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The Case for Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy listens to a reporter's question during a news conference at City Hall in Buffalo, N.Y. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008. Kennedy is campaigning for the open Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

Caroline Kennedy's interest in the appointment to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton is still a relatively recent development, but already opinion on the idea is cementing.

In the pro-Kennedy camp: the New York Post, Harry Reid, Louise Slaughter and even Kathleen Parker (sort of).

Leading the anti-Kennedy forces: Rep. Gary Ackerman, Rep. Anthony Weiner (sort of) and many in the media who hammered her during her visit Upstate earlier this week.

Regular Fix readers may remember our series of "Case For/Case Against" from the presidential primary season and the veepstakes (oh how we miss it!). Given the entrenchment of both sides, now seems like the right time to dust off that oldie but goodie to make the argument for why Gov. David Paterson (D) should pick Kennedy, which we do below, and the counter argument, which we will make tomorrow.

Agree or disagree with any or all of the elements of our case? The comments section awaits.

Universally Known

One of the unique challenges for whomever Paterson ultimately picks is that he/she will have to run statewide twice in the next four years -- in a 2010 special election for the remaining two years on Clinton's term and then in 2012 for the full term.

With such a short calendar and such a big state, it is a major advantage to start as a known commodity to voters. No one fills that role better than Kennedy who, although she has spent very little time in public life, is universally known by voters due to her famous family.

In a recent Marist College poll that showed Kennedy as the preferred replacement for Clinton, only eight percent of all voters tested didn't recognize her name.

It's not just that Kennedy has name recognition, however. It's that for many voters -- Democrats, Independents and even some Republicans -- her last name is synonymous with public service. For most Americans, the lingering image of Caroline is of her at her father's funeral; it's a sympathetic portrayal that makes Kennedy's name identification all the more potent.

Money, Money, Money

New York may be losing population but it's still one of the most expensive states in which to run for political office -- damn New York City media market! In the 1998 race between Chuck Schumer (D) and Alfonse D'Amato (R), the duo combined to spend more than $40 million. Two years later Clinton and Rep. Rick Lazio (R) spent a combined $81 million. Heck, in Clinton's non-competitive 2006 re-election race, she spent $34 million.

Assuming Republicans can field a serious candidate in 2010 or 2012 (or both), the appointed Democratic senator will likely have to raise at least $40 million and perhaps much more if former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- himself a very strong fundraiser -- decides to run.

Even among those who consider Kennedy the wrong choice, there is absolutely no question that she could raise that sum and much, much more if need be.

And, one other important fundraising point: in a cycle where Democrats are expected to contest several large, expensive states -- Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania -- a Kennedy candidacy would relieve them of the burden of having to spend much (if any) money in the Empire State. Not to mention the money she would be able to raise for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from her family's national donor network.

Passing the Torch

With Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) in his mid 70s and slowed by brain cancer, the last link to the first family of Democratic politics (sorry Clintons!) is fading.

While Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama during the primary season (and subsequent speech at the Democratic National Convention) was clearly meant as a symbolic passing of the torch to a new generation of young Democratic leaders, the idea of another Kennedy in the Senate is likely to pull on the heartstrings of many Democratic voters.

Like them or hate them, it's hard to argue that the Kennedys sit at the epicenter of Democratic politics -- and American politics more broadly. Should Caroline get the appointment, expect an election campaign in 2010 heavily based on the idea of the Kennedy legacy living on in her. And, for Americans of a certain age, that may well be reason enough to support her.

Woman to Woman

Paterson has already said publicly that the idea of a minority candidate appeals to him.

And, not filling the seat with just another white guy is made all the more important by the fact that it is Clinton -- she of the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling -- who is being replaced.

The idea of replacing one high-profile woman with a national (and international) reputation with another high-profile woman with national (and international) reputation makes good sense -- politically for Paterson and more generally for voters.

The Catholic Connection

For many Catholics -- particularly in the Northeast -- the Kennedys are held somewhere just short of the Pope in terms of esteem. (For the record, the late Tim Russert was one of the very few who achieved similar status in the Catholic world.)

New York still has scads of working class, Catholic enclaves -- in and around Buffalo, for example -- where some Democratic statewide candidates have struggled. Obama, interestingly, was not one of them. Catholics comprised 37 percent of the total New York electorate in the 2008 presidential race and Obama beat John McCain 59 percent to 41 percent in this crucial voting bloc, according to exit polls.

The idea that a Kennedy -- let alone the daughter of the first Catholic president of the United States -- would make a stump stop in Buffalo or Schenectady would be enough to send many Catholics into a swoon.

It's hard to imagine any other candidate under consideration for the post evoking anywhere close to the same reaction.

A New Politics

Obama's message -- politics is broken, we need new faces to fix it -- clearly appealed to Kennedy. She went from a political wall flower to an endorser and a vetter during the campaign and now a candidate in her own right.

And so, while Kennedy adopted the "more is more" approach when asked about her political positioning -- she called herself "a Kennedy Democrat, a Clinton Democrat, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama -- all of these are leaders whose values I share" -- it's clear from her role in the 2008 campaign that she is likely to position herself as a natural heir to the "new politics" that Obama ushered in during his victory.

Kennedy is uniquely able to do this because she there is so little known about her issue positions or political ideology. She is the classic tabula rasa -- onto which almost anything can be put. And, because of her lack of a record (or even a series of public pronouncements on controversial issues), it will be very hard for her opponents in either a primary or a general election to dispute the way in which she positions herself for election and possibly reelection.

Coming Tuesday: The Case Against Kennedy

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 22, 2008; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  Case For/Case Against  
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Next: Fix Pick: Blagojevich's Tentacles


I see no problem with Caroline's lack of aggressive cut throat maner of dealing with issues. I like her style. All politicians don't have to drink a shot and a beer or bowl inorder to make major decisions based on information and inteligence. I remember Princess Di of England. Diana was quiet and reserve but had the kind of compassion to deal with the problems of the third world. She had the courage to visit and protest land mines and initiated their removal. Just because a person does not demonstrate agressive behavior doesn't mean they can't fight the battles. She is a winner and she doesn't even need to lobby for the money.

Posted by: sm98yth | December 29, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I can see Caroline Kennedy leaving a legacy similar to Eleonor Roosevelt that represent America at it's best.

Posted by: jrp1 | December 26, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree with YellaDog | December 24, 2008 2:47 PM. At least Hillary came from DC and has been politically vocal about issues. This lady came out of the nowhere and now she wants to be a senator. That's not a good post for someone with no experience. Couldn't she have run for city council or something?

Posted by: raulzeke | December 25, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS

Posted by: hclark1 | December 24, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

As a yellow dog Democrat, my chief concern about Kennedy is whether or not she will be able to compete in the poltical arena after shunning the limelight for most of her 51 years. Can she retain the seat in 2010? No Democrat is likely to challenge her then, so she will be facing a Republican. If she is, indeed, as reticent as her personal history suggests, it seems unlikely that she will be able to withstand the abuse of a campaign. She has refused to be interviewed by the NY Times. She has refused to answer questions during her campaign stops. Since when can a candidate refuse to speak with the press? It doesn't bode well.

I have other concerns, such as her unwillingness to make a commitment to a Democratic candidate for mayor of NY--reported in the Times today--and the lame answers she has given to the questions she HAS answered, but this is my top priority, i.e., a Democratic Senator who can RETAIN the seat during an election. That concern can be put to rest by requiring her to actually RUN for office rather than GIFTING her this seat. If one of NY's representatives is appointed to the Senate seat, Kennedy can RUN to replace that person.

Now that makes sense... The anointing of a celebrity with NO political track record, does NOT make sense.

Posted by: YellaDog | December 24, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: akber_kassam | December 24, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The issue is not with Ms. Kennedy per se, but rather the perception of hereditary investiture in a country which has historically abhored aristocracy. Hillary Clinton may be a unrepentant carpetbagger with an entitlement complex, but at least she was duly elected by the people of New York, as was Ms. Kennedy's uncle decades ago.

