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TED BACKS RIVAL KERRY.

Byline: JOHN KELLY

POLITICAL hopeful John Kerry has found an unlikely ally in his bid to become the next US President - former foe Teddy Kennedy.

Teddy, 71, has emerged as the surprise force behind the bid to get Democrat Kerry into the White House after apparently healing a rift with his fellow Bostonian.

Kerry - dubbed the ''Irishman who never was'' after a paper discovered his ancestors were actually Jewish - now receives regular phone calls from Kennedy, offering him advice on campaigning.

The pair's rivalry bubbled to the surface years ago when Kennedy allegedly tipped off newspapers after Kerry, 59, parked in a Capitol Hill space reserved for the disabled.

Political expert Stephen Hess, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, says Kennedy's earlier frostiness towards Kerry was partly because he saw him as an ''interloper''.

He added: "Teddy had a brother who was president and another who should have been. Maybe over the years there had been a sense of John Kerry as an interloper on that territory.

"Now several things have happened. There has been an aging process with Teddy, and he's out of the range of being a presidential contender. And at the same time, he is getting considerable kudos as the grand old man of the Senate.

"If John Kerry wants to be president of the United States, it can only help Ted Kennedy if he's successful."

Kennedy himself said: "I'm confident he'll win our party's nomination and ultimately beat President Bush in November 2004."

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HOPEFUL: John Kerry
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:253
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