Sen. Caroline Kennedy?

As someone who does not think experience matters much in politics, I have no real objection to Caroline Kennedy as Senator. I do think she should speak publically about her positions on the issues. Jane Hamsher, who mars her piece with a very sexist line ("doing her nails"), does make a good point:

I thought at least she's get out before the cameras and start making her case to the public before she announced her intentions . . .

That seems reasonable. I do not agree with the "dynasty" objections - life and politics has never been fair - but the public knowing her positions on the issues seems a reasonable request.

Speaking for me only

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    She sounds good on paper. (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Fabian on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 07:42:37 AM EST
    The part that just keeps bugging me is her sudden flip flop from Very Private Person to lobbying for a Very Public Position.  If she was perfectly content to do her good works as a Very Private Person before, why not continue to that?  Why does she suddenly desire to become a Very Public Person now?

    Frankly, I think well heeled, well connected Private People could probably get a lot more done than a Senator.  Al Gore would probably agree.

    This is probably going to sound (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:03:10 AM EST
    odd to some, but when studying family dynamics her voyage from private to public may not seem odd or mysterious to a lot of people interested in psychology.  Teddy is the family hero and a sort of lone survivor out of one group of dinner table Kennedys.  He is retiring from that position though publicly and also within the family.  The Kennedy family will seek to fill that void with something as similar as possible, she's a literal perfect fit as the next generation of Kennedys continues onward.  I don't worry about the dynasty thing.  My grandfather told me that Joe Kennedy set out to raise Presidents and that dinner at his dinner table was about that and being his child was about that and so be it for those of his family that chose to absorb the teachings and the focus.  Some people are born politicians and genetics is always a factor when it comes to who we are as a whole too.  Caroline has stepped easily back and forth from private to public, embracing both forms of social interaction favored by each parent.  I think she knows how to do both and for her it can be simply a choice.

    So you believe in Kings and Queens? (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:45:49 AM EST
    I think we have had enough "Kennedy" as well as "Bush" and "Clinton."

    The only good thing I saw about Obama was that he was "new." Now I find out he's from Chicago and has that trailing behind him.


    "Clinton?" (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by NYShooter on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:19:18 AM EST
    Coming from poverty, dedicating one's life to public service, going to "the people" for reaffirmation through countless elections, never having owned a home until retiring from the Presidency, and saving/improving the lives of countless millions of people worldwide, means one deserves the pejorative title of "King/Queen?"

    Long live the King/Queen!!


    Blago could appoint her... (none / 0) (#66)
    by Salo on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:08:30 AM EST
    ...to obama's seat. And then the whole scandal thing will get wrapped up.  The press won't go near it after that.

    Heh (none / 0) (#69)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:10:44 AM EST
    Whew! Let's do that (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:41:38 AM EST
    Then we can focus on real issues, like the possibility of our nation's children being hungry in the streets soon.

    Since the United States is a Democratic (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:36:17 AM EST
    Republic, it is only possible for it to have Kings and Queens to dinner :)  Just sayin

    Thank you (none / 0) (#113)
    by NYShooter on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 07:18:42 PM EST
    for correcting a mistake not made

    T'was the parent who smeared the Clintons as royalty.

    As a duel Russian/American citizen, I must say, your lesson on Democratic Republican heritage  is,uh......cute


    Eh (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 07:59:02 AM EST
    I'm put off by this sudden "phone calls to the elite" campaign she is running.  If her political instincts are worth beans, she will be very quickly and visibly engaging with her potential constituents and putting her nose to the grindstone.  

    If she doesn't do that, and seem convincing doing that, then why put her in the spot?  I agree with digby, let's see if she can show she's got it in her to run a big political campaign.

    I agree, but for an interim (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:14:14 AM EST
    appointment it does not bother me that much. I wish there weren't such a long time left in that term, but she will have to run eventually if she wants to keep the seat. We'll see what she's got then. I hope the people of NY get the advocacy they need in the meantime.  At least she will have the president's ear.

    Not sure why it is (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by dk on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:52:39 AM EST
    relevant that it an interim appointment.  I mean, isn't the assumption that whomever is appointed now would be the party-backed choice to stay in the Senate for the foreseeable future?

    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:03:59 AM EST
    Whoever gets the appointment is being given a huge boost up, and unless the person manages to be a very visible disaster in two years, will be elected to a pretty much permanent Senate seat.

    It's not at all clear to me that Caroline Kennedy is the best or close to the best choice for a permanent Senate seat out of all the first-rate Democrats in New York.  And perhaps she's tougher than she looks, although I've sure never heard that she was, but my imagination totally fails to get a picture of her negotiating the rough-and-tumble of big-time Senate politics.


    Your assumption (none / 0) (#60)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:56:23 AM EST
    of a huge boost is a little off.

    via 538

    In fact, senators appointed to fill midterm vacancies have fared rather poorly when it came time for the voters to give them a verdict. Over the past 25 Congresses, there have been, by my count, 49 senators who selected by gubernatorial appointment in midterm (this excludes cases where a senator-elect acceded to office a few days early to gain seniority on his colleagues, a once-common courtesy that is becoming less so.) Of those 49 senators, only 19 -- fewer than 40 percent -- won their subsequent special election.

    This isn't Mississippi or even Colorado. (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:07:36 AM EST
    Whoever gets appointed now will win the special election in 2010 (unless Democrats manage to be as bad in 2 years as Republicans were in 8).

    And if... (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:27:23 AM EST
    the appointed Senator (whoever is chosen) is elected again in two years with the support of the electorate, then Governor Paterson will have made an excellent choice for the Party.

    That doesn't make any sense. F^%K the (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:32:28 AM EST
    the party, what about the people? Patterson could appoint an absolute idiot to the Senate and they would get elected in '10 because New Yorkers aren't in the mood to support Republicans. That doesn't make it an "excellent choice" for anyone.

    You're missing BTDs point entirely. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by dk on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:35:10 AM EST
    The point is that it is reasonable for whomever is seeking the job (whether it is Caroline or any other candidate) to disclose their position on, you know, actual issues.

    Your point seems to be that the only factor which should be taken into consideration is whether the appointee can win a subsequent election.  Does it really not matter what the candidate's positions on the issues are?  Should that not be taken into account at all?


    The potential candidate's positions (none / 0) (#88)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:34:41 PM EST
    are of great importance...to Governor Paterson. The people get a choice in November 2010. If you live in New York or any of the multitude of states with a similar rule, take it up with your state legislature.

    Since I am not a New Yorker and have no dog (none / 0) (#116)
    by Amiss on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:51:43 PM EST
    in the race or appointment as it is. I do feel she needs to get her views and platform out to the
    people of New York so they can make their wishes known on the "issues" to the Governor. I think it is their right and responsibility to absolutley find out how she stands on the issues and make their wishes known to him. As of right now I believe all they know is she is a Kennedy (whoop de do) is Catholic (how would this affect her vote re birth control, SCOTUS appointments etc.) and has been a big supporter of raising funds for public schools. Only New Yorkers know what qualities they want in their Senator.

    My assumption wasn't (none / 0) (#62)
    by dk on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:01:28 AM EST
    that she would necessarily win general elections, but that she would be the Democratic party's choice as a candidate (i.e. she would likely win any primary contest).  Do you have any stats on that?

    Also, I think the general election stat could potentially be misleading, given that it is New York we are talking about.  I'm not saying it's impossible for a Republican to win a New York senate seat, but I do think it's fair to say that at this moment in time it would be an uphill battle for them to do so.


    What are the stats as to (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:31:41 AM EST
    widows of Senators who died in office?

    Ha Ha (none / 0) (#89)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:39:20 PM EST
    I do believe they tend to lose the next time an election comes around. Widowers too if such a happenstance were to ever exist.

    thanks (none / 0) (#103)
    by Lolis on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:43:26 PM EST
    for using actual data in this discussion!

    In general, I don't care (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:23:14 AM EST
    The only thing that matters to me is whether she'll be a good Democratic senator. There's no indication she wouldn't be, and there's some indication she might.

    In addition, she's spent her life under such intense scrutiny that I think we can rest assured there are no gruesome scandals lurking about her.

    Besides, it's New York. If New Yorkers want her, far be it for me to stand in their way.

    Almost anyone can be a good Senator.... (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:37:53 AM EST
    ... if they are willing to work at it, and have a good staff. Caroline Kennedy would have access to Uncle Ted's people, who are generally considered among the very best in Washington, so she'd have that covered. And her reputation seems to be that she wouldn't be pursuing the job if she wasn't willing to work at it. So I think she's qualified in that sense.

    There are really only two considerations for the job, beyond a lack of any real disqualifying issues. The first is whether the appointee can hold the seat, and I think she would be a shoe-in in that regard, moreso than some of the theoretically more qualified elected officials being considered. The second is whether picking her helps Paterson with his own re-election, which it might. The goodwill of the Kennedys, of Obama, and of the Clintons, if they support her, is not to be taken lightly. He could get some grief for passing over more experienced people, of course, but with no really obvious choice in the field, I that wouldn't hurt him much.


    New Yorkers don't get (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:04:56 AM EST
    to make this decision, is the point.  It's going to be made for them by Paterson.

    And Paterson being a replacement gov (none / 0) (#49)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:22:03 AM EST
    -- good as he appears to be, so far -- adds, as your comment made me realize belatedly, to how unsettling this process may be for New Yorkers.  They've been through quite a bit of political upheaval in the last year, and now the guy they didn't vote for as gov picks this position for them.

    Reminds me of the national cynicism in the mid-'70s, after the resignations of the Veep and Prez, when the nation ended up with a Prez it never even elected as Veep -- and then the new guy pardoned the previous guy, etc.  

    After the (still) highest voter turnout in our history, in the mid-'60s, all of the upheaval led to an era of record low turnouts.  It would be too bad if, after the turnout this fall, all of the questions about Senatorial appointments in Illinois and New York, two of our major states, as well as signs of problems elsewhere lead to a rise in national cynicism again.


    That is pretty crazy making if (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:25:30 AM EST
    you cherish your right and exercise your ability to vote and you stay politically current and involved.  Not much democracy going on there :)  not much campaigning, not a lot of debate, not many townhalls :)

    Think how many (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:33:38 AM EST
    advertisements and fundraising mailers we were spared, though.

    What would I wipe with (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:44:05 AM EST
    if Republicans stopped sending me that?  There's a depression coming ya know :)

    There should be immediate... (none / 0) (#68)
    by Salo on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:10:32 AM EST
    ...by elections.  Maybe some constitutional reform is in order. It does look awefully oligarchic.

    Yup ... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:17:38 AM EST
    I'm a NYer, and I think so far Paterson has been fine.

    But having two statewide officials who weren't elected to the positions they hold ... not crazy about that.

    I would support a special election.


    It doesn't matter (5.00 / 10) (#4)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:23:24 AM EST
    and she'd better get it or we will have another round of "It's all (Bill and Hillary but mostly Hillary) Clinton's fault".  
    MSNBC and their CDS staff has already launched the "yea but will Hillary let her" crap.  

    Barnicle and his CDS sneer was all over it.  Todd says we have to hear from the Clintons yet....
    and of course the usual Irish catholic boys club of NBC is worshipping at the altar of "Caroline is the perfect answer."  From Lawrence O'Donnell to Barnicle to Matthews I am sure we will be hearing how Caroline is perfect and only the evil Clintons can stop divine destiny.

    Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against Caroline one way or the other.  And I do not, have never lived in NY so I do not know how much she had done or not done there.  I just have to laugh at the CDS already popping up on the Clinton hating network of MSNBC.

    You know, Hillary could work her butt off (5.00 / 7) (#13)
    by Teresa on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:01:45 AM EST
    and bring peace to the Middle East and they would dream up some ulterior motive for her doing it.

    I'm so sick of them. I swear I wish she and her family would move far far away from this country and go do good works where they would be appreciated. I'm truly over this crap.


    I forgot about the Irish Catholic MSNBC boys (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:19:22 AM EST
    They must be going nuts. and Peggy Noonan will surely wax rhapsodic if this happens.

    so will my aunt, as a matter of fact. She still has a portrait of JFK in her living room!


    the Perfect Woman (none / 0) (#86)
    by OldCoastie on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:30:51 PM EST
    Caroline is the perfect woman - sweet, lovely, polite - not "ambitious" like Hillary...  of course the Irish Catholic boys approve of the Kennedy pick...

    oh sweet Gawd!


    You obviously don't know a lot of (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by byteb on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:53:27 PM EST
    Irish women who are articulate and strong and not into 'sweet' and 'polite'.  ;)

    Right... (none / 0) (#90)
    by CST on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:39:21 PM EST
    Except for that whole "ambition" thing, wanting to be senator and all...

    Is pressure a quid pro quo (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Saul on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:26:33 AM EST
    I know that offering money in exchange for a position is quid pro quo as in the Blago case but just wondering if pressure to appoint someone could seen as the same.  The NY governor is under lots of pressure to pick Caroline and I wondering if that is not marring the governors better judgment to pick someone else more officially qualified. He probably never thought of Caroline as one of his choices.
    I believe Caroline went up to the governor and asked to be considered as one his appointees.  Does the governor look at this as say
    Boy I would be seen as a  terrible guy to turn down the last survivor of the John Kennedy family.  I know there are more qualifed people in line or at least those have paid their dues in the political life that deserve this spot more.

    I don't know either way just wondering how different people look at this pressure.

    The question is, (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:32:13 AM EST
    Are there more qualified people in line? I honestly don't know. I haven't followed the whole thing that closely, so i just don't know if there really are.

    If there are, who are they?

    I don't even know why I'm asking - it's not of that much interest to me, and I have a hallway to paint.


    There are likely hundreds of people much (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:34:14 AM EST
    more qualified. This is a state with 29 House members (26 of them Democrats) 65 or so State Senators and 150 or so State House reps. We also have several mayors of medium to large cities.

    the list of options is quite long..... (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by jedimom on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:40:29 AM EST
    off the top of my head
    Carolyn Maloney Rep, D-NY
    Nydia Velazquez Rep D-NY (but she took herself out)
    Andrew Cuomo, Atty General D-NY
    and all the various Mayors, state Congress persons, Federal Congress Critters..
    yeah many man y experienced in the economy, jobs, the NYS political system which is chock full of pitfalls.....

    Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) (4.25 / 4) (#25)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:44:51 AM EST
    Look up her record, her experience, her commitment -- and her willingness to serve -- and one can only wonder at a process that allows picking someone with no record, experience, etc.

    And that's just one that comes to mind for me, far from NYC.  But -- no matter what squawky says in the last thread -- we all ought to care about who is one of two Senators in such a significant state, and a perennial springboard to national politics.


    I don't think Paterson is (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:10:03 AM EST
    at all vulnerable to that kind of pressure.  He seems an extraordinarily independent character.  Her high profile, celebrity and truly spectacular fund-raising potential is what would make her an appealing choice to him, and that's what he's going to be looking at.

    Why are the items listed qualifiers? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Saul on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:58:34 AM EST
    Because you are a celebrity and high profile to me is not conditions to be looked at as qualifiers for being a senator.  Most movie stars could raise quite a bit of money but that to me is not a reason you use to pick a senator.

    I'm just pointng out (none / 0) (#95)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 01:45:08 PM EST
    the reality of politics and why Caroline would be a very tempting pick for Paterson, regardless of her actual suitability.

    As far as I'm concerned, there are a bunch (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:32:26 AM EST
    of people in line ahead of her. People like Nydia velazquez who have put decades into public service, and have a clear track record of both policy positions and effectivness.

    And this may be true (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:06:25 AM EST
    Because I'm not from the New York area I have no clue as to who deserves to be on this short list.

    I don't know the politics of the area, my understanding of the needs and dynamics is limited, at best - and maybe most important, I'm not sure it's my business. The job of a senator is to represent constituents. I'm not a constituent.

    tough job (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by jedimom on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:37:54 AM EST
    I don't think she has the chops. NYS Senator is a tough tough job, especially now as the budget is slashed and burned. We need a FIGHTER (or my family does I am in AZ now)

    She doesn't have the chops to take stands on issues for lo these many years in a public way and take on the establishment..it's great she has a law degree, millions of people do

    It's great she wrote books, millions there too..

    Also she needs to be able to go toe to toe with Schumer and Bloomberg, the Republican State Legislature, the red red areas surrounding NYC..

    and tell me what experience she has with eonomics? Paterson said in this time we need someone with experience in the economy and jobs.
    She fails all those tests IMO.

    You shouldn't start as Senator unless you can get elected to the job IMHO, being appointed doesn't cut it..

    She's more qualified than most senators (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by 1980Ford on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:30:14 AM EST
    Because she's actually read the Bill of Rights. Not only that, she read the Bill of Rights carefully enough to co-write a book about them..

    How refreshing is that? Maybe every congressperson should have to pass a test before taking office to assure the voters they at least read the Bill of Rights.


    a plus (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by jedimom on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:36:59 AM EST
    well that is a good thing to have behind her but as Jr Senator from NYS in this environment we need the economic experience and the fighting spirit, not a civil rights litigator..were she running for AG I would still think she didnt have enough financial experience to understand the markets etc

    NYS is a big job, the markets are in turmoil...

    Hillary got an AMD plant in upstate NY by working her axx off and fighting for it, you have to be a fighter to get things done in this seat, I just don't see that in someone who practically pulled a Greta Garbo for most of her life..

    I don't want my mother dependent on Caro cause Caro had a midlife crisis after her kids grew up and she thought she might like to try her hand at politics at age 51 with no experience as we teeter on the worst recession evah....

    I mean Jeffrey Toobin wrote a book about SCOTUS and I dont want him on the bench if ya know what I mean..

    and the way NBC is apparently lobbying for her, the TOP STORY I hear last night? ugh, it's like the primaries all over again and IMO just what we don't need as we try to unify for the big work ahead of us......

    sorry I feel pretty strongly about it I guess, HA!


    Caro calls everyone but Hillary...... (5.00 / 7) (#24)
    by jedimom on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:38:32 AM EST
    and to add insult to injury ROY (rumor on the yard)is she didnt even call Hillary yet to speak to her, stay classy Caroline!

    reminds me of the VEEP search frankly and not in a good way if ya know what I mean and I am sure you do :0)


    Ewww, ya know what? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:54:42 AM EST
    Maybe I do care more about this than I previously thought I did.  If this is going to be another juvenile scenario count me out.  If Caroline Kennedy has a juvenile streak I don't want her near the Senate.  That disqualifies her in my book.

    I wouldn't go (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by indy in sc on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:09:57 AM EST
    believing everything you hear about Caroline's interactions with Hillary.  We all know there are a lot of people with a vested interest in stirring up drama around all things Clinton.  The (media) people pushing the Caroline hasn't contacted Hillary story are the same ones who push these kinds of stories all the time.

    Could be true, but I wouldn't get mad about a "snub" or be happy that they are BFFs in the absence of proof of either scenario.


    Certainly (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:13:33 AM EST
    I'm curious though now.  I will be watching now.  If there is truth to the rumor and it was something simply overlooked I now look to Caroline Kennedy to correct that, as would be appropriate at this point if she intends on being New York's next Democratic Senator.

    I saw it reported that (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Lolis on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:11:03 AM EST
    Caroline called Hillary. I think on Huffington Post.

    Personally (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:58:03 AM EST
    I think we have a very deep bench here in NY and I am hesitant to see someone appointed just based on what amounts to her family name.  But judging by the polling, people seem to love our royal family, so that's the way it goes.

    My favorite Kennedy (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Fabian on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:27:33 AM EST
    would the the late RFK but I don't attach much importance to a name or a family.  

    Can She Win Upstate? (none / 0) (#50)
    by santarita on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:22:37 AM EST
    Isn't that a key consideration for Paterson, if he wants to keep that seat Democratic in the next election?  She may be a popular choice in Manhattan but upstate may be a different story.  I would think that that criterion might also knock out some other contenders.

    Upstate (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by daring grace on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:10:43 PM EST
    Kennedy would almost certainly carry the Dem enclaves upstate (notably the urban areas). She just got Rep. Louise Slaughter's endorsement.

    Most Dem statewide candidates get that and swamp the  Repub upstate vote with a lopsided NYC tally.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#56)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:44:56 AM EST
    She would probably do better upstate than some of the lesser-known candidates from the NYC area, to be honest.  But I really think it comes down to constituent service.  Hillary increased her upstate support by leaps and bounds by addressing their needs and being a good advocate for them in the Senate; others can follow her lead, if they're willing.

    I do think the upstate region deserves some love.  I've heard good things about the mayor of Buffalo, he's probably the leading upstate contender.


    Constituent Service Is an Important ... (none / 0) (#63)
    by santarita on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:01:44 AM EST
    part of that job.  Caroline Kennedy may not have what it takes to perform that duty for the upstaters.  On the other hand, I'm sure that many thought the same about Hillary before she became senator.  

    I wonder if she's being pushed by her uncle and cousins to seek that spot or if she wants it on her own and they are encouraging her.  I would have thought that RFK, jr would have been the better choice to carry on the legacy.


    Alternatives (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by andrys on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:09:38 AM EST
    What was this I've heard for the past year about 'Change' ??

    Change from entitlement appointments to a top job like this for someone without any history of public representation or the 'messy' part of actually explaining her qualifications to the public she wants to represent?

    It's not a private person's type of job and requires the will to fight for the people you represent plus an interest in a wide variety of areas and an ability to deal with the mundane.

      Now, if they just reward someone who can raise money well, as the majority leader will traditionally do with chairmanships, I don't see that this gives us confidence about how politics is run.  The list of people who've worked long and well for their districts and built up considerable experience, hoping to move up to the Senate after that, is quite long.

      She's now a good friend of Obama.  Why can't he just create a good job for her as an adviser to him on Education and whatever other pet issues since he values her advice and that's her area of expertiese?   Then she can represent all of us without taking away a rare and highly valued seat that would normally go to people who arduously campaign for it and have convinced people to vote for them.

      I think it's a bad idea and that she would be helpful to Obama and the rest of the country if he can use her more narrow experience well (not to mention her personality not fitting in with the rough and tumble of a campaign).

    I guess the disagreement is (none / 0) (#46)
    by Lolis on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:17:12 AM EST
    Some people think she is qualified. For me, this has nothing to do with Obama.

    My understanding (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Makarov on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:22:36 AM EST
    is Caroline has never served as a legislator, or for that matter as an elected official ever before. Given that the remaining term is only 2 years, I think the people of NY would be better served by someone with legislative experience at some level.

    There is something to be said (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:46:20 AM EST
    about understanding the legislative process, the complex committee and subcommittee structure, etc. -- you're correct.  And I understand that it's not something that can be learned from books or at an uncle's knee.

    She would be a junior senator (none / 0) (#39)
    by Lolis on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:12:23 AM EST
    She wouldn't even have access to the good committees. This kind of stuff you learn on the job.

    She has access to media though (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:16:58 AM EST
    She is a Camelot princess poster child whether we like it or not.  Getting Caroline Kennedy to cosponsor a bill gets cameras to show up and stuff.  Getting Caroline Kennedy to speak on a bill she is cosponsoring could get CNN to stop chattering for a minute and cut away.

    And maybe Fox News, too (none / 0) (#97)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 01:50:48 PM EST
    The NYT reports "as one might expect, she (Caroline Kennedy) is also the consummate insider: when Rupert Murdoch's young daughter was  applying to the Brearley School, Ms.Kennedy, a board member who had attended the school and sent her two daughters there, wrote a letter of recommendation, according to a New Corporation  spokesman."

    The NYTimes (none / 0) (#98)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 02:26:47 PM EST
    is clearly in her corner.  Front page stuff.

    Then, for once, we agree (none / 0) (#43)
    by Cream City on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:14:56 AM EST
    if I get what you're saying. . . .

    Of course... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:30:01 AM EST
    ... her uncle knew none of those things when he became a 30-year-old Senator entirely on name-recognition, and that worked out okay.

    Dense (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:37:57 AM EST
    Teddy RAN for the Senate and was actually, you know, elected by the people of Massachusetts.

    WHOEVER becomes New York' new junior Senator, (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Don in Seattle on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:07:25 AM EST
    it will be by appointment, not by election.

    It seems a tad inconsistent to hold up this fact for or against any of the potential appointees.


    Nobody's doing that (none / 0) (#96)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 01:46:36 PM EST
    Do try to follow the logic of the argument.

    OK, I'll try. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Don in Seattle on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 03:00:29 PM EST
    Jerrymcl89 suggested that Ted Kennedy was an example of an inexperienced Kennedy making good in a Senate career.

    You called him "dense", and pointed out that unlike Caroline Kennedy, Teddy entered the Senate by being elected.

    I said that was not an option for Caroline, or for any other possible appointee.

    You rather testily said I should try to follow the logic of your argument.


    OK, so now I've tried. Now what?


    Try harder (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:26:53 PM EST
    You said, "it will be by appointment, not by election. It seems a tad inconsistent to hold up this fact for or against any of the potential appointees," which is both false and a non sequitur.

    I said, "Nobody's doing that"-- ie, since you need it spelled out, Nobody's "holding it for or against"  anybody.

    Basic argument being asserted by moi and others is that anybody is entitled to run for anything and put themselves before the electorate, and it doesn't matter what their "qualifications" may or may not be.  (cf the current president-elect)

    OTOH, if they're asking for an appointment, they darn well better have something besides celebrity or fund-raising prowess to elevate them at least to the same level as all the other people with real qualifications who could be appointed.

    I don't really think it's that difficult a concept to grasp.


    No, not too difficult, now you've said it. (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Don in Seattle on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:22:09 PM EST
    But apparently it is a difficult idea to convey civilly.

    Your argument was not inferrable from your previous posts on this thread.


    I have no problem (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by CST on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:25:37 AM EST
    With Caroline, although I understand the objections to the appointment.  I guess if you have to appoint a seat it is better to give it to someone who has been elected for something before.  It seems like more of a problem with the process than the candidate herself.

    My general opinion, I'm sure there are many who think Patterson can do better, but he could also do a lot worse.  She's a genuine lefty with some help built in the senate to get things done.

    I'm fine either way but it's not my state.

    I guess my question (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by dk on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:49:39 AM EST
    (and I think BTDs question) is on what basis do you assert that she is a "genuine lefty"?

    For example, personally I consider a "genuine lefty" as someone who would support single payer health.  This site has a list of the New York congressional supporters of the current incarnation of a single payer bill, HR 676.

    Does Caroline support single payer?  


    I don't know specifics (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by CST on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:13:21 AM EST
    The only health care bill that is going to pass now is going to be one supported by Obama, Ted Kennedy and Daschle.  I am sure Caroline is in that group.  My qualifications for "lefty" may be different than yours though.  I for one, think that there will be a legitimate health care bill passed in the next year, and I am ok with that.

    Fair enough, (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by dk on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:49:08 AM EST
    I probably do have a different definition of "genuinely lefty" than you do.  What you are describing I would refer to as "genuinely establishment."

    I think she's great (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:53:49 AM EST
    But it does not seem fair that she gets to make some calls and jump to the head of the line just because of her name, family, money, connections, etc. That doesn't smell right, and I don't think democrats should be behaving that way.

    Molly (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:43:12 AM EST
    We're talking about the "new Democratic Party" here.



    Not Good Enough For You? (none / 0) (#82)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:05:15 PM EST
    Well at least you have Palin and your new GOP..

    Oh yeah! (none / 0) (#104)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:43:41 PM EST
    You're such an idealist Teresa. I don't democrats have passed the smell test on lots of ethical issues for a long long time!

    There are over 250K people who have (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:31:33 PM EST
    graduated from Columbia Law School. There have to be more who have graduated Harvard undergrad.  Then, I am sure many of those people have been published also, and probably not books geared toward younger audiences.  I am sure some have gone on to lifelong careers in law, having clerked and taught etc.  Most, I am sure, have worked at least 40 hours per week.