In today's violatile atmosphere, where "elites" are being eyed with increasing skepticsm, Gov. Paterson may want to make a more pragmatic, merit-based appointment.

Posted by: kchall5 | December 24, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Comparisons with Ted Kennedy are misplaced in that he was elected, not appointed.

Recent studies reveal that the money Caroline raised for NYC public education, primarily from Gates, has probably done more harm than good. Of course, public education was not in her, or her children's past. I venture to say that almost any current public school parent in NYC is more highly qualified than she is on the subject.

She is a "non practicing" attorney. In my book that means that she went to law school but is not an attorney.

The books she has "written" have actually been co-written with a non-celebrity. Caroline's name appears second. Can you guess who did the most writing? Books with only her name on the cover were not written by her, but are anthologies of other people's words.

Almost all of her touted accomplishments have to do with her father's various legacies.

I fail to see where she has risen above being a rich upper east side dilettante.

Posted by: LennyMM | December 24, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I would love to defend Caroline against the ridiculous charges of lack of qualifications. Or the "she can't take the campaign trail" slam. Or the allocations of nepotism. Or the, "she didn't earn it, she just has a silver spoon in her mouth." All of it. Would love to be able to endorse passing on Hillary's post to another able, capable woman. Would love to be able to stand up and UNEQUIVOCALLY SURRORT Caroline. Some of us really get into supporting our fellow women. But...

I can not honestly throw my support to her as a show of unity for women because SHE DID NOT SUPPORT HILLARY.

People remember these things. A high profile woman from a well-established political family can't go out and do everything in her power to support Hillary's competitor in a race, one who never worked as hard or took the heat that Hillary did, completely ignoring the historic and inspirational push of Hillary's candidacy, and then get up and assume women are going to come rushing to her side. We women need every one of us on board to get ahead these days in the political world. And Caroline didn't get on board. She didn't think that Hillary was the right one to target in "passing the torch" to a new generation. OK Caroline, you have your opinion, and so do the rest of us. And we just don't think Caroline is the right person to tap in "passing on the torch" of Hillary's legacy.

Sorry C, you're just not "inspirational" enough for Hillary's seat. Just don't meet muster in the "leader of a generation" category. Just aren't golden enough to walk in Hillary's footsteps. Oh, but all in good fun, right? Just taking a move out of Caroline's own play book. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

People have long memories. And you know what they say about payback, huh? It's a ... what's that they say? It's a b.... beautiful thing when it comes. Well, here it is!!!!

Posted by: syoungAKAK | December 24, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Us folks in Up-state New York will not support her - she is another idle rich New York City trust fund baby who will not help us in the northern part of the state. 1 in 3 people in Up-state New York are receiving some sort of public assistance. Upstate has lost more manufacturing jobs in the last 40 years than any other state in the east. What we don't need is a hobby politician. Kennedy is DOA for us in the "other" New York.

Posted by: GOPNAZI | December 23, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I like Caroline Kennedy's positions on several subjects, but I am distressed that she won't engage with the press. If someone with so little public experience and such heavy connections wants an appointment to a senate seat the very least required would be to make herself more available to the public through interviews.
There are others who want the appointment who have been vetted in the public arena - they are elected officials who have a record available to all. I don't see a contest here. It would be a mistake to appoint someone who gives the impression that she is doing this because of noblesse oblige.

Posted by: myskylark | December 23, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Ever wonder why people do the things they do?

Why would Caroline Kennedy want to put herself in the garbage compacter that is politics today? She's educated; she's well off; she's well connected; she can call any world leader and they will take her call; she can back any cause she desires and can make a difference;

Nobody calls her names or questions her intelligence, experience or motives..
until now.

Why bother? For a Senate seat? To sit around with Harry Reid?

Think about it again Caroline.....

Best wishes for Christmas and 2009!

Posted by: toritto | December 23, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I like the selection of Kennedy. She's got the moxie, and she's not a calculator, having been a "wallflower" all of these years. If any Dem politicians want her out, then let them run against her in two years in the Dem primary. They shouldn't be afraid of her anymore then than they (apparently) are now.

Posted by: SGall23241 | December 23, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I dream of a day when citizens will not be granted high ranking offices just because their last names might be Kennedy, Bush or Clinton.

Posted by: m_guszak | December 23, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

What's with all these lame brains? Caroline is a fine woman with plenty of civic minded ethics, great legal wisdom and a charm which would make her a great choice for getting lots of work done for New York State and the US Senate. Get a life, complainers - it could always be much worse: Paterson could nominate Sarah Palin. Now, that would have been truly sad.

Posted by: buzziea | December 23, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I did not support her initially, that is till I heard Rodham Clinton was putting the squeeze on her to retire her campaign debt. Her refusal to engage the Clinton money grubbing complex is all I need to know she is better than what she would be replacing. Put me in the support column.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 23, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

She can win in Cali. Clint,Arnie,and Ronnie. Why not Caroline? If people in congress that feel they are more qualified than she. Run against her in two years. Constitutional Lawyer, I'll bet these Congress people don't know as much about the constitution as she does. They have proved this by their voting records. What have these supposed more qaulified people in Congress done.Lets vett. Why not give her a chance? Maybe she can get something done. All the qualified people could not.

Posted by: viram2 | December 23, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

jimtwest3: "I say give her a chance and let's see how she does."

But why not give someone else a chance and see how she or he does? Why her over the other candidates who are interested in the job?

"She gave us her father, and two uncles."

How did she "give" us them? I don't think she had much say in the matter.

Posted by: dasimon | December 23, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

So Obama pays off Caroline for her support in backstabbing Hillary by persuading Paterson to appoint her. Caroline then shows her 'appreciation' by raising millions. Anybody see much of a moral difference from Blago's desire for something more that mere appreciation?

The fact that Caroline might be good Senator is irrelevant in view of the fact that there are numerous New York politicians who have paid their dues and have shown that they would be good Senators.

Posted by: Respectthe9thAmendment | December 23, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

You said "New York may be losing population but it's still one of the most expensive states in which to run for political office."

CORRECTION: "New York may be losing Congressional representation, due to slower population growth than many states, but it's still one of the most expensive states in which to run for political office."

NY census (est.) 2006 = 19,297,729
NY census in 2000 = 18,976,457
NY census in 1990 = 17,990,455

P.S. Chris -- I always enjoy your column. I've just got a bug up my butt about population stats so I had to send this in. -- Steve

Posted by: longsd | December 23, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

This is only a 2 year appointment. If Caroline does a good job, she will get re-elected. If she does not do a good job, she will not get re-elected. She appears honest and very intelligent. Unlike many of today's politicians, I really doubt that she could be bought, and I really doubt that her principles are for sale.
Her father inspired our nation. Robert Kennedy's vision inspired our nation. Her family has sacrificed much to our nation. A two year appointment simply gives her a chance to demonstrate to the people of New York that she is more than another socialite. I say give her a chance.
Her support of Barack Obama helped his campaign for President. He may have won without her support, but her support helped make him our President. Given Caroline's family's contributions to our nation, I have absolutely no problem in giving Caroline a chance. Save your judgement when you have somthing to judge.
I say give her a chance and let's see how she does. She gave us her father, and two uncles. Seems like her family have paid their dues and still stood up for our country. Few Senators have been more vocal in working to fix our broken health system than Ted Kennedy. I say give her a chance and let's see how she does.

Posted by: jimtwest3 | December 23, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm still not convinced that Caroline Kennedy is the best choice for Senator of New York State. The fact remains that Ms. Kennedy has refused to allow public scrutiny of her finances, which to me should immediately disqualify her as a candidate. Secondly, while highly educated, she has not been through the process of running in an election. Rubber stamping her because of her name is simply a convenience for the New York elite and old boys/girls network to pervert the American electoral process, an un-American and unacceptable act. I would change my position after she agreed to run as a genuine candidate in 2010, but not now. The comparison about her inexperience and Obama's is like comparing apples and oranges, since Obama ran in an election to become Senator, ran and convincingly won as a candidate to become President of the United States.

