THAT’S THE TICKET: “We’re very patriotic,” said Kyra Kennedy, wearing a red Chiara Boni La Petite Robe jumpsuit and standing beside her cousin Cara Kennedy Cuomo in a blue one, before the label’s Saturday night show.
While Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary will ramp up political conversations nationwide, the Kennedy kin are accustomed to unsolicited election-related conversations. Cuomo (whose mother is Kerry Kennedy) said, “Beyond the Kennedy side of things, my dad [New York Gov. Andrew] is a primary Democratic figure and people very sweetly and flatteringly ask, ‘So, is your dad going to jump in the race?’…when you look at the Democratic field as it stands now, there is such a variety of options from the Democratic socialist left to the center left. And the center left model didn’t work when Hillary Clinton ran. But the extreme left model seems not to be resonating with as many people as one might hope. It’s going to be interesting to see where the party falls come primary time.”
While Cuomo works for an investment firm that supports sustainable companies, Kennedy works for Gabriele “Bebe” Morat’s Redemption clothing company. Wearing a red and black Redemption jacket capelike, Kennedy said the company’s activewear launch Thursday would keep her away from any more shows. Noting how Redemption donates half of its net profits to charity, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s daughter has lived near Bologna, Italy, for the past five years. She said, “Everything has gotten so crazy here. It was really devastating to hear what was going on,” adding that she is a “huge” Pete Buttigieg supporter.
Cuomo gave Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren high marks, and described Buttigieg as “a really interesting candidate. He’s definitely contributing and could contribute a lot, if he ends up in a cabinet.”
Given their family’s political lineage, they said they often hear “awful, sad things” from strangers. “People feel really close to our family. They know it, they feel a part of it. When things happen and people in our family pass away in a very public way, they also feel part of that experience,” Cuomo said. “I was talking to one of my cousins this morning, who was campaigning for Pete Buttigieg out in Iowa. Someone came up to her and said, ‘I’m such a huge fan of your family, would you please sign this newspaper article for me?’ But it was from The New York Times with pictures of her grandfather’s casket and his funeral. They said, ‘I just care so much about your family and this was such an important moment in my life. It’s great to meet you. Can you just sign this thing that I have?’”
Her cousin, understandably was not keen to commemorate the event in that way and asked if there was something else that she might sign, Cuomo said. “Then she doesn’t know if she should be signing things, because it feels like imposter syndrome. She doesn’t feel like she’s done anything. It was her grandfather who did something.”
All in all, they appreciate that so many people are inspired by their family and feel so close to it. Kennedy said, “When anyone comes up and wants to talk about what they went through with their family and what they went through watching our family, it is always incredible to hear their story.
Her cousin nodded in affirmation, mentioning the frequency that such exchanges happen. “It is very gratifying that I get to learn so much about our grandfather, who we never got the chance to meet, through the lens of other people. That is overwhelmingly positive and that he made such an important difference in people’s lives. Whereas, we might not be able to learn that much about him otherwise, because we never met him. It makes you feel closer to him in a different way.”
As for her father’s presidential aspirations, Cuomo said with a laugh, “I think he’s really happy where he is now. He’s definitely not going to run this year. We’ll see where the country goes.”