The person slated to give the official response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address is an interesting choice by national Democrats.
The Democratic Party has chosen Joe Kennedy III, a Massachusetts congressman, to deliver their official response following Trump’s speech Tuesday night. Democrat leaders on Capitol Hill made the announcement on Thursday, and Kennedy later tweeted that he was honored to have been chosen.
“While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, according to NPR.
However, Pelosi’s characterization of Kennedy is a little perplexing given his family background.
As the surname suggests, Joe Kennedy is a member of the powerful Kennedy family dynasty, longtime players in national Democrat politics.
Kennedy, who is currently serving his third term in the House, is the great nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy and of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. Kennedy is also the grandson of the late Robert Kennedy, a former U.S. attorney general and New York senator who was killed in 1968.
His father, Joe Kennedy II, served in Congress from 1987 to 1999.
The Kennedy clan boats roots in Massachusetts that go back generations. Their ancestors were Irish Catholic immigrants who arrived in the state in the 1840s in order to escape the Irish famine.
Joseph P. J. Kennedy, born in 1858, is the patriarch of the Kennedy family and great-great grandfather to the man slated to the give the Democrat address.
Despite keeping a relatively low profile since his election to Congress in 2012, the 37-year-old is viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Amid rumors that he is angling for higher office, Kennedy told the Boston Globe that he is solely focused on his current job.
“I don’t give a whole lot of thought or credence to questions about what comes on next, what goes on next,” he said.
“My life is busy enough at the moment that I don’t even really know where I’m having lunch today.”
While not popularly known outside his home state of Massachusetts, Kennedy has recently made a name for himself as an avowed critic of Trump, whom he regularly refers to as a racist.
The New England liberal has put the White House on blast on many occasions, and has been an avid supporter of Medicaid expansion, the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals and other progressive initiatives.
Kennedy — a straight white male — was not exactly born from humble beginnings.
The congressman is not only descended from a long line of politicians, but also hails from an extended family swamped in wealth.
The Kennedy compound — several Massachusetts homes in Cape Cod that have been owned and frequented by members of the Kennedy clan since the 1920’s — was recently valued by local media at well over $11 million.
Kennedy’s net worth is estimated to be over $43 million, far surpassing his colleagues in the Massachusetts delegation and the entirety of Congress, according to calculations by Inside Gov.
The congressman will deliver his address in his homes state, speaking from the Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River before a group of students and community residents.
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