In an echo of 2008 — when Ted and Caroline Kennedy backed upstart Barack Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton — members of the Kennedy clan have been quietly wooing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and encouraging her to throw her hat in the ring, sources tell me.
The question of whom to back in the 2016 presidential race has split the Kennedys down the middle. Robert Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, and their eldest son, former US Rep. Joe Kennedy II, favor Warren — the darling of the party’s left-wing base who now sits in Ted Kennedy’s old seat — while Bobby Jr. and Max Kennedy remain loyal to Hillary Clinton.
Over the past several weeks, the Kennedys have tried to settle their family quarrel by inviting Clinton and Warren to their compound in Hyannis Port, where each woman has been put through a kind of audition for the role of party standard-bearer.
Clinton and Warren were feted on separate occasions at a catered buffet lunch under a large tent. In addition, Hillary and Bill Clinton were treated to a sail aboard the Kennedy schooner, the Maya.
Despite the death of the family patriarch, Ted, the Kennedys still consider themselves the torchbearers of the Democratic Party.
“A Kennedy endorsement matters,” said a family member. “It’s not just the aura of being compared to JFK, Bobby and Ted. But it’s also the use of the Hyannis Port compound and the JFK Library, which are magnets for fund-raisers.”