A Few More Political Hamlets
More readers wrote in response to my post Tuesday on the "Hamlet effect" among some politicians. Here are a few Hamlet nominations from Fix fans:
* Former representative Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.): Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1988, following former House speaker Tip O'Neill and his uncle, John F. Kennedy, in representing the 8th District of Massachusetts. He stunned the political world when he announced his retirement from Congress just 10 years later. At that time, he offered a fuzzy pledge about his political future: "I don't rule out the possibility of running for public office," Kennedy said. He was immediately mentioned as the party's nominee against Gov. Paul Cellucci (R), but declined to make a run. He also passed on a governor's race in 2002 despite being seen as the Democrats' strongest potential opponent against now-Gov. Mitt Romney (R). Kennedy's name again surfaced as a candidate for a Senate special election if Sen. John Kerry (D) had been elected president last year. Kennedy still has a whopping $1.7 million sitting in a federal election account, a sum sure to keep him among the oft-mentioned candidates for future Massachusetts elections.
*Former representative Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.): Before retiring from Congress in 2004, Dunn twice weighed a race against Sen. Patty Murray (D). In 1998, Dunn was expected to run for the Senate but eventually said "no" when then-House GOP Conference Vice Chairwoman Susan Molinari (N.Y.) resigned from Congress. Dunn ran for and won Molinari's leadership position. Six years later, the Dunn recruitment was on again, and once again she declined. She later left politics entirely, joining a lobbying firm.
A few other Hamlet nominees: An Alabama blogger throws out former governor Jim Folsom Jr. (D) as his state's political hamlet. Check out his write-up on Folsom's flirtations here. And, if Al Gore keeps this up, he may be added to the list, too.
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