Lynch?? And if Pat Lynch runs for a federal gig will Brother Billy now run for a state gig, the AG's office? After all, Chuckie Moroeau needs another Lynch family firewall.

Posted by: Tim at February 11, 2010 10:40 PM

It will be Dan McKee to run for Patrick's seat!

And don't count out Patrick. Watch him as he moves into Massachusetts and runsd against Scott Brown for the U. S. Senate seat after he rehabilitates himself.

Posted by: John at February 11, 2010 10:52 PM

Patrick Kennedy has never rehabilitated himself. He has occasionally gotten detoxed, but it's observed that rehab is much harder to accomplish. I wish him luck with it and hope he does it.

Posted by: chuckR at February 11, 2010 10:58 PM

so much for all the federal money i bring into this state, my positions on several important committees, and my humorous shindigs

Posted by: patches at February 11, 2010 11:12 PM

Holy mackeral!

"so much for ... my humorous shindigs"


Posted by: Monique at February 11, 2010 11:26 PM

That video is the most coherent speech I have ever heard this man make. Why didn't he always speak like that instead of his monotonous yelling? He's speaking like a man with the weight of the world off his shoulders. Good for him.

To answer Marc's question, this knocks Brien out of the race. He might have had some fun going after Kennedy in a primary, but the Democratic machine is going to rally around whoever the chosen one is, whether it is either Lynch boy, Cicilline, Caprio or Roberts.

I think McKee has his eye on higher office, but I think this opportunity is too soon for him. He's got some more things to finish up in Cumberland before he moves on. Plus, McKee is bucking that Democratic stronghold, also called the public teachers' union. That can't sit too well over there.

It'll be interesting to see how this all turns out. After just watching the news broadcasts on this, they made it sound like a negative for Loughlin's fundraising, especially from national Republicans, but doesn't it make more sense to dump cash into the race when he's not running against an incumbent Kennedy? It's an open seat now, get a jump on the Democrat and start the advertising now.

Then again, does this open the door for another Republican to get in? Heck, why not Carcieri? I don't think Laffey's a fit for any Washington job as he's more "executive" than "diplomat". He's better at exerting his will and is a much better fit for a Governor seat.

But the elephant in the room now, and I wonder if DeLuca asked him off camera, is whether Buddy will throw his hat in the ring. Why not?

It's going to be a really exciting 7 months...

Posted by: Patrick at February 11, 2010 11:32 PM

"After all, Chuckie Moroeau needs another Lynch family firewall."

Good point, Tim. And he's probably not the only RI official who needs a Lynch firewall ...

Posted by: Monique at February 11, 2010 11:34 PM

There is a God. Amen to PATCHES stepping out of our lives. What a day this is - bye bye PATCHES. No need to be all profound here it's just a great day to see him sail into the sunset. I guess he knew, like many of the incumbent Dem's that it's better to bow out now than to take the a$$ beating in Nov. He knew it was coming so he made it look like it was his decision now.

Posted by: x man at February 11, 2010 11:51 PM

does Dave Rogers get in to this race?

Posted by: ConRepub at February 11, 2010 11:59 PM

I'm glad to see Patches make a wise choice and walk away with dignity. I feel sorry for the people who absolutely, positively needed pathologically to see him lose.
Patrick, I hope you're correct about Brien being out, but I'd rather see a fresh face run for the seat. I wouldn't vote for either Lynch - the Dems need to be free from both of them.
Carcieri's never struck me as a guy with electoral ambitions beyond the Statehouse - he'd probably be the front guy for one of those anti-gay marriage groups. And Laffey? Forget it. Think his ego could handle being number 435 on the U.S. House totem pole?
If Cianci runs, I hope he gets his head handed to him. I was too young to fully appreciate the beatdown he caught the last time he tried to run beyond Providence.

