Give the man his due, he's obviously got a knack for reading the tea (party) leaves:
Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, the last member of his famous family still serving in elective office, has decided not to seek a ninth term in Congress.
"I will not be a candidate for reelection this year," the 42-year-old Kennedy says in an emotion-laden advertisement released by his office Thursday that will air Sunday night. Facing the camera in a blue suit and striped tie, the Rhode Island Democrat mentions his years of service and the death of his father, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, last summer.
"We all know how difficult the last few years have been," Kennedy begins. "Rhode Island families have struggled," he adds, citing the bad economy and mortgage foreclosures.
Then Kennedy says of his father, the longtime Democratic senator from Massachusetts: "Illness took the life of my most cherished mentor and confidant, my ultimate source of spirit and strength."
Kennedy's surprise decision spells the end of an era in American politics, instantly raises the prospects for the congressman's Republican opponent, state Rep. John Loughlin III, of Tiverton, and may spur a fight among Democratic contenders for the seat.
But Kennedy's decision "absolutely, unequivocally has nothing to do with" the congressman's poor showing in recent polls, the shocking election of another little-known Republican state legislator, Scott Brown, to his father's Senate seat or the generally grim mood of voters in Rhode Island and around the country, according to Sean Richardson, the congressman's former chief of staff.
Please Mr. Richardson, save the lies for your cronies in the White House, who are quite skilled at it... you clearly are not sir.