By Jon Keller


BOSTON (CBS) — Will he or won’t he?

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-4th District), meeting with reporters for the first time since his interest in possibly challenging Sen. Ed Markey, said he’s still mulling it over. He had nothing derogatory to say about Markey and didn’t try to spell out differences on issues. Instead, he used a broad brush to describe a race he seems ever closer to entering.

“Senator Markey is a good man,” he said. “I think I’ve got new ideas and a new approach and if I get into this race, that’s what this race will be about.”

We asked: Does Kennedy think Markey’s generation of political leadership is a failed generation? No, he replied. So what’s his beef? “I think you look at some of our leaders across the country, they’re strong leaders, from Speaker Pelosi to Senator Warren. This is not an issue about age.”

Rep. Joe Kennedy spoke with reporters Tuesday (WBZ-TV)

Instead, he said, the issue is doing a better job of addressing deep-seated problems that goes beyond pointing fingers at the president.

“This is about standing up to Donald Trump every single day, but it’s also about addressing the failures and fissures and the way that our government and our society has been broken long before Trump got into office,” he said. “And that’s gonna require, I believe, a different approach and new ideas in order to tackle that.”

But Kennedy may not be the only fresh face on the ballot.

Best-selling author and business executive Steve Pemberton, once an abused orphan from New Bedford, is more than a decade older than Kennedy, and hopes change-minded voters will want more than a famous name.

“The torch does get passed to new generations, but with lived experiences in particular,” he said.

Local attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan is also eyeing a Democratic primary run. Kennedy says he’s still mulling the impact a Senate race might have on his young family but promised a decision sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, Markey continues to roll out establishment endorsements and insist he’s in it to stay.

Stay tuned for post-Labor Day fireworks.

Jon Keller

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