Mr. Markey, who was first elected to Congress in 1976, was able to outflank Mr. Kennedy with progressives, leaving the heir of Massachusetts’s most storied political dynasty little opening.
Progressives see hypocrisy rooted—not in principle or policy—but in maintaining power. “It’s almost like all the rules are thrown out the window if you’re not coming from the left,” progressive strategist Rebecca Katz told me.
Kennedy said that he is motivated to run because „our system has been letting down a lot of people for a long time, and we can’t fix it if we don’t challenge it.“
„I’ve got some ideas on how to do that. And I don’t think our democratic process promises anyone a turn. What it does promise is the chance for anyone to earn it — if we think we have something to offer and are willing to put ourselves and our ideas out there,“ he said in response to individuals who have advised him to wait.
The vision he offered was of a capitalism that would be judged, he said, “not just by how much it produces, but how widely it shares; how good it does for how many; and how well it takes care of all of us.”
The speech amounted to an effort to guide his party toward a vision for how to tackle one of the most salient issues facing the country: the growing divide between the very rich and everyone else.
In a visit to Border Patrol Station No. 1 in El Paso, Kennedy said he saw detainees kept in jail-like conditions. He was among the lawmakers who spoke to a group of 13 women from Cuba who had tried to enter the United States to seek asylum, but were detained by federal officials.
Those women began crying when they spoke, he said.
Kennedy is a grandson of U.S. Senator and former United States Attorney General Robert F. „Bobby“ Kennedy, a grand-nephew of President John F. Kennedy