Exit Interview

Patrick Kennedy Talks Retirement

At age 42, after 16 years in Congress and two decades of public service in elected office, Patrick Kennedy is retiring. But despite his public battles with addiction and bipolar disorder, and his waning popularity among his constituents, the Rhode Island congressman, son of the late Ted Kennedy, seems excited at the possibilities of life after politics. "I want a fuller life," he told The Washington Post. "There was something missing." Kennedy's continuous fight for mental-health issues has found him allies on both sides of the aisle, and he plans on spending his time working on addiction issues in his state after Congress. "It's a great new beginning for Patrick," says cousin Caroline Kennedy. "I think it took some courage to make this decision."