Posted by: kerryberger | December 23, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Who's best interest would be served by picking her? Certainly not the state. These are all the *WRONG* reasons.

Posted by: antigen | December 22, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"Is there anything so wrong with wanting the Senate spot? She said she wants the spot and made it known to Paterson. This doesn't mean that she is at the front of the line. There is no line. It's a unilateral decision by one person."

There's nothing wrong with wanting the Senate spot. We're just discussing whether Kennedy is the best person for the job (not just whether she might be a good person for the job, an argument which can be made for most of those mentioned for the seat).

And yes, it's Paterson's decision. But Paterson is supposed to represent the people of New York, so he should be subjected to some degree of accountability to his constituents--though I doubt it will be a major factor when he runs for election in 2010.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

"Why shouldn't Kennedy and her supporters have the burden of explaining why she is better than the other candidates"

Is there anything so wrong with wanting the Senate spot? She said she wants the spot and made it known to Paterson. This doesn't mean that she is at the front of the line. There is no line. It's a unilateral decision by one person. That person isn't CKS, by the way.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 22, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

As I said, I was writing fast and misspelling- I used to live in Nadler's district--

Yes, there are definitely other candidates as well, and even those who have "withdrawn" are not necessarily out of it- that is standard practice when seeking appointments-

the point is there are lot of candidates- we also could be making the next powerhouse Dem senator out of someone local rather than just continuing to put Kennedys where they don't belong.

I used to be alright with Edward- but over the last few years, having had a daughter- I don't feel that way anymore. He has always been about Edward first- willing to run the party into the ground in 80, ok with covering up a drunken drowning of a woman, endorsing based on perserving his own powerbase. He is no saint of the left. Honestly, our (left) senators are
Sanders, Leahy, Fiengold and Boxer, Wellstone was a saint- none of the current power structure are from that ilk, Barak, Hillary, etc. are all moderates and the Kennedys are about the preservation of thier little gross clan- helping a nephew or two with rape charges, etc. I am beyond liberal and I don't see why anyone thinks that the Kennedys are good role models.


Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

nycLeon: I know your list is partial, but Lowey and Velasquez have both announced that they don't want the seat. And I think instead of "Hildebrand" you mean Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20), who now has won two elections in a substantially Republican district.

For the guys, I think you mean "Nadler" (Jerrold, NY-08), not Nader (Ralph, very different person). Steve Israel (NY-02) is certainly on the list (see my prior post).

In fact, I believe that those on the "short" list have been informed as such by Paterson, even if they haven't told us.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

petra123: "but that was precisely my point: Just who exactly IS "running" besides Kennedy? If two or three people all publicly came out and said they want the appointment, and they intend to make their case to Patterson, then so be it"

Well, three-term Congressman Steve Israel has apparently told the governor that he wants the appointment. And as you point out, that's the only person he needs to tell. "According to the source, Israel made his interest in the job known to the governor soon after Clinton's official nomination as secretary of state..."

And he'd be good: has a history of legislative experience, working across the aisle, good on policy, and can raise the money.

And there are other frequently mentioned names: Cuomo (obviously), Gillibrand, Higgins. Just because they may not have formally announced to us doesn't mean they haven't announced to the governor. Nor do I see why a formal announcement be necessary to our discussion comparing those whose names are bandied about as candidates.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

No potential appointee has Caroline Kennedy's access to a very grateful President Barack Obama. That relationship should go for eight years. And, to her Uncle ted's links to the liberal establishment. With her uncle's career on the wane, she carries several torches within the national party and is an institution in and of herself.
No potential appointee has Caroline Kennedy's star power for fundraising and visibility in getting other Democrats elected...particularly if one of those Democtarts is Governor Patterson against Andrew Cuomo.
She will also attract more national and international corporate interest in the Empire State with a salesman's leverage on potential corporate investors all could envy. She could close big deals.
She carries the Obama Democrats, the women, the Catholics just by waking up in the morning.
She will have top notch staff on the Hill in Washington from both Teddy's and Hillary's legacies.
And, she seems to have this rectitude and integrity.
New York could do worse.

Posted by: jmf3210 | December 22, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes37thandORulesForever, have at it. As the saying goes, "It's a free country" (though you might want to check with folks who ran afoul of Dick Cheney).

Posted by: officermancuso | December 22, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

First of all - this silly talk of 'carpet baggers' in NY is so laughable -- NY has a great many numbers of people who move here - we're one of the states people come to to make it big be it in business, politics or broadway -- grow up.

Now, is Caroline Kennedy rightfully suffering from New Yorkers' exhaustion of celebrititiss? Many who voted for Obama here have become strangely mute since he was elected - first it was the liberals who were stunned when he immediately moved to the right and is now putting in place the Clinton Redux Presidency -- if they wanted another Clintontion they'd have stuck with Hillary! THen there are those who were taken back by the dirtiness of Illinois politics - who knew they were far dirtier than NY!!!

Caroline Kennedy is trading on family to try and get into a position she hasn't earned. That's not very nice - and its also dangerous in a time when we need very solid representation not someone who only knows the way from the limousine Uncle Teddy arranges for her.

Posted by: kec132 | December 22, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse






Sure sounds like you an broadwayjoe are a part of a conspiracy to limit the civil rights of internet posters - by attempting to scheme to limit the free speech rights of internet posters, that is a civil rights violation.


Seriously, if you have done this, it is a violation of Federal Civil Rights Acts.

It is a serious violation.

I would invite the Washington Post to investigate if there is a concerted effort to limit free speech rights on this website BASED ON CONTENT - and report those findings to the Justice Department for prosecution.





Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 22, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

America is a Republic where members of the United States Senate are elected by The People. Got that?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 22, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

DonJasper, that's pretty damning stuff, I agree. "I want to be Senator, but I don't want to disclose what a candidate would have to disclose unless I'm appointed".

What's her point? Some royal right to privacy, which doesn't apply to Obama appointees - or does she have something to hide?

I'm inclined to think a "royal right to privacy" is at work here and I don't like it.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 22, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Add this to the "What is she thinking?!" file.

Kennedy Declines to Make Financial Disclosure

If she were applying to be, say, an undersecretary of education in Barack Obama’s new administration, Caroline Kennedy would have to fill out a 63-item confidential questionnaire disclosing potentially embarrassing text messages and diary entries, the immigration status of her household staff, even copies of every résumé she used in the last 10 years.

If she were running for election to the Senate, Ms. Kennedy would have to file a 10-part, publicly available report disclosing her financial assets, credit card debts, mortgages, book deals and the sources of any payments greater than $5,000 in the last three years.

But Ms. Kennedy, who has asked Gov. David A. Paterson to appoint her to succeed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton — and who helped oversee the vetting process for Mr. Obama’s possible running mates — is declining to provide a variety of basic data, including companies she has a stake in and whether she has ever been charged with a crime.


Posted by: DonJasper | December 22, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

here is a list of other potential candidates- my spelling may be off





All of these people have been in office for a while, having been elected in New York State.

Why does Caroline, with no elected or legislative experience and no involvement until this cycle- get to go to the front of the line?

Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

####Why shouldn't Kennedy and her supporters have the burden of explaining why she is better than the other candidates####

dasimon: but that was precisely my point: Just who exactly IS "running" besides Kennedy? If two or three people all publicly came out and said they want the appointment, and they intend to make their case to Patterson, then so be it -- we can all debate the merits of the various contenders for the appointment. Knock her if you want, but Kennedy at least has the cojones to make a public bid for power, and makes no bones about it. Exactly who else is "running?" As to who has the "burden" well, because it's an appointment, the "burden" is to convince Patterson at this point, and Kennedy and her supporters (both famous people and ordinary folks) almost certainly ARE making that case to Patterson -- and I suspect they'll succeed. Kennedy, of course WILL have to make the case directly to the voters in 2010, just as any other appointee would.

