After all, he hasn't exactly had the best role models.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, affectionately called "Patches" by local Boston radio host Howie Carr, had a fender bender at 2:45 AM today at the Capitol. It seems he was late for a vote.
"I was involved in a traffic accident last night at First and C Street SE, near the U.S. Capitol," Kennedy, who represents the New England state of Rhode Island, said in a written statement released by his office Thursday afternoon. "I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake."
"I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake," Kennedy, son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, said in the statement. It was issued after news reports surfaced about the accident.
Let there be no doubt about cooperation with the investigation - it was mentioned twice. And why would anyone think alcohol was involved? It's not like he's ever had a problem with booze before.
Kennedy, 38, spent time at a drug rehabilitation clinic before he went to Providence College in Rhode Island. He has openly discussed his personal mental health problems, including having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Early this year he spoke about having been in recovery "for depression, for alcoholism and substance abuse."
Still, I'll take him at his word, for now. Kim Priestap at Wizbang is all over this story, but, let's face it, there are a lot of people all over this story. Except for maybe the higher ups in the Capitol Police.
Baird wrote that Capitol Police Patrol Division units, who are trained in driving under the influence cases, were not allowed to perform basic field sobriety tests on the Congressman. Instead, two sergeants, who also responded to the accident, proceeded to confer with the Capitol Police watch commander on duty and then "ordered all of the Patrol Division Units to leave the scene and that they were taking over."
I'm puzzled. Just exactly what will Senator Kennedy be saying to his son after two car accidents in about two weeks? Here's a little on that first accident, colorful descriptions courtesy of the aforementioned Mr. Carr.
Everyone has an off day now and then. But Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy has had an off 20 years, going back to his cocaine-addiction rehab stint in 1986. The Overshadowed Kennedy--son of Ted, nephew of Uncle Jack, cousin of Maria--never fails to unimpress, if that's a word (and if it's not, it's one the malaprop king has probably used himself; Kennedy, for instance, once lamented middle-class Americans' inability to "make mends meet").
Who--besides the Rhode Island electorate that mysteriously returns him to office--could forget Patrick trashing his chartered yacht, or announcing that "I am on a lot of different medications, for among other things, depression," or shoving a female airport security guard when she tried to make him check his bag.
Fresh off of a career high-point earlier this month, in which Patrick was hit in the mouth with a hammer while watching a demonstration of Impact Gel shock-absorbing material at a trade show (he got six stitches and didn't even cry!), Kennedy has again handed his bête noire Howie Carr, a Boston Herald columnist and radio host, fresh material.
On April 15, Patrick's car was T-boned as he hurriedly pulled across an oncoming lane into a CVS pharmacy in Portsmouth, R.I. Carr was particularly taken with Patrick's handwritten account in the Portsmouth Police Department report. Not for what the mostly illegible one-sentence explanation said, but because of how it was written (see below).
While the officer on the scene reported Kennedy "appeared normal," such as it is, Patrick's handwriting looks like it was scrawled on a cocktail napkin at an open bar in a Gravitron. Or as Carr delicately put it, "It looks like it was written by a chimpanzee, or a 2-year-old. Or a Kennedy."
At least, writes Carr, it was only a fender-bender by Kennedy standards. "Not only did a single blonde not die, no one was even paralyzed or raped."
Expose The Left has video of John McArdle of Roll Call reporting the lack of a field sobriety test.
5/4/06 2145: You might wonder why the voters of Rhode Island keep sending young Mr. Kennedy back to Congress. Frankly I'm puzzled as well. Perhaps it's because, being a Kennedy, he gets fawning press coverage. Like this.
Patrick Kennedy: The Camelot torch bearer
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) - Volumes have been written about the Kennedys. There's the day JFK was shot, Jack and Jackie's love story and even ten things Maria Shriver would like you to know. Now, there's another one to add to the list.
"Patrick Kennedy: The Rise to Power'' is a new, unauthorized biography billing the young Rhode Island congressman with tousled hair as Camelot's torch bearer.
The son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and the nephew of President John Kennedy, Patrick is the highest-ranking Kennedy of his generation and embodies the political future of his family.
The book doesn't have the sales promise of a Harry Potter title. In fact, even Patrick says he is in no hurry to read his life story.
"I can't believe that there's a book written about me,'' he said. "I mean, I'm not even 33 years old.''
The 161-page paperback stretches from Patrick's asthmatic childhood to his battles in the Rhode Island Statehouse, then to his rise to a leadership position in Congress. It points out that since his cousin, Joseph P. Kennedy II, retired as a Massachusetts congressman in 1998, there's been more room on the stage for Patrick.
"Patrick is now the political crown prince,'' said Brown University professor Darrell West, the book's author. "People aren't aware of how influential Patrick has become nationally, he really has arrived on the national scene as a player.''
But Patrick says he wasn't ready for his life to go down in history.
"I don't feel that it's anything that spectacular that's worthy of being recorded in a book,'' he said. "The legacy of my uncles and my father and my aunts, it's too big for me even to begin to think I can scratch the surface of.''
Kid's got a way with words.
5/4/06 2300: Mr. Kennedy now says that it was a combination of prescription drugs that caused the problem, Ambien - a sleep medication, and Phenergan, which can cause sedation.
Kennedy said he returned to his Capitol Hill home on Wednesday evening after a final series of votes in Congress and took "prescribed" amounts of Phenergan and Ambien, another prescribed drug that he occasionally takes to fall asleep.
"Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote," his second statement said. "Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication."