The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

The Curious Case of Caroline and Kirsten

By Ben Pershing
Torture. Detainees. Gaza. Bank bailouts. These are the topics that have consumed the first days of the Obama administration and, frankly, they're kind of depressing. So let's talk about Caroline Kennedy.

In a period that has included the ongoing Coleman-Franken fight and the Burris-Blagojevich brouhaha, the Kennedy story has still managed to distinguish itself -- if only because it's been so confusing. Just as all the experts and everyone closely following this story totally did not predict, David Paterson decided last night to pick Kirsten Gillibrand, who just started her second term in the House and is relatively unknown, to succeed Hillary Clinton in the Senate. The decision came a day after Kennedy withdrew from consideration for the position, setting off an absolutely bizarre frenzy of anonymous backbiting and contradictory reporting by the New York media.

Kennedy pulled out either because of Edward Kennedy's seizure (Ted's people are not happy with that excuse), because of "tax and housekeeper" problems, because of some other personal problem or simply because she wasn't going to be picked. And Paterson either did or did not tell Kennedy that she definitely would or definitely wouldn't be chosen. All according to people "close" to the governor; either they're not really so close or, more likely, Paterson has an awful lot of trouble making up his mind.

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Posted at 8:11 AM ET on Jan 23, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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It's obvious that it's a toss up as to who is loonier...Caroline Kennedy or David Paterson.

Posted by: checkered1 | January 23, 2009 6:17 PM

burris in and kennedy out

so to recap...obama 0 for 2

obama better hope he does better on big policy issues than he has on these isolated personnel issues.

if his weak executive orders on waterboarding and gitmo are any indication, he might be in for two more losses. the only good thing is that he has given himself a year before he will finally be judge as to whether he won or lost on these issues.

Posted by: dummypants | January 23, 2009 4:15 PM

This statement is not true: "Just as all the experts and everyone closely following this story totally did not predict, David Paterson decided last night to pick Kirsten Gillibrand.."

A lot of people I know predicted it. Maybe we are better experts here in "upstate" New York.

Posted by: kateinNY | January 23, 2009 4:15 PM

Gillenbrand's got nothing on that babe Pelosi

Posted by: MatthewAvitabile | January 23, 2009 2:53 PM

I find it very interesting that the Governor of the BLUEST of the Blue States picks a BLUE DOG as Senator. It brings to mind that the REAL power in the end in Washington will be from the folks closer to the middle. As Democrats they are called BlueDogs as Republicans they are called Moderates, the EGGHEADS and WINGNUTS will have to work with them to get most things done in Congress. For now the EGGHEADS have the leadership roles but over time this might be able to change .Only time will tell. It will be a real message if this BlueDOG can be elected in New York when she will have to run to keep this seat. I remained a Democrat for most of my life to only go Independent after the DNC preempted my vote in the Florida primary last year. I am enjoying an ideology free ability to view current events without the need to react to events as my party would want me to react to that event. I am free of a party line view now and can look at only the facts not the need to protect my past ideology. I can see a trend already in Obama that EGGHEADS will not get everything they may have thought to be automatic if he was elected. He seems to be running very fast towards the center. The center worked well for Clinton and history proves it worked well for America

Posted by: allencharles | January 23, 2009 11:28 AM

Interesting to watch how Paterson explains snubbing a liberal Kennedy and giving Hillary's seat to a Blue Dog Dem with a 100% rating from the NRA (!!). Wow...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 23, 2009 9:21 AM

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