Posted by: petra123 | December 22, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes37thandORulesForever wrote [has 37thandO been banned, or recently spawned?], "I will give you three examples of how bad the democratic party is: take all three senatorial sucessions we are witnessing."

I will give you three examples of how bad the Republican party is: Take the president, the vice president, and their most recent candidate for vice president.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 22, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse





I will give you three examples of how bad the democratic party is: take all three senatorial sucessions we are witnessing.

In Illinois, the corruption and graft of the democratic party has been laid bare.

In Delaware, the nepotism and downright ugly politics of the internal democratic party is a stark example - if Illinois was not so bad, Delaware would be taking the cake.

In New York, the fight over Caroline has shown how corrupt and pathetic the internal workings of the democratic party is.

In New Jersey, a high-level Assemblyman, who recently resigned, was finally indicted on child porn charges - in addition to the multitude of democratic party officials indicted this year.

OK Sorry that is four examples of ugly the democratic party is.

Do you really want your country run this way???

The latte liberals have this fantasy that the democratic party officials are out helping the poor every day.

The democratic party forgets about the poor, forgets about the poor neighborhoods, the day after every election.

The democratic party is the biggest FRAUD in the history of the nation - and Obama takes the cake.




Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 22, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

daleh73: "Senators, dasimon says must possess skills of argumentation, persuasion, bringing others to share in his beliefs and political positions...I am unaware of any job description for a senator. Article I, US Constitution, has bare criteria. I would like senators to be ethical, avoid conflicts of interest, avoid bribes, refrain from abuse of office, and uphold the US Constitution, for starters. By desimon's criteria George W. Bush would make a suitable senator. By mine, Bush would be a failure."

Oh please. Did I say that Kennedy should be prohibited from running? Or my uncle the law professor (even though I think he'd be a lousy Senator)? Of course not. Anyone can run and serve if they meet the constitutional requirements.

Nor did I say that intelligence and policy positions were unimportant. Of course they are important.

But is being smart and meaning well sufficient? I don't think so. You can have all the brains and good intentions in the world, but if you can't put a majority together, you won't get your legislation passed. So one needs more skills than brains and a good heart if one is going to be effective. Moreover, many of the other candidates under consideration have brains and good policy positions, so that doesn't differentiate Kennedy from the rest of the field.

And I don't know how you get the idea that I think W would make a good Senator. His ability to persuade people was abysmal. In fact, he seemed to think the more people disagreed with him, the more he demonstrated his "leadership" by going ahead anyway. He couldn't listen, take other views into account, and modify them when necessary. He tried to govern with 50% + 1 instead of using political savvy to craft larger majorities. These skills that he so obviously lacks are precisely the political skills that I think are important to effectively serving in Congress--in addition to intelligence.

Instead of assuming what other people think, maybe it would be a good idea to ask them first.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"Don't you HAVE to assume that the Republicans will field a strong nationally-known candidate in 2010? And that therefore Rudy Giuliani will probably be up?"

Sure, I've been assuming Rudy runs in 2010. And I think just about any of the Democratic candidates under consideration for the seat would beat him. He's less popular here after his run for president than before. And New York has an increasingly Democratic lean. (I think Congressman Peter King would be a stronger Republican candidate, and I think the Democrats would beat him too.)

petra123: "If people want to derail her chances, they need to rally around an opponent, and explain why he/she in particular is better."

Why shouldn't Kennedy and her supporters have the burden of explaining why she is better than the other candidates? Each of the candidates should have to explain why she/he is the best choice. So far, I haven't heard it in this thread.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Chris's "Passing the Torch" section is, I think, the heart of the case for Ms. Kennedy put as clearly as possible.

On the other hand his "The Catholic Connection" is in my view mistaken, due to the intervention of Roe v. Wade between JFK and Caroline.

Caroline will clearly adopt a pro-abortion or, if you prefer, pro-choice stance. This will alienate those for whom "Catholic identity" is a game-changer.

I understand well that perhaps a majority of US Catholics are pro-abortion to some extent. However, it is exactly that part of the Catholic population that is now so well integrated into US society that "Catholic identity" is no longer a powerful motivator when they choose between candidates with whom they agree. IMHO, YMMV, and numerous other arcane acronyms may apply, just be glad this post wasn't edited by a lawyer or the disclaimer part would be longer than the original argument.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 22, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

dasimon states above that his uncle is a constitutional law professor but would not function well as a senator. Senators, dasimon says must possess skills of argumentation, persuasion, bringing others to share in his beliefs and political positions.

I am unaware of any job description for a senator. Article I, US Constitution, has bare criteria. I would like senators to be ethical, avoid conflicts of interest, avoid bribes, refrain from abuse of office, and uphold the US Constitution, for starters. By desimon's criteria George W. Bush would make a suitable senator. By mine, Bush would be a failure.

[D]esimon's constitutional law professor uncle would be of interest to me, because we need senators who know the Constitution. Ignorance about what America stands for as a self governing society is rife--Americans reinvent America all the time to suit their personal prejudices and whims. (Think Bush)

Posted by: daleh37 | December 22, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I understand Sargent Shriver is her real father. Despite this, I hpoe they don't burn down her church.

Posted by: georgejones5 | December 22, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

dasimon wrote: "The question is whether she'd be better than everyone else who has expressed interest in the job. And in all of these comments, I haven't seen anyone make that case yet."

Well, I should point out that nobody has yet tried. The discussion has been focused on her supposed 'negatives'. I imagine she'll be making her case to Governor Paterson on the positives. We'll see what he thinks.

I bet he thinks long and hard about who is best prepared to hold the seat in the next election.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 22, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy = great for New York & great for the U.S. Senate!!

Posted by: paris1969 | December 22, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah name... what happened to Schlossberg. By any other name she would be Caroline who!

Posted by: whocares666 | December 22, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS

Posted by: hclark1 | December 22, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the over-the-top, hysterical vitriol against Kennedy may actually start to backfire, and elicit sympathy. People are talking like she's some kind of grossly underqualified air head. In fact, she has distinguished credentials including Harvard, Columbia Law, book writing, book editing, loads of involvement in non-profit governance and fundraising, advocacy for education, advocacy for the arts, involvement in highest level Democratic party circles (vetted Obama's VP choices, etc.). And nobody doubts her high wattage name recognition and ability to raise huge volumes of cash -- important, practial considerations if the seat is to remain Democratic. If people want to derail her chances, they need to rally around an opponent, and explain why he/she in particular is better. Just moaning on and on about how Kennedy is supposedly non-qualified is absurd. Moreover, if you want to critique her because she has a famous name, then be prepared to counter the opposite argument: that her family has regularly produced distinguished public servants. Anyway, ANYONE getting the appointment will have an "unfair" advantage -- but that's the fault of the writers of the NY constitution -- not the fault of Ms. Kennedy.

Posted by: petra123 | December 22, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

This is not about Caroline's abilities. It's about the press' need to have someone to criticize -- although there is no shortage of those people-- and that it's a Kennedy is just yummy for little man Cilliza. What a putz.
It's fun to slam Caroline. It makes people like Cilliza feel like they're doing something.
So you want someone like Liebermann in there? How about Duncan Hunter? You want another Strom Thurman? How about Jesse Helms? Now there were, what we call "qualified" candidates, right?
Brother, what a joke.
This woman has given her life to public service, is an accomplished author of the Constitution and the right of privacy. She even foresaw the deminse of habeus corpus. So, for God's sake, don't appoint her. She'd only cloud the discussions of our precious sagacious senators (sic) who are doing such a wonderful job for our nation.

Posted by: Goldmund52hotmailcom | December 22, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Given the animosity between the Kennedy family and the Cuomo family, perhaps neither should get the seat. It seems a bit like a p*ssing match more than anything else. With that said, I would be more inclined to see NY AG Cuomo get the seat. He’s more qualified than Ms. Kennedy. But there are others, including several women in the NY state Congressional Delegation who might be better seasoned to take on the challenges in the US Senate.

