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The clash of the Kennedys plays on in the Clinton-Obama race

May 4, 2008 |  8:00 am

Perhaps it was a coincidence. Or perhaps Barack Obama's campaign wanted to provide a quick reminder that they've got Kennedys too.

Two emails relating to the Democratic dynasty landed in reporter in-boxes Saturday afternoon. First came news from the Clinton campaign that Maryland's Democratic Central Committee had elected former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and a Hillary Clinton Caroline Kennedy the daughter of President John F. Kennedy has campaigned extensively for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama supporter, as an automatic delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Just 96 minutes later, another Kennedy was heard from: Townsend's cousin Caroline, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, writing on behalf of Obama.

Now it's not exactly news that she's an Obama backer; she announced that to the world, via a New York Times column, back in late January. The excuse for her new email was the Obama Organizing Fellowship, for which the campaign is seeking students and recent graduates who "will be trained on the basics of organizing and campaign fundamentals and then placed in a community to carry out grassroots activities."

She also was busy on another front Saturday -- attending the Kentucky Derby to help carry Obama's banner. (The state's primary is May 20.)

In Democratic circles, Caroline Kennedy, the sole surviving heir to Camelot, might be the more influential of the two cousins. Kennedy Townsend, however, is the one who gets to vote at the convention.

-- Matthew Hay Brown and Don Frederick

Matthew Hay Brown, of the Baltimore Sun, writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.

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