The New Kennedys

When the family business beckons, the third generation exploits the name and struggles with the legacy

The rule used to be that as soon as someone named Kennedy let it be known that he was testing the political waters, they parted. The media anointed him the front runner, the competition scattered, and the campaign dollars rolled in. But last week the opposite happened. First, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that William Kennedy Smith was considering a run for Congress from a solidly Democratic North Chicago district; his consultants had been quietly assembling focus groups to determine whether voters would forgive or forget his 1991 trial on a rape charge, of which he was acquitted. But three days after...

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