Ooh! Historiann and I see eye-to-eye.
On the possibility of Caroline Kennedy being the next junior senator from New York:
…This is the key difference between Caroline and her cousins Kathleen, Joe, and Patrick, who actually ran for the offices they won (and in Kathleen’s case, lost), and I think it’s critical. (Even her uncle Ted had to run for his brother’s senate seat in 1962, although that may have been due more to the fact that he wasn’t yet thirty in January of 1961 when his brother was sworn in as President.) If you want to get into politics, win an election. She has a fine background for a Senate candidate, but as someone who has never won a single vote from a single New Yorker, she doesn’t deserve a special appointment to the office.
Oh, and by the way: it would be unseemly for all of of those Sarah Palin haterz to morph into big Caroline Kennedy supporters. Love her or hate her, Palin won a primary against a sitting governor of her own party, and then she won in the general election. She put herself out there and gave the citizens of her state the opportunity to say yea or nay, and it seems to me that there are ample numbers of New York politicians–I’m thinking Nita Lowy or Kirsten Gillibrand myself–who have won thousands (and in Lowy’s case, millions) of votes from their fellow citizens.
I’d like to see Carolyn Maloney get the seat. Historiann favors Nita Lowy or Kirsten Gillibrand. Alegre is pitching Leecia Eve. The common denominator? These are all women that have either won elections or been deeply involved in politics for years and know the issues and have what it takes to work on behalf of the people of New York. They aren’t trying to jump to the head of the line merely on the strength their family name. As I said in my previous post:
If she wants to run for Congress, I would welcome her to throw her hat in the ring.
Do like Hillary did. CAMPAIGN for the seat. As in, make your case to the voters. I find this incredibly insulting to the voters of New York:
Over the past week, Kennedy, who lives in Manhattan, has reached out to several prominent New York Democrats to tell them of her interest in the Senate seat. They included Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Kennedy worked closely with Klein as executive of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education, where she raised about $65 million for the city’s schools.
“I think she’s thought about it a long time,” Klein said of a conversation he had with Kennedy on Monday. He said the campaigning she did for Obama this year helped acquaint her with the gritty rituals of retail politics.
I see. She’s “thought about it a long time.” Oh-kaay.
“She’s a highly determined woman and she’s clearly been thinking about her life and how to make an effective contribution,” Klein said. “Everyone knows Caroline, and everyone has a great historical respect for the Kennedy family.”
I am sure they do. That doesn’t make her entitled to when there are so many other qualifed women who’ve spent their lives in public service. This isn’t something you just decide would be nice to do, now that the kids are grown. Historiann points to Elizabeth Wurtzel who writes:
Do not misunderstand me: I know Kennedy is far more than some lady who lunches and then serves oranges to the homeless at the church soup kitchen. She has raised $65 million for New York City’s school system, no small sum. I know she is the keeper of the Camelot flame, a position that entails some effort and élan. And I realize that just being daughter of a president, and of course a Kennedy, is a substantial qualification for government work: Growing up in a political world is fine preparation for a public life.
But there’s got to be more going on. It’s not enough merely to exercise the opportunities availed to you because you just happen to be born on third base. It’s not even enough to perform the duties of legacy with grace and intelligence, which Caroline Kennedy appears to have done. I would like to think the Senate is a repository for people who have achieved something on their own—even if the only thing is the act of running for office, a demand we don’t even seem to be making in this case. Kennedy, whose whole life has been handed to her, is once again about to have her whole life handed to her.
But being a senator—drafting bills, serving and servicing constituents, organizing an office—is the kind of job that involves more than soliciting donations from your wealthy friends and neighbors. It’s filthy and consuming work. If we really want a Kennedy to fill this empty seat, it would make far more sense to choose Robert Jr., who has accomplished a lot as an attorney and activist, though he has taken his name out of the running. Caroline Bouvier Kennedy is glamorous woman with a top-notch pedigree: Her place is not in the Senate.
We’ve got serious problems facing this country, and as much as I like Caroline Kennedy (and I do!), we need a woman in the Senate who has a proven track record.
ETA: It appears that Caroline Kennedy has begun her “campaign” in earnest
Caroline Kennedy launched a full-bore campaign Monday to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senate, calling New York’s governor and other key Democrats to press her desire to extend the family dynasty.
Kennedy reached Gov. David A. Paterson on Monday afternoon as he toured weather-battered portions of upstate New York. “She’d like at some point to sit down and tell me what she thinks her qualifications are,” said Paterson, who will choose Clinton’s successor.
Kennedy, 51, has hired a team of seasoned political professionals, including operatives close to organized labor and New York’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Charles E. Schumer. (LAT)
Dear Governor Paterson,
We are enormously proud that Senator Hillary Clinton has accepted the nomination for Secretary of State. She has been an activist, progressive Senator for the residents of New York State, and for all the people of the United States as was reflected in the 18 million+ votes she received during the Democratic presidential selection process.
In choosing her successor, we urge you to make the choice on the merits – who would best continue the record of demonstrated excellence of those who have held that seat: Robert Kennedy, Patrick Moynihan and Hillary Clinton. Examples of quality nominees include, in alphabetical order, Leecia Eve, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Jerrold Nadler.
Please note that we specifically exclude Caroline Kennedy. While we applaud her public service, and that of her family, it is not a qualification to be senator from New York. In this spirit, we encourage the Obama Administration to find an appropriate role for her and to do so quickly so she can gracefully remove herself from consideration.
Better yet, contact his office directly:
Snail Mail:David A. Paterson
Albany, NY 12224
To Email The Governor:
Click here to email the Governor.