Political calculus and opportunity are not the only forces governing Kennedy's decision about a run for Senate or any other office, however. There are always questions of name and legacy. Kennedy, if he has any quarrel with the narrative surrounding his family, is well aware of its power.

"It would be enormously daunting to be in the shadow of my father in the Senate," he says.

The House, he suggests, is where he has carved out a space and made something of his own — whatever its size. And he doesn't seem eager to abandon it.

"I really feel at home," he says.

David Scharfenberg is the news editor of the Providence Phoenix. He can be reached at dscharfenberg@phx.com.

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