What about someone from upstate? I keep hearing about the issues facing upstate New Yorkers. Maybe they need a voice and this would certainly be the perfect opportunity to give them one, especially in the US Senate.

Posted by: talpdx | December 22, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't you HAVE to assume that the Republicans will field a strong nationally-known candidate in 2010? And that therefore Rudy Giuliani will probably be up? If so, the Dems BETTER have a name like Kennedy ready to go or we'll regret it.

Posted by: bumchicken | December 22, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

like the marxist drug addict, caroline is totally unqualified for any public office.

Here's my suggestion to the princess to ensure a life-long career in politics.

Get drunk, run your car off a bridge, only worry about saving yourself and fail to save your companion from drowning because you are so totally drunk. Then have your powerful family cover up the drunkenness and get law enforcement and the judiciary to not charge you with manslaughter, as you deserve.

It worked for Uncle Ted!

PS: Be sure to get appointed/elected in a state like Massachusetts that is morally degenerate and has no ethical values. That way the voters won't care who you killed and will support you just for your last name. New York certainly meets these requirements. But if it doesn't work out there, you can always try California.

Posted by: ImpeachNOW | December 22, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Ex Washingtonian- I don't carefully edit a blog post, sorry, if that makes you doubt my credibility, so be it. Still, I have been involved in NY politics for 24 years (since age 13) and that should give me some say in NY more that some bandwagon jumping neophyte going to college in Maryland or some misty-eyed Jack Kennedy supporter who never got over Camelot- (I am not referring to anyone in particular- just the type of people who might give an opinion)

Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

It's time to get away from celebrity politics and elect/appoint people who are capable of doing the work, instead of blindly adopting liberal causes to champion. The Kennedys have left enough devastation on America. And I read in the article that the governor is favoring a minority appointment. Another clever Democratic way of attracting a block vote. With the problems facing America, many of which sport Democratic roots, it's time to get practical instead of trying to do something to be seen as liberal or politically correct. You are vetting a candidate for the United States Senate, not a puppy dog for the family pet, so color should not replace qualifications and you should not spread the legs to check out the sex of the individual as you would a puppy. Good Luck New York, but please remember that what you do affects all of us. And by the way, maybe I won't be censored by the Post for being politically incorrect and wishing all of you a Merry Christmas.

Posted by: johntu | December 22, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

You mean smug self righteous pricks like the Kennedy family, or perhaps it is all of those in the Obama camp who continue to hurl insults at the woman who helped get him elected- she could have pulled a Kennedy and ruined his chances...

This is not the place for name calling or silly tit-for-tat conversations- but I remember a fair amount of self-righteous garbage from you for the whole election season. Come up with a better argument than name calling.


Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Samson151: "I'm not a Kennedy fan, but I just don't see what's wrong with her as a Senator."

But that's not really the question. The question is whether she'd be better than everyone else who has expressed interest in the job. And in all of these comments, I haven't seen anyone make that case yet. That's not to say that the case couldn't be made, but it's not enough just to say "she'd be good," because that's not the question facing the governor.

As for the claim that Hillary "did NY proud," I'm a New Yorker who has not been satisfied with her representation. She was in a safe seat, but I can't recall a single instance where she took a policy position that entailed any political risk whatsoever.

Not that I think that should have any bearing on the debate about Kennedy, who should be evaluated on her own merits.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the strongest case against Kennedy for the NY Senate seat is that she is unlikely to win the special election in 2010 against any of a number of Republican candidates. Much as NY is pretty reliably Democratic in presidential elections, the state is much more purple tending toward red in statewide elections. Also, if Ms. Kennedy's recent foray into Upstate NY are any indication she will be a lousy campaigner. Don't forget that Hillary Clinton won her seat by doing an extraordinarily good job of campaigning, especially in normally Republican upstate areas. Kenney shows no indication of being willing or able to match Clinton's performance. If she thinks that the Kennedy name carries much weight north and west of Sullivan County, she is sadly mistaken.

Posted by: ex-Washingtonian_in_NH | December 22, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

NYC Leon,

You'd be more credible if you knew the name of your own governor. It is David Paterson--with one "t."

Posted by: ex-Washingtonian_in_NH | December 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Opinions from non NYers should not be counted- I don't tell Massachussetts that thier current ailing senator is a self-serving murderer and ruined the Dem parties chances in 1980 and should have been replaced- so perhaps we should decide- and by we, I mean the people, not our accidental governor or the monied insiders who will spend millions on ads to make it seem reasonable that she goes to the head of the line when there are others who have put in lifelong service."

Well, if anything makes me want to root for Kennedy, its to piss off the smug, self-righteous pricks.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 22, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

If Patterson was to read this-

Opinions from non NYers should not be counted- I don't tell Massachussetts that thier current ailing senator is a self-serving murderer and ruined the Dem parties chances in 1980 and should have been replaced- so perhaps we should decide- and by we, I mean the people, not our accidental governor or the monied insiders who will spend millions on ads to make it seem reasonable that she goes to the head of the line when there are others who have put in lifelong service.

Caroline, get out of here.


Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Kennedy fan, but I just don't see what's wrong with her as a Senator.

What, is she too gracious? Not avaricious enough for the Senate?

What experience did Hillary have when she entered the Senate? Ok, she knew which fork to use, but I bet Caroline does, too. She's probably not as sharp or career-minded as Hillary, but then, name five people in the Senate who are.

Basically, Hillary won an election in which the opposition spent months accusing her of being an unqualified carpetbagger who'd be nothing more than a puppet dancing to the tune of her attention-grabbing spouse.

Instead, she turned out great. Did NY proud.

Who's to say Caroline Kennedy wouldn't do the same?

Like Andrew Cuomo doesn't rely on name recognition? Puh-leeze.

I don't care if Caroline Kennedy becomes Senator. But stop with the stupid carping about her qualifications. Save your ire for Republicans, they deserve it.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 22, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo: "oh please dasimon..
and you think the senators and house reps in office now are like that.
wake up and smell the roses."

Please don't tell me what I think. And yes, the good ones are like that (I've even met several of them who are like that). That doesn't mean they're all like that.

Still waiting for the argument as to why Kennedy wouldn't just be good, but better than everyone else who has expressed interest.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse


The difference is that they were all ELECTED.

Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I am a supporter of Caroline Kennedy. With all of the corruption, partisan wrangling, sleaze, etc. a political newbie is a good thing.

From 2002 through 2004 Kennedy worked as director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the the New York City Department of Education. The three-day-a week job paid her a salary of $1 and had the goal of raising private money for the New York City public schools.[15] In her capacity, she helped raise more than $65 million for the city’s public schools.[16][13] She currently serves as one of two vice chairs of the board of directors of The Fund for Public Schools, a public-private partnership founded in 2002 to attract private funding for public schools in New York City.[17] She has also served on the board of trustees of Concord Academy, which she attended as a child.[11]

In my home state of Washington we have two fine women senators: Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. Neither had political resumes and both have served well in the U.S. Senate.

Posted by: rmorris391 | December 22, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

oh please dasimon..
and you think the senators and house reps in office now are like that.
wake up and smell the roses.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 22, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

i can't understand, with all the strife we are in currently...
why are people downgrading President Elect Obama already.
Gee, what is going to happen when he can't solve all the problems we are facing in the first 100 days.
I am waiting for that press to come out.

Are you all expecting all the problems to be solved within 100 days too?
Instead of bad mouthing the incoming Cabinet..... try to help it.
Has anyone gone to CHANGE.GOV.
The first President Elect (not even past current) presidents are using the NET like Barack is.
If you are so pissed off at an African American, Harvard lawyer, family man with values taking office and appointing people, go to CHANGE.GOV and tell him so.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 22, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo: "only expounding on a section of my entry is so lame."

I thought I expounded on the most relevant part of your entry.

