I don’t care whether it was Ambien or alcohol; I wonder whether Patrick Kennedy isn’t—unconsciously—seeking a way out of politics with his latest run-in with the law. Kennedy last went into rehab just five months ago, now he’s going back. The Almanac of American Politics reports that he had several “imbroglios” in recent years, including shoving an airport security guard in 2000 and, in 2003, saying, “I haven’t worked a [expletive] day in my life,” as a way of attacking Bush’s tax cuts by citing his own privileged background.
Kennedy lacks his father’s political temperament, let alone his charisma. His achievements have been middling (again, per the Almanac), including supporting the Iraq war and then accusing the administration of deceiving him. And, maybe more revealing, twice ducking a chance to run for Senate. He was obviously pushed into politics by family pressure, internalized or otherwise; he got in at age 21, and who doesn’t question career choices made at that age?
It’s interesting to consider that he had his crackup at the Capitol. Some hostility there toward symbols of authority? By leaving the place for good, he would do a real favor to his under-served constituents, and probably himself too.