US Rep. Kennedy: Democrats must heed voters’ economic fears

Steve Leblanc, Associated Press

BOSTON — He’s heir to a famed political family that traces its roots back to Boston’s bare-knuckled campaigns when Democratic ward bosses kept a close ear to the city’s narrow streets and tenement hallways.

Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy says contemporary party leaders could take a page from that history by listening harder to the economic worries of Democratic voters who bolted the party in November.

It’s not always an easy message for Democrats still reeling from Donald Trump’s win to hear, especially in a state that handed Hillary Clinton a 27-point margin.

But Kennedy said Democrats have little choice.

“There was a message sent on this Election Day where many voters that had traditionally come back home to the Democratic Party didn’t,” Kennedy told The Associated Press. “I think not taking the time to ask the question why, to listen to their response, and to try to understand why we lost some folks that had been in support of Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party for so long is folly.”

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