4:45 p.m. ET: The three biggest political stories of the moment -- the auto bailout, Rod Blagojevich and The Kennedy Succession (which should be the title of the next Robert Ludlum novel) -- all seem to be in a state of suspended animation.
• The bailout isn't done and apparently won't be for another day or two. But the Dow skyrocketed anyway, because the Fed cut interest rates to a range near zero, which The Rundown doesn't really understand but won't question as long as his 401(k) rebounds.
• Blagojevich has given no indication yet that he plans to step down, and there's little reason to think he will unless he somehow thinks doing so will help him with prosecutors. (Though Patricia Blagojevich has begun making amends -- to their neighbors in Chicago. Unfortunately, her note to the neighbors inludes no references to "that Cubs [bleep]" or that "mother[bleep]er" Obama.
• Caroline Kennedy is hiring lots of advisers and gathering supporters as she waits to see whether David Paterson hands her the seat. Also in Kennedy's corner -- Harry Reid, who is presumably doing a favor for her Uncle Ted, and would also be happy to have someone in the seat who can raise $50 million at the drop of a hat.
8 a.m. ET: Remember how hard it was in high school history class to remember all those successions of kings and queens, marriages, divorces and beheadings? Well, try this on for size:
A former president's daughter (and current senator's niece) is campaigning for the New York Senate seat being vacated by a former president's wife, who recently failed in her effort to succeed a former president's son (and former senator's grandson) as president. That former president's daughter has competition in New York from a former governor's son, who was himself previously married to the former president's daughter's cousin (and another former senator's daughter, and current House member's cousin). Oh, and the appointment will be made by a governor who is the son of a former New York secretary of state.
No, not everyone in American politics is related to each other, but it can certainly seem that way. (Remember: Barack Obama and Dick Cheney are eighth cousins!) On this week's episode of Dynasty, Caroline Kennedy is trying to overcome the perception that her only qualification for succeeding Hillary Clinton in the Senate is her last name.
Speaking on CNN a little while ago, Kerry Kennedy said her cousin would be a good senator at least party because she is "a woman and a mother," which is true but by no means unique. It may not be surprising that Caroline Kennedy has the support of her cousin, but what about New York's current members of Congress? Louise Slaughter endorsed Kennedy yesterday. But would Paterson appoint someone who seems to have the backing of neither Clinton nor Chuck Schumer? Asked his view of Kennedy, New York's senior senator said there are lots of potential candidates and they're all qualified, though perhaps Schumer really does think Kennedy would be a good pick.
Speaking of Senate appointments, add yet another one to New York and (probably) Illinois, as the choice of Ken Salazar for Education Secretary opens up a Colorado seat. Might John Salazar be picked to succeed his brother? Again, it's all about dynasties.
December 16, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
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