Kennedy Family Keeps Up Its Influence At The DNC

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
Joseph P. Kennedy III, the son of former six-term congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, spoke at the Democratic National Convention on its opening night Tuesday.

Joe Kennedy III, candidate for the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Democrats are gathered here this week for their first national convention without Edward Kennedy since 1956 and the first without any Kennedy since 1944. The dynastic family, however, has no plans of being forgotten.

Joseph P. Kennedy III, the son of former six-term congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, spoke at the convention on its opening night Tuesday and introduced a seven-minute video honoring the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009.

"Make no mistake, he is here with us this evening," the young Kennedy said of the senator. "I see him in the passion of our delegates, the character of our candidates and the causes that unite us."

The tribute video covered the highlights of Ted Kennedy's career, from his election to the Senate in 1962 and his support of the Voting Rights Act, to his authorship of immigration reform and to his support for President Obama. It also took a dig at Mr. Obama's GOP rival, Mitt Romney, with footage from Kennedy's 1994 Massachusetts Senate race against Romney. The video featured a clip of the debate in which Kennedy delivered his famous zinger against the Republican, "I am pro-choice, my opponent is multiple choice."

The video also illustrated how Mr. Obama has carried on the liberal legacy that Kennedy entrusted to him by passing on the fight for national health care reform. Kennedy is shown at the 2008 Democratic convention saying, "I know what America can achieve. I've seen it, I've lived it, and with Barack Obama, we can do it again."

Joseph P. Kennedy III is aiming to put a Kennedy back in Congress, running for the Massachusetts House seat that is opening up with Rep. Barney Frank's retirement.

About two-dozen other Kennedy family members, meanwhile, are also attending the convention this week, the Boston Globe reports. President John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy is slated to speak at the convention Thursday night, and there are a number of other events linked to the family this week.

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