Teddy Jr.—Not Vicki—Is Kennedy Pick for Senate

Clan irked by focus on Teddy's wife, tensions grew in last days
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2009 8:35 AM CDT
Victoria Kennedy, responds to friends and former staff members who gathered on the steps of the Senate to pay a final tribute to her husband, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009, in...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)
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(Newser) – Despite the intense focus on Vicki Kennedy at her husband's funeral, Teddy Kennedy Jr. is the family’s choice to fill his late father’s Senate seat, Irish Central reports. Not only is she not a Kennedy, but conflict between her and the senator's powerful family escalated during his last days, when she was accused of denying them sufficient access. In contrast, Teddy Jr.’s moving eulogy and scandal-free personal life made him an attractive candidate.

"Remember, this was meant to be Joe Junior's seat originally, then John F. took it, and then Teddy,” a family friend says. “This is the family business, and they are in no mind to hand it off elsewhere." All the cameras trained on Vicki and the media chatter about her political acumen irked the clan, Irish Central reports. The family doesn't want her to run, and is unlikely to support her if she does. They point out that both her father and brother were jailed for fraud. Teddy Jr. works as a corporate health care consultant in New York and is a staunch environmentalist.