Patrick Kennedy

We’ve written about Patrick Kennedy in the past, but the summer of 2009 was different. His father, whom he adored, had died and we wanted to know what lay ahead for Patrick as a congressman. Would Ted Kennedy’s death mean the political burden was lifted from Patrick’s shoulders or would it prove to be a weight he couldn’t handle?

Mark Arsenault has reported on Patrick Kennedy’s career as a congressman for several years and began working on this feature in early November. He shadowed Kennedy here and in D.C., talking to family, meeting constituents and interviewing other members of Congress, including Republicans Patrick had worked with – an example of strange bedfellows his father was familiar with.

Mark filed his story in late December. We edited it, designed the layout, shot the photos and finished the final proofing. We thought we were done. Then about a week before we were due to ship to the printer, Patrick called Mark. There was something he thought Mark should include in his story; turns out it was his decision not to run for an eighth term in Congress. Mark’s story is a layered portrait of a complex figure; it has a poignancy I certainly hadn’t anticipated when we first started working on this last fall. The result is our March cover story.