As we all know, the ageing US President, Joe Biden, is struggling physically and intellectually and is increasingly drawn into the web of his son Hunter’s misfeasance. The surprisingly popular Donald Trump also seeks a second term in the Oval Office despite significant and growing legal issues.Real as it may be, it is hard to imagine the greatest democracy in the history of the world can only present two such seriously flawed candidates from among a population now approaching 350 million.The time is certainly auspicious therefore, for a presentable and capable third candidate. This leads me to Robert F Kennedy, Jr. who is signalling his desire to capture the White House in 2024. The oldest son of Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General in the Kennedy administration of his uncle, the revered President John F. Kennedy, his hallowed name has been a mixed blessing. His father was also assassinated while seeking the Democratic nomination for the 1968 election. A recent article in the impressive new publication, The Free Press, summarized a friendly interview of 'Bobby' in his home in California, less than 10 miles from where his father was killed. Opportunity aside, it is unlikely the younger Kennedy will be any more successful than past non-affiliated candidates such as Ross Perot and George Wallace. The article pointed out he lacks both money and voters, and is currently polling only 20% favourable.Always rebellious, he has crusaded recently against vaccines. Given that 90% of Democrats have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and mostly supported lockdowns, this may not have been smart. Closer to home, several times he attended environmental conferences at Banff. Perhaps this role would conflict with his mother if she were still alive, as she came from a family fortune in the coal industry. But she was also a strong advocate for human rights, founding a non-profit organization after her husband was assassinated and maybe also encouraging Bobby’s social conscience.After losing his father, Bobby struggled with drug abuse and was arrested and expelled from two boarding schools. He earned Bachelor of American History and Literature from Harvard and then attended the left-wing London School of Economics.Almost 50 years ago as a first-year student at Harvard Business School, a second-year student I hardly knew invited me to a party across the river in Cambridge, offering no further details. It turned out to be at a hippie house, the home of Bobby and several others, and included a basement full of raptor birds (Bobby’s hobby).It was his 21st birthday. At midnight an obviously inebriated Senator stumbled through some comments to the birthday boy who was leaning back on his chair sneering across the table with one foot on it. After the speech a birthday cake was placed on the table in front of Kennedy.He took a handful of cake, slapped it on a plate, and handed it to the nearest person. He delivered the second plate, also dressed by a handful of cake, to me sitting in the corner, then continued around the room serving his guests in a similar manner.A frivolous, hilarious and memorable story. Many of us have silly stories from that age.Later though, he earned a law degree from the University of Virginia and then worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. He failed the bar exam, perhaps in part because he was also arrested for heroin possession after a drug overdose.Bobby would later pass the bar exam and pursue his environmental activist activities. He played a leading role in the negotiation with New York City towards an agreement protecting the reservoir system of upstate New York and the drinking water of the city. This was documented in his book, The Riverkeepers.Back to the Free Press article, Bobby is asked how his father or uncle would respond to the many challenges facing the Democrats and the country. He replied that he has “many conversations with my father and uncle about what I am doing” among his daily meditations. “I have a lot of conversations with dead people.” Yikes!It is not easy to be the progeny of a famous political family, especially with a mixed biography and qualifications. It makes one think about our own prime minister, trying to live up to expectations of the son of a prime minister, following an unserious life and a lifestyle centered on his own pleasure.Is it possible the virtuous commitment to the environment, requiring little substantive background, is a handy outlet for those seeking power?Readers will have their own views as to the likelihood of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. being elected, and his bona fides as a candidate. But be it a hippie in the US, or a dilettante in Canada, the life as political protégé of famous families isn’t always a piece of cake.