"Read some of her books.
Constitutional Lawyer she is and that alone makes her qualified to be appointed."

I don't think so. My uncle is a constitutional law professor at top ten law school, and he'd make a lousy Senator.

A successful Senator requires more than smarts and good policy positions. It requires the skills of persuasion, of knowing the political and tactical landscape, and the ability to work people on a personal level. I know several NY congressional representatives who have those skills. My uncle is probably smarter than all of them, but he doesn't have those other skills.

And pointing out that some politicians lack prior experience does not mean that everyone who lacks prior experience would be a good politician, much less the best person for the job. (Moreover, all of the examples you cite are people who actually ran for the job and had to convince people that they deserved to be elected and won their elections; they were not appointed by the decision of just one person.)

Again, I'm not saying Kennedy wouldn't be good. She might be. But I can point to many of the other candidates and say they'd be good too. So the argument has to go further than "she'd be good"; it's not as if it's her or nothing. It has to be why she'd be better than everyone else who has expressed interest.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

No! No! No! This is an affront to democracy! No inherited offices without a popular election! No more rich socialites in the U.S. Senate!

If Mrs. Schlossberg wishes to stand for election, she has the same right as anybody else. Otherwise: NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! Let all patriots stand up and be counted on this one.

And the suggestion that Mrs. Schlossberg is a "Catholic" is absurd -- like the rest of her filthy rich clan, she's as far from Church teaching as you can possibly get.

Posted by: zjr78xva | December 22, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Between Washington and New Hampshire I lived for several years in upstate NY and intend to return there one day. I can state categorically that Caroline Kennedy in the Senate would be a disaster for upstate NY, a region that doesn't need any more disasters. She knows NOTHING about upstate NY. Her only apparent qualification, other than her name, is her supposed ability to raise money. She has written one book herself: a collection of poetry for children. The two books on civil rights that she coauthored (what that means beyond putting her name on them is unclear) have been described as cut-and-paste jobs that one reviewer called, "the Constitution for Dummies." Caroline Kennedy needs to stay on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and continue her good works but leave NY politics to people who know what they are doing.

Posted by: ex-Washingtonian_in_NH | December 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The woman has absolutely no experience. In fact Palin has more.

Why would any of us here in northern NY want her as our representative???

Every comment "for" has been pathetic with a complete lack of focus on what kind of legislator we would be getting.

We should get someone with experience that we can count on until the next election rolls around.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | December 22, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

only expounding on a section of my entry is so lame.

Read some of her books.
Constitutional Lawyer she is and that alone makes her qualified to be appointed.
The cherry on top is that she IS A KENNEDY.

Let's see...Al Franken has no experience.
Steve Largent played football as did Heath Schuler. Who else?
Oh, the Governator was an actor.
Gee, so was Reagan (and Reagan was not God).
Umm....i can think of more.....
just give me time to read the criminal records.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 22, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

This obsession with the perfumed princess are getting ridiculous. First Marcus drooling over the poor woman now this nonsense. Listen, she is going to be annointed the next senator for life from NY. She will sit at the right hand of the messiah once he ascends to the throne next month. She has not been an air head socialite. Why not her? I mean they elected bilary and she had no talent except to continue to lie, cheat and steal. This might be a step up.

Posted by: djudge1 | December 22, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I wish the case for Caroline was an expectation of future performance, based on past performance, instead it's mostly presumed electability and a positive smear from Kennedy's past.

Too bad. Count me among those who want to see someone appointed who has already won elections and served the public.

Posted by: collacch | December 22, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Of course any supporter of Obama would feel positive about Caroline Kennedy. Not only did she give her support to the most unqualified presidential candidate but now she is seeking the seat of the person she gave a dagger to the back. So much for ethics and intelligence. This is a person who never held a job, constitutional lawyer my foot, she has a law degree no work experience. I notice she is constantly referred to as Caroline KENNEDY although she is legally Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. This is payback time for supporting Obama. Sorry to have to say this but Caroline is not to be admired. Nothing more than an opportunist who does not believe in having to pay her dues. So much for hard work paying off. I learned as a youngster that it is not what you know but who you know that advances you in this country. Politics is sleaze, and the democratic party has taken the long road down to hades.

Posted by: l5int | December 22, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The most compelling reason for choosing Carolyn Kennedy is that she is a non politician and yet untainted by the slime that is so pervasive in politics…

If she can keep her head above it if selected for the senate seat by Paterson, there is hope that we may see some lasting change in Washington after all as Obama promised…

Posted by: citystreet | December 22, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The arguments in favor of her are such rubbish that even an intellectual lightweight like Cillizza can't possibly buy them.

Calling Caroline Kennedy A MINORITY CANDIDATE is hilarious! Exactly what minority does she represent? Rich and priveleged 5th Avenue Residents?

She can raise tens of millions of dollars. Hey Dodo, being able to buy an election isn't (yet) an asset).

The Kennedy Glow: there is as much tarnish on the three brothers' reputations as there is glow. That is not her baggage but their best moments shouldn't be to her benefit if their worst (reckless philandering, manslaughter, etc) aren't to her detriment. . Annointing her becasue she is a Kennedy is appropriate only to the House of Lords.

Here's the deal-breaker: If this woman had ANY other name besides Kennedy would ANY of the behind-smooching media be talking about her. No. So drop it. Pedigree matters when breeding horses and dogs. Not when choosing a US Senator.

Posted by: larryb1 | December 22, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that is great Nam-
so there is no problem with a society that rewards people who profit by taking advantage of the poor by exploiting them with predatory loans/mortgages, divide it up and when the whole scheme fails put the bill on the general public, but the fees should go to the woman who crosses the bridge or takes the subway to take care of an elderly person with alzhiemers for $6.00 an hour without health benefits...perhaps there is something wrong with that? Perhaps the guy with the bonus can pay a little more, since he has more fromt he system

We do not live in a meritocracy. the people in the housing projects generally don't have doable access to good education, healthy living and good jobs that allow for class movement. If you made it out, good for you. You are the one-in-a-million anecdote, but not the general reality. A society can only be judged by how it treats it's weakest members? How do we rate?

Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I lived to see men hanging from trees and discrimination as a child. I wondered why?'
Being black in America was strange as adults said this is the way things are.
A young nice looking man ran for President. I watched mainly because he was nice looking but he didn't talk like most adults. He changed my idea of who and what I was in my country. He won and the words he said seal in the hearts of millions of young kids forever. " Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country". I loved JFK become he said this country was my responsiblity. JFK was murdered by my country and I really didn't buy the Magic Bullet story. But JFK gave us enough to continue to know we are all Americans. I've watched John John and Caroline grown to adults and know their Father and Mother would be proud.
Now Caroline is stepping in as some question. Thanks to George W. Bush we're seen some of the stupidest Senators who have no experience or have even read the US Constitution become Senator. Some don't even know Hawaii and Puerto Rico are part of the United States. Caroline has worked all her life for this country without Media headlines. Her education in politics has been taught since birth. Govenor Patterson should be honored she is willing to continue what her Father was killed for and that is to serve the American people.
Obama is the light to a new generation as JFK was for us baby boomers.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | December 22, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The BabeNemo: "Caroline Kennedy will be honest.
She will be articulate, wise, compassionate, and steady."

And the other candidates won't be?

Those qualities are fine. And she might make a good Senator. But it's not an argument for her above the other people who are interested in the job and who also have those qualities.

"Tell me one thing Caroline Kennedy is NOT qualified in......"

Well, we have no idea whether she'd be any good at actually moving legislation, which is a large part of being a Senator. Maybe she would. But there's no track record to go on.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Cuomo is stuck with the infamous "shuck and jive" statement about Barack Obama. Caroline would be wonderful, classy, bright, steady, liberal,interesting, and she is someone who has both national and international clout. Her NYT letter turned the tide for Obama. Because she hasn't spoken much, she is actually listened to. This is good. If you like her, sign the petition to Gov. Patterson: Also, great piece about her in Huffpost by Giordano.

