Obama to Kennedy Toddler: ‘When Are You Running?… How it Works?’

Photograph by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Representative Patrick Kennedy and his wife Amy Petitgout with son, Owen Patrick, on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Remember, it was the late Sen. Edward Kennedy who added his endorsement to the upstart campaign of then-Sen. Barack Obama for the presidency in 2008, a shocking rebuff to the Clinton clan.

“I feel change in the air — what about you?” Kennedy said in his endorsement of Obama then. “He understands what Dr. Martin Luther King called `the fierce urgency of now.”’

It was Kennedy who lined President Barack Obama up with his first Portuguese water dog.

And it is Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, whom Obama has dispatched to Japan as ambassador for the United States — and yes, he made his erstwhile Democratic opponent from 2008, Hillary Clinton, his first-term secretary of state.

So it was a Kennedy whom Obama was recognizing in Boston tonight — a very young Kennedy.

(Never mind all that talk about the inevitability of another family feud, a Bush-Clinton campaign in 2016. Obama was talking about the Kennedys tonight — do the math on the year.)

At the start of his remarks at a fundraiser for his party’s midterm congressional campaigns, Obama gave a shout-out to former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who held up his toddler son, Owen Patrick Kennedy. (Patrick Kennedy, the late senator’s son, was there for that family endorsement at American University in 2008.)

“When are you running?” Obama asked the boy as the crowd laughed.

“Isn’t that how that works? Absolutely.”

— Written with Margaret Talev in Boston

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