    I understand about the aura surrounding CK.  I understand it too well after this past presidential election.  

    I think implicit in core Democratic values is the belief that position and achievement in this country should be merit based; that everyone should get a fair shake; that those who start out disadvantaged should get a helping hand.

    I just want to know what kind of person CK is; what she has done with her 51 years; and why she deserves this immense honor.  

    Whoever is handling her is doing her a great disservice in not conveying HER story.  I know her FAMILY story only. She may be an incredible person with great potential.  I simply have no idea who she is and the extent of her potential.  


    Here Is a Start (none / 0) (#91)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:45:46 PM EST
    I just want to know what kind of person CK is; what she has done with her 51 years; and why she deserves this immense honor.

     NYT via daring grace

    Thanks (none / 0) (#92)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 01:11:08 PM EST
    That is a start.  Only thing negative there is the NYT stating that she (Carolyn) "freed" a couple of friends for the article. I remain open to hear more on CK.  

    Team player? (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:47:59 PM EST
    Matt Stoller sez:

    "she's given to Presidential candidates and Kennedy's since 1979, but the only downticket non-Kennedy donations she's made have gone to Chris Dodd in 1997, Harris Wofford in 1991, and Ned Lamont in 2006."

    In the past ten years, she's found three politicians she would care to donate to in any major way?  She really wasn't thinking too intently about entering politics, was she.

    It just occured to me that she might be (none / 0) (#33)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:05:53 AM EST
    planning a 2016 run for President. You just know the party would go crazy for that.

    Another powerful woman with a hidden (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:10:21 AM EST
    agenda to obtain even more power and then more and more and more? Muwahahahahahaha    Does the nation have room for two of those :)

    I don't think the comparison is to Clinton (none / 0) (#38)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:12:09 AM EST
    but rather to Obama.

    I make my comparisons where I see them :) (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:18:27 AM EST
    For what it's worth, I generally assume (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:22:51 AM EST
    every single politician from Senator right on down to school board member has an insidious plan to be President.

    Me too for what that is worth as well (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:28:34 AM EST
    But when it comes in the shape of a woman emerging from a politically powerful family dynasty, everybody knows that is a SHEER FORCE OF EVIL trying to take over the world :)

    Not always, (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by nemo52 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:44:22 PM EST
    There are a number of people who screech "dynasty"! at the thought of another evil Clinton who have no problem whatsoever with a whole string of Kennedys.

    If she turns out (none / 0) (#42)
    by indy in sc on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:14:29 AM EST
    to be a good senator and "right" on the issues I care about and Hillary doesn't want it, I can see myself supporting her.  The '16 campaign won't start until '14.  I think we would have a good measure of her by then if the people of NY keep her in the Senate seat.

    NY voters would keep any breathing (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by tigercourse on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:16:20 AM EST
    Democrat in a Senate seat. At least at this point.

    Caroline has an introverted (none / 0) (#48)
    by WS on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:21:47 AM EST
    personality judging by her appearances. I hope she supports Hillary in 2016 if Hillary runs again.  

    All I want from Caroline Kennedy, if she is the pick, is to be a liberal voice in the Senate just like Ted Kennedy and to be a fighter like Hillary.  

    If she is the pick, I can't wait for her to squelch Peter King's Senatorial ambitions.      


    I am with you (none / 0) (#93)
    by denise k on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 01:28:51 PM EST
    If she is a closet progressive in the Feingold mold who can make her voice heard just by getting in front of microphone, then whoopee!  But we won't know if that is what she is until she opens her yawp and tells us where she stands.  

    Come on Caroline!  Let's hear it!


    judging by her book (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:34:01 PM EST
    I'd expect her to be a key ally of Feingold's as the fights over rolling back the FISA Amendments and PATRIOT develop.

    According To The NYT (none / 0) (#94)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 01:36:24 PM EST
    She did quite a lot of speaking for Obama, and was quick on her feet. She may be going extrovert for the second half of her life.

    I would like another Senator in the mold of Finegold or Ted Kennedy too. We'll see soon enough, if she gets appointed.


    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by WS on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:01:22 PM EST
    its hard to go from introverted to extroverted.  I think that's just the way she is.  There's nothing wrong with being introverted btw.  

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:14:00 PM EST
    Although I was thinking more about being a public figure from private in the use of the term.

    I do know several performers who are introverted off stage and quite extroverted on stage.

    Also Jung points out that it is not unusual for men who have been high powered execs to get more involved with internal matters in the second part of their life, retirement years tending the garden, for instance.


    The Second Half of Her Life (none / 0) (#101)
    by daring grace on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:07:28 PM EST
    You may be right.