Posted by: anitapreer | December 22, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

While it is certainly not the only reason she should be appointed, The Case
For Caroline Kennedy boils down to two words: MOST RE-ELECTABLE !

I know everybody says that the New York seat is safe for any Democrat, but ... it will be harder for the RepubliKKKans to demonize Caroline than anyone else -- and certainly more difficult for them to demonize her than Andrew Cuomo.

Posted by: ripcord65 | December 22, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

My experience with New Yorkers is they think they are the "above the rest". I have never met a New Yorker who within 15 minutes of meeting them says "I am from New York". So who cares! The point being, they are stupid enough and egotistical enough to want a Kennedy running the state again. If Caroline Kennedy gets the appointment, it's a sad state of affairs for "change". Let's send Donald Trump to the senate! Now that is change.

Posted by: msreginacomcastnet | December 22, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy will be honest.
She will be articulate, wise, compassionate, and steady.

Look at all the people that had no experience (football players) and ran.
Look at all the people that had experience and took bribes (90,000 in the freezer etc).
Look at all the people that had experience and trolled legislative intern dormitories to solicit sex with young men and women (Foley).
Look at all the people that had experience and made crooked deals outside in the corporate world (Frist, Delay)

Tell me one thing Caroline Kennedy is NOT qualified in......

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 22, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I think that the cases for and against Caroline Kennedy will, by necessity, be weak. She has little in the way of a record; even her views are little known, though she did answer some questions from the NYT recently.

Picking Kennedy would be a crap-shoot for Paterson. Which path would she follow as the bearer of a famous political name? Would she be a Bayh, Dodd or, yes, Kennedy? Or would she be a Murkowski or Sununu? Heck, how do we know she wouldn't just be a caretaker appointment anyways?

Of course, any nominee for HRC's seat will be a roll of the dice for Paterson. Just because Cuomo (for example) has experience in government does not guarantee that he'll be an effective Senator. Nor does it guarantee his loyalty to Paterson come election time.

Posted by: mnteng | December 22, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse






Why waste your time with a blog "the Case against Caroline" Skip It.

Why not a piece on "The Case against Rahm."

Or "The Case Against Obama." Why the Supreme Court should order Obama to produce the documents concerning his Kenyan birth and subsequent Indonesian citizenship.

Let's see you post the audiotape of Obama's grandmother who says she was there when Obama was born.... in KENYA.






Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 22, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

As long as she agrees to appear on the ballot as Caroline Schlossberg, I say give it to her.



Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 22, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Nam1-i agree with you however
the workforce of America that are NOT
head honchos....

are treated like garbage.
That's the pattern of behavior we are seeing.
Specially in right to work states.

I suggest everyone read Caroline's book "In Our Defense". It is approximately 15 years old. Wonderful.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 22, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Why not appoint the most qualified New Yorker available? That would be Rudolph Giuliani.
Answer: He is not a member of the Democratic Party. Too bad that decisions are based upon party rather than upon talent.

That said Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be a Senator. She is a Constitutional law expert and a fund raiser and has no corruption ties. She has written several fine books one on patriotism would make you think she is a Republican.

Party politics will always be the flaw in our Republic, but it still is the best system in the world.

Posted by: mharwick | December 22, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Nam - Amen! Please come to NY and run for Senator. You would give us great perspective compared to the Dem. party hacks and Camelot Barbies we are subjected to here!

Posted by: pgr88 | December 22, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who keep complaining about executive bonus, why don't you become an executive to get the bonus yourself? It's an equal opportunity country. So, please stop complaining and help yourself.

This is also for those who complain about healthcare, jobs, etc. Go get an education and work hard and smart. I thank this wonderful country for giving us abundantly. After all, we came to the US with $50 from the sale of our house in Vietnam just 12 years ago.


Posted by: nam1 | December 22, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

She's no worse than other celebrity appointees or people like Ahnold who seek high office. Kennedy has been around politics - whether she wanted to or not - for years, and is a respected constitutional scholar. She's not the most qualified, but since when was that a crime?

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 22, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

There are ONLY two qualifications listed in the Constitution:
1) At least 30 years of age
2) A resident of his/her state
Nothing else! Read the Constitution, people.

Posted by: hobsry7350 | December 22, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

There are ONLY two qualifications listed in the Constitution:
1) At least 30 years of age
2) A resident of his/her state
Nothing else! Read the Constitution, people.

Posted by: hobsry7350 | December 22, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

problems with the process and the person.
The process is faulty for allowing a person like her to trump all the other people who worked hard for it- they all have campaigned and won offices- Andrew Cuomo even ran 2 statewide campaigns (lost governor primary in 2002, won AG in 2006)


Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton has been neutralized with her appointment to head up the State Department, although she may have ideas about running again in 2016.
If Caroline Kennedy fills the NY Senate vacancy and gets support for a greater political future which most believe that she will, then she and Hillary would collide in 2016.
Hillary would lose that contest so Ms Clinton now realizes that she has been completely pushed aside.
Whether Senator Caroline Kennedy could become President is still an unanswered question, but it is the real reason she wants the Senate seat.
Unlike Hillary, she's still got a future.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | December 22, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The choice of Caroline Kennedy as a Senator from NY is a slap in the face of people who have been in legislation and the Congress as Nina Lowey, Andrew Cuomo. These people have fought hard in elections and the court to be where they are. Nina Lowey wanted and deserved the Senate seat, before carpetbhagger Clinton showed up. The Democrats gave into Hillary running for the Senate seat because her name was "Clinton". Hillary continuously sends e mails begging for contributions as she took money from her bank account to run in the primaries for President. This is shameful for a multimillionaire. Andrew Cuomo is a great attorney general who well understands what the State of New York is about. Nina Lowy and Andrew Cuomo have been in the mix of running for their positions. But what has Caroline Kennedy accomplished? She sent her children to private school, yet wanted to tell the Board of Education of the City of New York what to do. She had plenty of time and wrote two books. That is what Caroline should go back to. She knows little about politics and little about legislation and little about how ordinary people live. Her uncle Ted is a big bag of wind. We should never forget the fact that he let a young woman drown. Caroline should not be appointed to a Senatorial seat in New York. Let her run for office in 2010. But pick a well qualified New Yorker who knows the ropes.

Posted by: irichman | December 22, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Good morning!

2 words on Caroline.....


oh yeah baby

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 22, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

AS someone NOT from New York and someone who does not vote on Party lines, this is a STUPID pick. Her biggest claim to fame is her dad was president, her mom wore nice dresses and her brother died in a plane crash...She has done very little in as a politician and should not be put in place, she should run in their next election for that seat.
There has to be a competent DEM they can place instead of her.

Posted by: Krazijoe | December 22, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

There is no case for Caroline in 2008/9.


The singular ability to raise more money than anyone else is an affront to our democracy.

Let her raise it in 2010.

End of discussion.

Posted by: jayjay9 | December 22, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

nycLeon writes
"the point is let her earn at least one thing in her life- HRC worked her tail off to get that seat- winning upstate at a time when Dems didn't."

Clearly as a new yorker, you have more vested in this than I. But it seems to me that your beef is more with the process than with the person. Whomever is appointed by Gov Paterson, they will not have met the criteria for which you admire HRC.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 22, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

you are the ones that keep voting those splurgers into office.

suggestion - bring back rudy!

since all these liberals seem to be cut from the same cloth and just vote whatever the spender in chief proposes, it really doesn't matter one bit who gets in.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 22, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Bondosan: "There aren't really many attractive candidates in the House or in the state legislature who would appeal to both upstate and downstate."

There are plenty of candidates who could easily hold the seat. I think the importance of the upstate/downstate divide is greatly exaggerated. Anyone who is appointed will have two years to deliver for both regions and will have statewide name recognition by 2010. Reps. Steve Israel and Gillibrand would win against any Republican I can think of in a statewide election. And both are excellent fundraisers. The claim that there aren't any other electable candidates just doesn't seem remotely right to me.

