What’s next for Joe Kennedy III? Maybe a Biden administration post, definitely more family time

Joseph Kennedy III is looking forward to “taking a breather” after his time in Congress comes to an end — but President-elect Joe Biden’s team might have a different idea.
The outgoing U.S. representative for the 4th Congressional District told the Herald on Monday that he’s having “conversations” with people in Biden’s orbit as he mulls his next steps.
“I’ve had a bunch of conversations with folks all over the place about various opportunities for my future and the potential path that lies ahead,” Kennedy said, including “some folks in the Biden world” and some affiliated with the president-elect’s transition team.
“If there’s an opportunity to serve there, obviously I would be honored to be able contribute in some way,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy’s name has been churning in the rumor mill for a host of posts — U.S. Attorney, U.S. ambassador to Ireland and even the next director of the Peace Corps, the service organization he volunteered with in the Dominican Republican that was founded by his great uncle, President John F. Kennedy.
The outgoing congressman didn’t tip his hand in an interview with the Herald on Monday as to what role, if any, he might have in a Biden administration.
But after a failed primary bid against U.S. Sen. Edward Markey put a pin in his political career, Kennedy, 40, indicated he’d like to remain closer to home as he raises his two young children — both born after he was first elected to the House — with his wife, Lauren.
“I’ve been away for about a third of their life,” Kennedy said. “I like my home. I like Massachusetts. And I’m looking forward to spending more time with them while they still like me.”
Asked if that meant he would consider a run for governor — another possible job he’s been floated for — Kennedy laughed.
“I cannot imagine a reality where I am a candidate for office again anytime soon,” he said. “Having just done that for a year, taking a breather from that and refocusing my time and space I think is what I’m looking forward to doing over the course of the immediate timeline.”
Kennedy said he hopes part of that refocusing will include “getting involved with some issues and causes locally that I haven’t been able to” while commuting to Washington or campaigning across Massachusetts.
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He said he’s “proud” of the race he ran against Markey, though he’d hoped for a different outcome in the bruising battle that saw the once-leading challenger finish 10 points behind the 74-year-old incumbent — a result that cast doubts on both his future and the future of his family’s political dynasty.
“I’m proud of the race that I ran. I obviously wish the result was different,” Kennedy said, adding, “The environment that I think characterized an electorate when I entered into that race a year ago in September was obviously very different than the one that we experienced a year or so later.”
That shifting electorate — which Kennedy described as a product of “a country in transition — economically, culturally, demographically, politically” — is something he said both parties will have to work to address in the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election.
And, as he said throughout his Senate bid and in his farewell address to the House last week, both parties will need to do better to address the “structural inequities” that existed long before President Trump.
“Let’s be clear,” Kennedy said, “the forces that gave rise to the election of President Trump aren’t going away with a Biden administration.”

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