    The NY Times article offers some speculation from her friends or associates that she's deliberately kept a low profile while her children were young, and that now that two are in college and one in high school, she's ready to step into public life more.


    FWIW (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:30:55 AM EST
    Carl Jung would have her entering the so called aminus stage of her life.

    In stage two, the animus gives the woman the initiative and the ability to take action. Women in this stage are often ready to take on careers and lives of their own, apart from their family and other stereotypes and role models.


    This is an appointment, not about Kennedy jumping the line ahead of pols who have been at it for many years. It is Paterson's choice, a governors perk. That is the way it works all across the US.  

    I do not see any problem with Kennedy and the fact that Paterson sees her as a good choice makes her even better for me.

    I would like to hear more from her too.

    What would Jung say (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by nemo52 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:46:40 PM EST
    about women who take action earlier than the "second part of life?"  Methinks there's a whole lotta social assumptions wrapped up in Jung's thinking on gender.

    Nah (none / 0) (#117)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 01:37:04 AM EST
    He was too smart for that. Rather than think gender think animus and anima, that makes it gender neutral.  It is basically gender free theory but predicts a switch to embrace the other side at some point in ones mid life..

    It still seems quite (none / 0) (#118)
    by nemo52 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 01:29:22 PM EST
    reductionist to me, and does not take into account gay, lesbian, bisexual or intersexed people.

    Hardly (none / 0) (#119)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 03:45:29 PM EST
    Jung's theory explored internal energy be it so called masculine (animus) or feminine (anima). External physical gender signatures and sexual preferences are irrelevant to the theory.

    I'm sure there is lots of pressure now that she's (none / 0) (#83)
    by Angel on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 12:06:37 PM EST
    somewhat officially thrown her name in the ring.  But it just seems kind of heavy-handed to me.  She'd be a legacy appointment when there are other more deserving people out there who should be considered before her.  I also think her personality might somewhat limit what she could achieve.  Some may be initially drawn to her only because of her name, but once they've met her - and if they decide that she's a lightweight and doesn't understand the process, etc. - will those same people want to work with her?  We should all want someone high caliber who can get things done, who knows the system, and who would be able to win the next election.    

    What about the political consequences (none / 0) (#99)
    by Joelarama on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 02:39:20 PM EST
    of dynasty?  Isn't this kind of thing exactly why a ridiculous figure like Joe the Plumber has resonance with some voters who might vote their interests and vote Democrat, if they actually thought Democrats cared about meritocracy?

    And, of course life isn't fair. But that is a pretty glib reason not to speak for fairness.    

    Joe the Plumber (none / 0) (#106)
    by Lolis on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 04:58:19 PM EST
    has resonance? That's news to me. I bet his book will be on the bargain shelf a week after it comes out.

    I think Kennedy might have some resonance similar to Palin. She has spent much of her life dedicated to her family. Palin symbolizes evangelical Christian values based on her baby. Caroline symbolizes liberal values based on her father, uncles, etc.

    In a way, they both evoke a nostalgic past. I prefer Kennedy's values and intelligence. Her lack of experience I don't think will trouble a lot of people. Most people are fed up with our Senate. I don't see how Caroline could do worse.


    Yes, the Democrats-are-elitist meme (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Joelarama on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 06:39:02 PM EST
    has resonance with working class voters.

    And I agree Kennedy's resonance is a lot like Palin's:  blindly romantic, anti-intellectual, content-less.

    And, Palin not only has more experience than Kennedy; voters know more about where she stands on the issues that affect them.  That is because she has pursued a public life.

    Oh, yeah, let's hand this to Caroline Kennedy on a silver tray.  She's used to it, and her choice to lead a privileged, quiet life thus far does not give me much hope that she can fight to hold this Senate seat for Democrats.


    Kennedy Tours Upstate NY (none / 0) (#120)
    by squeaky on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:00:06 PM EST
    Caroline Kennedy, on her first day touring upstate New York as part of her bid to succeed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, was circumspect and, at times, jolted by the tumult she touched off by her visits to the mayors of Syracuse and Rochester.


    "I've had a lifelong commitment to public service," she said, leaving the offices of the Monroe County Democratic Committee. "I've written books on the Constitution and the importance of individual participation. And I've raised my family. I think I really could help bring change to Washington."

    .....She told a reporter that Rochester was "great," and vowed that, if she becomes senator, "I'll be back as many times as Chuck Schumer," a reference to the reputation of New York's senior senator, Charles E. Schumer, for relentless appearances and news conferences.


    The tour had been kept somewhat secretive, reflecting, in part, the delicacy of the situation. No schedule was given, though details percolated rapidly through political circles in New York.

    Technically, there is no seat open, since the current holder, Senator Clinton, has not yet been confirmed as secretary of state. And there can be no true campaign, since there is no true election: The only vote that counts is that of Governor Paterson.