Patrick Kennedy’s announcement that he will not seek reelection in November will be the complete end of the era of Camelot. As the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, his departure from Congress will mean that for the first time in five decades that a Kennedy will not serve in either the House or the Senate.
I have my own little personal story about Patrick Kennedy. I was in the conference room of the Resources Committee during a hearing and briefing Congressman John Shadegg on some issue before the committee. We were eating sandwiches when a young guy set down a packaged salad from Cannon carryout and walked away. Shadegg needed some salt for his sandwich and so I figured I could take the salt packet out of the salad of the staffer and gave it to Shadegg.
The young guy walked back to sit down and eat his salad, and I looked up and realized that it was freshman Congressman Patrick Kennedy. Here I thought he was a staffer (he’s barely older than me – so at the time he couldn’t have been older than 26 or 27) and took his salt packet.
I never got to apologize to him for that. So, Mr. Kennedy, I’m sorry, and I owe you a salt packet.
Here is Congressman Kennedy’s video announcement of his retirement.