Posted by: rhody at February 12, 2010 12:44 AM

This is the best news I've heard in a month. Scott Brown's victory in Mass. has shown that the Kennedy legacy is dead. John Loughlin can make a great candidate however ConRepub, Dave ran two great races. I'd love to see him jump back in. Or, how about Laffey? Or even Carcieri? What does Linc do? Does he take this seat?

Posted by: birdie33 at February 12, 2010 12:51 AM

Republicans better redouble their
efforts and their cash to run against
another kind of machine... the Kennedys could not bear to "lose" this seat.
First time a Kennedy hasn't held elective office for nearly 50 years... Patrick
is a pathetically sad individual...
he did appear as though a huge weight has
been lifted off him. No, he won't
run in Massachusetts... Scott Brown will
win with larger pluralities... he could
do nothing but he has stopped health
care and cap and trade... he's golden.
We need to stop the corrupt slime
and scum in RI and let decency and
honor prevail...John Loughlin, work
harder than ever. You must do this

Posted by: Meg Buresh at February 12, 2010 12:53 AM

"That video is the most coherent speech I have ever heard this man make."

By far. I am certain as the sky is blue that (1) a teleprompter was used, (2) this speech required multiple takes and (3) he was wearing a lot of TV make-up. It looks heavily produced. The background music was a bit much.

I wholeheartedly agree that this is the best thing he could do for Rhode Island, but most especially for himself. He clearly needs a break from everything.

Interesting that Bill Lynch would supposedly be shopping around a Democratic ad for TV, even though the ad is clearly paid for by Friends of Patrick Kennedy ... that is unless Bill Lynch has an ulterior motive for leaking it.

PS I agree with everyone... this development changes everything about the 2010 election. I think there are going to be all sorts of reverberations from this.

Posted by: Will at February 12, 2010 1:48 AM

I am glad to see Patches leave public life-he can go to the Compound and do whatever.He probably never really wanted the job.He was pushed into running for elective office by his family.I think there is a Kennedy,a woman who holds office in Maryland.Congressional rep?Could be wrong.
The Dems couldn't sustain the psychologial defeat of a Kennedy-an open seat isn't that big a deal in the House.
I think John Loughlin can attract many indepedents.
Patrick Lynch has some serious ethical problems right now-his fundraising from industries he oversees and Moreau for starters.
Bill Lynch is a miserable character.His constantly acerbic smartass ways won't do him a lot of good.
Linc Chafee?Mr.Wishy-Washy is about as articulate as Patches and he doesn't even have the excuse of being a drug and alcohol soaked mental case.
I hate agreeing with Rhody,but Laffey won't be a palatable candidate for most people.He is very ego driven and for some reason a lot of folks see him for more than what he is.I could be wrong.
Dave Rogers had some kind of problems-I don't recall exactly what,but they could interfere with another candidacy.
Brien is hated by the Dem leadership,particularly the "progressives".
Cicilline is despised out side of Providence.
I kinda doubt Buddy wants to take a pay cut and go to DC.He ran for Governor,not Senate or House.
Roberts?What a joke she is.
Caprio seems to really want to be Governor.
I could see Carcieri go after Whitehouse's seat,but not a House position.
Just my 2 cents.
Go Loughlin!!

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 12, 2010 3:52 AM

One thing Patrick Kennedy didn't seem to understand when he made his "joke" remark about Scott Brown is that there are voters in RI District 1 who have family and friends in MA that voted for Scott Brown.

That apparent oversight in itself showed a lack of focus. I hope he gets healthy,but I'm sure glad he'll be gone.

He would probably do well heading up a private charitable foundation.

Posted by: helen at February 12, 2010 5:20 AM

That's the kind of ad that would have gotten him re-elected. I'm thankful that he's stepping aside, and I'm hoping for some real representation for Rhode Island.

rhody, your post had me laughing. Could you come up with a few more adverbs to make your point? "I feel sorry for the people who absolutely, positively needed pathologically to see him lose."

