On Tuesday, Donald Trump will give his first State of the Union Address to the nation. Personally, I’m not too excited for the speech, as Teleprompter Trump will just read off the screen, get praised for his “presidentiality” by pundits for not deviating from the script, and will resume his antics days later.
However, the Response to the State of the Union, a tradition in which the minority party lays out their political goals, will feature a rising Dem star with a familiar surname. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (yep, those Kennedys) was tapped to give the response and will continue the tradition of raising the political profiles of response speaker. Past responders include Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Paul Ryan, all of whom enjoyed increased publicity after their speeches.
The spotlight may shine even brighter on Kennedy due to his bloodline. The grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, Joe Kennedy III has continued the family tradition of political prowess. Kennedy currently serves as a representative for Massachusetts’s 4th district, but he has the makings of a 2020 dark horse.
Beyond the obvious name recognition, Kennedy has a backstory that voters would be drawn towards. From his funnier stories like his nickname of “Milkman” (Kennedy does not drink alcohol and often drinks milk instead) to his more heartwarming story of service in his great uncle’s Peace Corps, Kennedy could challenge more notable Dems in the 2020 primary.
His Catholicism could be an interesting aspect of his potential campaign, although Americans have progressed greatly since the 1960s. His voice, accompanied by a hearty Boston accent, brings comparisons to his grandfather and great uncle, something that can only help his popularity. Additionally, his liberal moderate nature could be useful in attracting both Dems and swing voters in a national election.
Kennedy has the unique opportunity to bask in the national spotlight, and his response could very well propel him towards the presidency. If he can capture the imagination of Americans with visions of a return to Camelot, we may see another Kennedy take the White House.