For years, the Kennedy family played an essential role in American Democratic politics. John F. Kennedy served as President of the United States, Robert Kennedy served as Senator from New York and United States Attorney General, and Ted Kennedy served as a longtime Senator from Massachusetts. The three brothers were for years at the center of American politics.

After the assassinations of President Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, both in the 1960s, much of their influence was lost. Yet, there have been a number of occasions where it appeared members of the influential family would make a return to the national spotlight.

In 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed in a fatal plane accident, he was just 38 years old. At the time, it was rumored by close friends of the family that he had very strongly considered running for the US Senate seat in New York in 2000. Polling had indicated that he was the most popular political figure in New York at the time.

Since that time, some members of the family have remained active, however that has typically taken place in positions which are less well known. Daughter of President John F. Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, recently served as Ambassador to Japan under President Obama. Christopher Kennedy, the son of Robert Kennedy, was Chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and is a businessman who remains involved with Democratic politics in Illinois.

Rumors have run rampant in the Land of Lincoln that Chris Kennedy could be the pick to run against Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in 2018. With the money behind Governor Rauner and his “Turnaround Agenda,” it certainly would not be an easy task. But, Democrats hope that the notorious Kennedy name might just be enough to begin to make up for Rauner’s advantages.

Similarly, Caroline Kennedy now appears that she may be looking to run for office. She had very publicly sought the New York US Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton in 2008, after being selected as Secretary of State. She eventually dropped out of the running, before the seat was given to Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand. After serving as Ambassador to Japan for four years, it appears she might be ready to seek elected office.

Sources close to the daughter of President John F. Kennedy told the New York post,

“[Kennedy is] really very confident about putting her hat in the ring for a New York congressional or Senate seat, with even possibly bigger political objectives down the road.” She has been compared to Hillary Clinton, but without the baggage.

What do you think? Do you expect the Kennedy family to make a return to the political scene? Let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!

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Jake Leahy is a Staff Writer for Hypeline News, frequent contributor on 560 the Answer in Chicago, and a student at Deerfield High School (IL). Follow him on Twitter @jakealeahy.

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