Presidents have sons and daughters. Sometimes the children grow up to engage politics, sometimes they don’t. Think of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, and an image comes to mind. Think of Michael Reagan, son of Ronald Reagan, and another image comes to mind – hopefully not for long.
Do the children of past Presidents carry any political weight? Is their endorsement of any value to current politicians? Again, think of Caroline Kennedy – and then try to imagine Michael Reagan.
When Caroline Kennedy decided to endorse Barack Obama the news media was giddy. The people were giddy. Everyone was astonished and emotionally impacted. Caroline eloquently wrote an Op-ed for the NY Times that compared Obama to her late father, noting that she was inspired in a way that an earlier generation was inspired by JFK. The statement was very powerful and everyone paid attention.
Now imagine Michael Reagan proclaiming any of the Republican’s as his inspiration, reminding him of his father. Would that work? That event would be hilarious – but would not rise to the level of late night comics.
What is the difference here? Two things. Michael Reagan is a thug. He is a mouthy, unintelligent, bigoted bully. He will not admit that he drinks Billy Beer. But that is his stripe. Secondly – none of the candidates remotely qualify as being inspiring. This bunch of Republicans are the most boring field ever presented to the American People.
Princess Caroline has been a true princess. She has lived her life with dignity and honor. She has quietly volunteered for a variety of causes that fulfill the dream of her father. She is elegant, thoughtful, kind, generous, and gracious. She carries her own image of nobility. Secondly – she has a candidate to endorse that continues her life of dignity and honor. Barack Obama is the closest thing to JFK since the untimely death of RFK.
This endorsement is not about the child of a former president. It is not about partisan politics. Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement has tangible value because of the person that she has become.