Posted by: mikeinri at February 12, 2010 6:23 AM

I don't know if many of you listened to the radio for the Patriots first Super Bowl win, but one of the announcers said, "Can you believe what's happening here in New Orleans??!?!?!?" in reference to the improbable Patriots win. Let's hope in early November someone says the same thing about the RI Political shakeup I hope is coming. Kennedy has always been the most prominent bunion on my feet and seeing him go out this way is a bit less satisfying than seeing him actually lose and election, but I'll take it nonetheless. I just hope that RI doesn't elect another run-of-the-mill Democrat to this seat. Given the mood of the electorate lately, though, seems to indicate otherwise.

But, man is this great news!

Posted by: Don Roach at February 12, 2010 7:25 AM

Don-LOL-a bunion!If we're going to make somatic references,here goes:Sheldon is a hemorrhoid and Steven Brown a cancererous tumor.Cicilline is a pimple.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 12, 2010 8:03 AM

Caprio doesn't live in the first congressional district - Lynch does - not that Betsy Dennigan hasn't set a preecedent here for running outside the district in which you live (since it is allowed - but not great politics). Also, why would Caprio leave a Governor's race in which he is competitive?

Laffey lives in Narragansett, so, again, I feel that his entry into the race would be unlikely. Besides, a 2012 challenge against Whitehouse is looking better and better every day for him.

I'm thinking either Lynch (Bill or Patrick), Cicilline, Liz Roberts, or a member of the General Assembly or two...

Jon Brien is taking out papers, but it would be interesting to see him matched up against one of the actual Democrats in the Democratic primary. Also look for Amy Rice of Portsmouth if Liz Roberts declines - she may attempt to fill the NARAL/NOW/Emily's List void that would be created.

Posted by: Bob at February 12, 2010 8:38 AM

Joe I agree with you. Patrick Kennedy never wanted a political life but pursued one because of his last name. I love these rumors that Patches will move to Mass and run for Daddy's old seat. Scott Brown would eat the mumbling bumbling incoherent Patches Kennedy for lunch.
A Carcieri/Whitehouse race in 2012?? Interesting!! Don't know if the Gov would want a Senate gig but he could definitely beat Whitehouse statewide. It's 2011, the country is in worse shape than it is now because of wild Democratic Congressional spending, the Gov has a year away to re-energize and realize how much he misses public service. The national Repub party comes a callin' and promises big $$ and many bodies to help his campaign as part of the national plan to take back the Senate... Interesting!!
I'm begging Billy Lynch to run. It's a no lose situation for me. Either way he and his condescending punkness goes bye bye from my view since I live in the 2nd district.
I would encourage ALL unaffiliated voters, ALL unaffiliated voters to enter the Democratic primary and de-Lynch this state. It's time for that old corrupt crowd to go bye bye.

Posted by: Tim at February 12, 2010 9:34 AM

I don't expect to hear any more of Patches. I think, in boxing, this would be "retiring undefeated"

Without his father to pull his fat out of the fire, I think he saw that his future was dim.

As far as the future goes, I don't see a governor running for a rep's seat. Most politicians would see that as a step down.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at February 12, 2010 9:41 AM

Lets be honest, Loughlin is a great guy but he only really has about 20k on him - he scared off patches, but i dont know if he can survive a run for an open seat now. Laffey is a viable candidate if he can reestablish residence. Caprio and P Lynch are definitely not running. That leaves the most obvious choices for the Dem nomination to be "Chickillini" and Bill Lynch. Jon Scott was a great candidate the last two cycles, but he ran intoa fundraising wall against Kennedy. with kennedy out of the way, his connections in DC might be able to come through with some serious money to challenge the Dems - just my thoughts...

Posted by: Kevin at February 12, 2010 9:45 AM

I don't understand why people, Loughlin included, think that this is a negative for his fundraising nationally. Isn't it easier to win a vacant seat than to run against an 8-term incumbent Kennedy?

I can understand that he requests his money by being anti-Kennedy, but why do people give him money? Because they hate Kennedy or because they want to see a Republican, specifically Loughlin in that seat? If it's only the former, that's just really pathetic and sad. If it's the latter, then it should enhance his fundraising ability, not diminish it.

