Scandal fails to dim the Kennedy glitz
Thursday 29 May 1997
Kerry McCarthy, a second cousin of John F Kennedy, will today mark what would have been the late president's 80th birthday in a manner that not every Hyannis afficionado will find entirely tasteful: she is launching a line of nautical leisure wear bearing the Kennedy name.
More precisely, the clothes will sell under the brandname JFK PT. The PT part is a reference to the Kennedy's command in the Second World War of a patrol-torpedo boat, PT-109. For the folks heading to Cape Cod this year, these fashion items will surely be a must. A JFK PT hat will be on the shelves for a mere $19.95. For that seriously rakish (pardon me, presidential) look, a blazer can be yours for $119.95.
To any student of Massachusetts politics, however, Ms McCarthy's timing would seem a bit off. The latest bearer of the Kennedy hex, which has produced such sensations as Chappaquiddick in 1969 and the Willam Kennedy Smith rape trial in 1992, Michael is being investigated for allegedly sleeping with his family baby sitter when she was only fourteen. He could face charges of statutory rape.
The scandal, moreover, has erupted just as Michael's brother, Congressman Joe Kennedy, is preparing to campaign to become the next Governor of Massachusetts.
The lapping tide of Michael's troubles combined with Joe's own controversial battle to have his first marriage to Sheila Rauch Kennedy annulled by the Catholic Church, has sent the Congressman's popularity plummeting.
Indeed, there is talk that after 18 straight wins by Kennedy men in 18 general elections in Massachusetts this may be the year the spell is broken. "I'm convinced that if the story continues to excalate, he'll drop out of the governor's race and go back to what the Kennedys consider private life: a seat in Congress," commented Republican consultant Kevin Sowyrda.
But Ms McCarthy is gambling that JFK remains a hot brand, whatever the electoral mood. If she is proven right, who knows where else political merchandising might catch on? How long before Harvey Nichols begins boasting Maggie Thatcher handbags? Anyone interested in a Michael Foot donkey jacket?
Nor is she too bothered by accusations of mercenary exploitation of the family name. "I think it has been commercialised for years and years and years. I think every book that comes out about Kennedy is a commercialisation".
And if the family itself objects? Too bad, she replies, "because I can't do anyting about it if they are".
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- < Previous
- Next >
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: HoD Maths Salary: MP...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Client based in West London is looking ...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of English MP...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of Yr6 Gillin...