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American Opinion: On the announcement by Patrick Kennedy not to seek re-election:

From The Associated Press

An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

On the announcement by Patrick Kennedy not to seek re-election:

News that Patrick Kennedy will not seek re-election to his seat in the U.S. House, where he has served since 1995, surprised many people around America, but perhaps shouldn't have.

Congressman Kennedy has had many problems to deal with in the past several years. Chief among them is that he has bipolar disorder, which has contributed to, among other things, serious problems with drugs and alcohol. Amidst those issues have come the illness and death of his father and chief mentor, the powerful, iconic Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. ...

These problems would have been a lot for anyone to handle while staying in the merciless game of politics. But, meanwhile, a growing anti-incumbency mood in the electorate, and fading adoration of the Kennedy clan -- as the numbers of voters who remain to remember its golden age dwindle rapidly -- compounded Mr. Kennedy's challenges in a tough election year.

Patrick Kennedy has helped push through some fine legislation, especially in health care in general and mental health in particular. Further, his well run offices in Washington and Rhode Island have provided very good constituent services even as his growing seniority (he is finishing up his eighth term) and his clout as a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee have helped bring federal funds to the Ocean State.

But given his health and family concerns, Mr. Kennedy is probably wise to bow out of politics, at least for a while. And we're sure that the congressman, who is, after all, only 42, can use his post-Capitol time well, to promote such issues as national health reform. We thank him for his service, even as we can't help but wonder about the future of his famous family in politics.

-- The Providence (R.I.) Journal