Sneed exclusive: Is Chris Kennedy’s mom going to help campaign?

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Is Chris Kennedy’s mom going to help campaign?

Ethyl Kennedy, the 88-year-old mother of Chris Kennedy, could help him campaign for the job of Illinois governor. | AP

Follow @sneedlingsIs gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy about to unleash a secret weapon?

Is he about to unleash a legend?

Is he about to unleash his 88-year-old mother?

Sneed hears Ethel Kennedy, the matriarch of the illustrious Kennedy clan, is telling friends she’s coming to town to campaign for her son’s candidacy.

“She told me yesterday she is coming to town to campaign for her son,” said a top Sneed source who asked not to be identified.

“And she was really excited about it.”


Follow @sneedlingsSo Sneed rang Chris, who actually returns phone calls.

“Well, there have been discussions and mom is an independent thinker, and I know she is all in about my running for governor — but I have to chuckle about her wanting to come to town to hit the hustings,” Chris told Sneed.

“It all depends if she’s up to it.”

“My wife, Sheila, is seeing her tomorrow, so we’ll see just how serious she is about all this,” he added.

RELATED: Chris Kennedy hits trail, tells pastors Rauner agenda is ‘B.S.’

• Backshot: Ethel, who was a frequent visitor to Chicago when her family owned the Merchandise Mart, was last in town for the 2012 premiere of the HBO documentary film “Ethel,” the story of her life produced by her youngest child, Rory, who was born after her father was assassinated while running for president.

Well, there’s nothing like a mother’s love.

And Ethel, who is the widow of the late, great U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and no stranger to the campaign trail once tread not only by her late husband but by her two brothers-in-law, President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, is ostensibly hoping to persuade Illinois voters to feel the same way about her son.

Cutting Cutler . . . 

To cut or not to cut?

Cutting Jay Cutler wasn’t a surprise,” said legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, who doesn’t like commenting on decisions made by the NFL, especially Da Bears.

“It’s what happens,” the Great Grabowski told Sneed.

“I think Cutler had a lot of power. He was with them for eight seasons. But the guy who runs the offense needs a team that respects a person in that position. The players need to look up to the guy who is out in front all the time. Leadership. Leadership is needed as well as power.”

When Sneed asked Ditka to use a scale of 1 to 10 to assess Cutler’s ability, Ditka said: “He’d fall somewhere in the middle. Maybe a seven at times. Listen, an example of a great quarterback in both the power and respect department was Jim McMahon. And, of course, Tom Brady. In my book there is no better quarterback than Tom Brady and no greater team than the [New England] Patriots.

“Look, I have nothing against him [Cutler]. I think I met him once. I’m sure he’s a great guy. It’s just life. The team wanted to go in a different direction.

“It’s not the end of the world. There are no guarantees. Look, I played with three different teams. This is just the way it works. They had a lot of money tied to him. This is a business move. The coaching staff knows what they are doing.”

Trump ’em . . . 

Billionaire business guru J.B. Pritzker, a driving force behind the creation of the Illinois Holocaust Museum who is eyeing a gubernatorial run, had a funny exchange with former first lady Laura Bush at a museum event Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

• Quoth Pritzker to Bush: “Has President Trump reached out to you or President [George W.] Bush seeking any advice?”

• Quoth Bush to Pritzker: “No. And I don’t think he will.” [Laughter]

• Quoth Pritzker to Bush: “Well, maybe you do us all a favor and reach out to offer him some help!” [Audience erupts in applause.]

Rahm run run . . .

Mayor Rahm Emanuel not only joined actor Robert De Niro and his wife, Grace Hightower, at the Tribeca Grill for dinner in New York City on Monday night, but was joined by mega-movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

Cinema chat . . .

Sneed hears the entire Illinois Black Caucus will be escorted by Illinois Film czarina Chris Dudley for a private tour of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on Friday, where all the Dick Wolf shows [“Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Justice”] are filmed and expected to be picked up next season.

A Bronx Tale?

First base or a home run?

Wags are whispering over word entertainer J.Lo from the block is dating A-Rod from the baseball field.

Will it go the full nine innings? Or will they strike out?

Stay tuned.

Sneedlings . . .

Today’s birthdays: Carrie Underwood, 34; Chuck Norris, 77; and Robin Thicke, 40.

Tweets by @sneedlings

The Latest
Charlotte Sena disappeared at a park north of Albany on Saturday. She was found Monday in a home and a suspect taken into custody.
Officers found the man, 33, with a gunshot wound to the head about 7 p.m. in the 100 block of East 36th Street.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump posted a photo of a judge’s law clerk posing with Sen. Chuck Schumer, saying it was ‘disgraceful’ that the clerk is working with the judge in his New York fraud case. The post was later taken down.
The move comes a day before a public hearing before the City Council on the mayor’s proposal to raise the real estate transfer tax on high-end home sales to create dedicated funding to combat homelessness.
The Temp Worker Fairness and Safety Act aims to prevent ‘permatemping,’ where an employer keeps a temp worker indefinitely, by requiring that employers pay temps similar wages as direct hires after 90 days on the job.