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Kennedys endorse Martha Coakley: Will it be enough?

January 7, 2010 |  8:29 am

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy and wife Vicki at 2008 Democratic National Convention

It's a test of Camelot in a way, a question of whether the Kennedys -- who have held sway over  Massachusetts politics and the national imagination since the rise of former President John F. Kennedy and his glamorous wife, First Lady Jackie Kennedy -- still have coattails.

Led by Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the clan today gave its endorsement in the fight to replace the longtime lawmaker to Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley, whose race against Republican state Sen. Scott Brown has narrowed in the last few days. As the Ticket reported Tuesday, Coakley's single-digit lead in a heavily Democratic state is raising alarms in party circles. 

So today Coakley looked on as former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and other Democratic names embraced her candidacy to an audience of seniors who had been serenaded with a brass band's rendition of "Hello Dolly." Citing her late husband's lifelong fight for healthcare reform, Vicki Kennedy said, "We need Martha. We want Martha. ...We can't take this election for granted."

The election in less than two weeks will test whether voters agree -- and whether the Kennedys can still move public opinion.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Sen. Edward Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy. Credit: Getty Images

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