Posted by: Patrick at February 12, 2010 10:13 AM

Rogers is a crook. He'd be crazy to run after he was exposed for the scheme he and Chrisian Winthrop concocted to bilk little old ladies out of money for their "Special Operations Fund" which, under the guise of raising funds for conservative candidates, actually lined the pockets of Rogers and Winthrop with hundreds of thousands while candidates received chump change.

Front page, above the fold, Sunday Providence Journal, March 11, 2007.


Posted by: George at February 12, 2010 10:13 AM

I can't imagine Carcieri running again. He's a Rhode Island guy, not a DC guy. I think he really looks forward to being a doting grandfather.

Posted by: davidc at February 12, 2010 10:35 AM

"I can't imagine Carcieri running again. He's a Rhode Island guy..."

I always thought he was more of a Del Boca Vista guy.

Posted by: George at February 12, 2010 11:26 AM

John Laughlin is a scumbag turd, Racist homophobic bigot and a LIAR
No wonder the Wing-Nuts like him

"scumbag turd" borrowed from joe bernstein's comments

Posted by: Simon at February 12, 2010 1:23 PM

Simon-somehow I think you have a garbagemouth all on your own-I take no credit,but it's nice to see you are participating anyhow.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 12, 2010 1:38 PM

Rogers was a good candidate the first time. The second time he got wrapped up in the story that George linked too. I also was told that he's had a DWI issue.

Laffey lives in Narragansett and already has a reputation for office shopping. I'd love to see him do the Governor's race and go full bore. He's not suited to DC. He needs to run a state.

Scott, like Kevin said, has DC connections already and was up against it on fundraising because no one would give to a race they knew Kennedy would win. He's paid his dues and, if he can shake some of that money free now that its open, would be a formidable candidate. I saw him debate Patches at a Veteran's event in EG and they had to shut it down early.

What about Gio Cicione? I know that some in the Party don't like him but the Governor does and the Governor's money would go to him. Certainly wouldn't go to Laffey or Scott and he fired Rogers from his staff. Cicione has run the race before and he could get the RNC behind him.

Then there's Joe Almond up in Lincoln. He's a good guy who knows how to win elections. He has the Almond last name and people like that sort of thing. He's not a stand up comic, like Loughlin. He's a quiet and steady guy which we need after Patches. Not as up on federal issues as Scott or Laffey but smart and could learn. He'd make a good candidate.

Posted by: Chris at February 12, 2010 3:34 PM

We already have a candidate. Republicans had every chance to get in this race - and now all of a sudden these people should get in? We already have John Loughlin in it. He stood up and decided to run for it when no one else wanted to. He has laid the groundwork. So why all the second guessing?

Posted by: Bob Smith at February 12, 2010 5:10 PM

I have worked with Joe Almond in the past and have nothing but the greatest respect for him.
That said,John Loughlin is not a stand up comic-he's as serious as Joe Almond,but people have different styles.
Nothing negative about either of them.Joe and his uncle Linc are honest people with reserved personalities,and John Loughlin is just as honest and hardworking with a more open personality-takes all kinds.

Posted by: joe bernstein at February 12, 2010 5:33 PM

The hilarious words of Billy da hack Lynch. This guy is a piece of work.

"The partisan politics of Washington are no longer providing solutions for the taxpayers of Rhode Island. I share the sentiments of voters who are angry and upset with the divisive debate that has ground Washington to a halt.

"I want Rhode Island families to know I will not participate in the rhetoric that has left all of us discouraged and disillusioned these past few years," stated Lynch. "I believe the vast majority of Rhode Islanders want the Republicans and Democrats who represent them to move to the center.

"It is time to stop the bitter debate driven by the extreme left and right. We need to come together and govern from the middle in a manner that makes sense for working families here in Rhode Island," said Lynch.

Just just can't make this stuff up!! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Posted by: Tim at February 13, 2010 10:17 AM
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