Paul Kirk on Principles & Values
The national Democratic Party then was constitutionally incapable of saying no to any semi-organized clique based loosel upon gender, ethnicity, or personal conduct that sought status as a sanctioned party caucus. Caucuses were forever issuing their own non-negotiable demands. Chairman Kirk--over the noisy threats of caucus addicts--straightforwardly abolished Democratic Party caucuses.
He announced that the Democratic Party would again compete in the South by his decision that Atlanta would be the site of the party's 1988 national convention. He directed that the written party platform would no longer be an endless compilation of the wish lists of every influence-seeking faction.
Heading into the 1988 general election, the party was solvent, remarkably united and running on a platform that was a relatively succinct, if deliberately vague, statement of principles.
After Harvard and Harvard Law, Mr. Kirk worked for Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968 and almost quit politics after Mr. Kennedy's assassination. But when Edward Kennedy told him "he had a responsibility to fight on," Mr. Kirk went to work for him in 1969, becoming Mr. Kennedy's chief political strategist and one of his most trusted confidants.
Mr. Kirk returned to Boston in 1977 to join the law firm Sullivan & Worcester, but rejoined Mr. Kennedy in 1980, serving as national political director for his unsuccessful presidential campaign. He was elected chairman of the DNC in 1985, with crucial support from Mr. Kennedy and his allies in organized labor
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Joe L. Kennedy
Newly elected in 2008 & seated in 2009:
Newly appointed in 2009;
special election in 2010:
Announced retirement as of 2010:
Up for 6-year term in 2010:
(13 Democrats; 15 Republicans)
Senate Votes (analysis)