Let's remember that Senataor Schumer and his predecessor D'Amato weren't exactly household names statewide until they ran for statewide office. I think NY has a wealth of good Democratic options for the seat. That's not to say Kennedy shouldn't get the nod, only that she should be compared with the many others who would probably do a good job and would almost certainly be able to defend the seat, especially with NY's increasingly Democratic lean.

Posted by: dasimon | December 22, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

My good friend Blarg and I come to different conclusions here. It's probably a generational thing, me being old enough to be his dad.

Yes, I'm one of those who lived through the 60s and Camelot (fictional though it was.) And watched it violently destroyed by not one, but three assassin's handy work. After the fiction of WMDs and links between al Qaeda and Saddam, I don't think the comforting warmth of Camelot was such a sin.
In our punditry, we must not forget to put this in its proper context. This is a short-term appointment by the governor of NY for the people of NY. To the rest of us, why should it matter so? If Paterson makes a mistake, the fallout will likely be his, and the people will be able to correct it either in 2010 or 2012. Whatever Paterson decides will be valid and will quickly lose its news appeal.

Blarg says money isn't a good reason. Perhaps if finance reform were a reality, that would be so, but it isn't and NY is an expensive place to campaign in. Money is certainly a strong reason, though I would guess that Andrew Coumo would be no slouch at the game either. Either way, better it be someone who can't be corrupted by money than someone who might.

As Paterson examines the context surrounding his decision, he should remember that November was a clear call by the electorate for change. It is easy to suggest that Caroline does not represent change because of her family name. But the fact that she endorsed Obama early and saw in Obama some of what she had seen in her father speaks -- at least symbolically -- to her understanding that now is a time for fresh ideas and a less partisan approach to legislating. And we must remember, too, that voters rejected experience and clearly voted for change. Caroline Kennedy has served the Obama campaign competently, is a lawyer and has served her variously causes with distinction. In an environment where experience has been rejected in favor of new approaches to stubborn problems, her lack of experience is but a trifling objection.

Finally, every senator is expected to do the bidding of his or her state along with their broader duties. Her position as an early supporter and campaigner for Obama should serve New Yorkers very well.

I think we can give vent to our distaste for the dynastic aspect of this and still find ample justification for the governor to make this selection. I believe she will earn the confidence of the voters in her own right. If she doesn't, the voters will soon have their opportunity to set matters right.

Posted by: optimyst | December 22, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

king of zouk- apparently they would rather vote to strip all social service, transportation, health and education and increase the fees for things that those of us who are not rich have to pay rather than taxing those who make the big money (many of those who had bonuses larger than my wife and my salary combined last year are the ones who put the country into this financial mess- maybe they can pay a little...)

Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

How many NY politicians does it take to vote for a tax increase?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 22, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse


• "Was warned of sabotage" -- media reports

I tried to post this link a few minutes ago, and I received the infamous "held for blog owner" message...

Somebody doesn't want readers here to look at this? Another attempt:

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 22, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

bsimont- the point is let her earn at least one thing in her life- HRC worked her tail off to get that seat- winning upstate at a time when Dems didn't. Let Carolyn run and talk to farmers in Geneseo and unemployed workers in Troy. Let her explain to college students in Oswego why the tuition keeps rising and visit the Womens suffrage site in Seneca Falls. Let her discuss where the jobs went in Amherst and visit the Lucy muesum in Jamestown. Let her go to the other 4 boroughs at least once in her life and see that there is something between the east side and the Hamptons.


Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy is the Democrats' answer to Sarah Palin. Having said that, the incumbent always has an advantage in an election. From the Democratic Party standpoint, the governor should appoint someone who would be in a good position to win re-election in 2010 and 2012. That means someone with no skeletons in their closet. New York State just recently had a governor who resigned (relationships with a call girl), and the Illinois governor is facing impeachment (improper solicitation of funds). New York State needs someone who is squeaky clean.

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | December 22, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

People only need to look at Chicago/Illinois (and New Jersey for that matter) to see that political experience does not always translate to good governance quality. We see how Wall Street CEOs of companies receiving taxpayers' bailout money are STILL getting huge compensation and perks and many current congresspersons are simply not willing to rein them in. We have to believe that Washington really needs a major overhaul. Unless people can prove that Caroline has been cheating on her political and non-political achievements, I would welcome another pleasant seed for change. Remember, the appointment is just for a fill-in for the remainder of the term. Why is that such a big deal now?

Posted by: KT11 | December 22, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

nycLeon writes
"bsimont- We ELECTED HRC in 2000- perhpaps CKS can wait and run in 2010"

That was my point. Whomever is appointed by the Governor will face the voters in 2010. My prediction is that NY voters will vote, in droves, for Ms Kennedy-Schlossberg in 2010 if she's appointed now. My prediction is based on the election you cite, which implies, to me anyway, that NY voters value celebrity more than electoral experience.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 22, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe New York should consider Paris Hilton. She has a name, celebrity status, and who can forget her youtube campaign for the presidency that showed potential.

Posted by: eeterrific | December 22, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

To quote Gail Collins (probably the best columnist working today):

"It is a tribute to the raging mediocrity of New York politics that while many people have expressed reservations about giving the Senate job to an untested, hitherto publicity-shy political novice, their protests often wind up with: 'Why pick Caroline Kennedy when we could have — um ...'"

And that's really the problem.

There aren't really many attractive candidates in the House or in the state legislature who would appeal to both upstate and downstate. Whoever is picked, unless they have a personal fortune, would have to spend the next four years engaged in endless fundraising.

Very few of the people posting here complaining about the possibility of a Kennedy appointment ever offer a viable alternative.

Cuomo's a possibility (Geez, I wonder why HE went into politics?), but the Senate isn't really where he wants to be.

Who are the other candidates? Maloney? (not to be unkind, but she's a bit of an idiot). Velazquez, Nadler, or Ackerman? (won't sell upstate). Gillibrand? (Won't sell downstate).

Paterson wants someone who will be able to hold the seat for the long term, and I think that someone is going to be Caroline.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 22, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I think it would be a mistake to appoint her. I'm sure she's a very intelligent and thoughtful person, but there's no way to do it with the appearance of legitimacy. The backlash would simply lose her the seat in 2010. If she wants a political career that lasts more than two years, the thing to do would be to wait and be elected. Her chances of winning would be very high and then no one could say that she didn't earn it or doesn't deserve it. It's just the smarter move.

Posted by: jeffsmyname | December 22, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Caroline has been on the Campaign trail all year for the Obama/Biden ticket. So voters across the country have seen her in action.

Caroline Kennedy spoke at a Get Out The Vote Rally in Los Angeles for Obama. February 3, 2008.

For NY1 fans its great to see NY1's Dominic Carter being interviewed by Bob Schieffer about What Kennedy Can Bring.

Bob Schieffer spoke with NY1 political anchor Dominic Carter about the benefits of having Caroline Kennedy appointed senator of New York.

Posted by: cooday | December 22, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I have been quite amazed at the opposition to Caroline Kennedy. It seems to me that because the Buffalo area is in bad shape, someone with education and from a political family is not qualified to become a senator, but someone with no qualification but power hungry, was qualified.
Ms kennedy's family has been involved in Politics for a century, she is not in need of money so will be less corrupt than most,
and she certainly has traveled and has the proper education. Ms. Kennedy can surround herslef with qualified aids to help her and will have the advice of her familly etc.. I don't think ,the fact that your father was poor that you are a dirty fighter with basic education makes you a better representative.
As far as i can see they come in poor and leave millionaires(?) maybe it is better to have someone rich . less temptations.
Icihiboo, NY.

Posted by: icihiboo | December 22, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

kkehoe5: how dense can you be? Ms. Kennedy wouldn't be one heartbeat away from the presidency. (Sorry to bring up such a trivial point)

Posted by: newageblues | December 22, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

By the criteria set that we want only people new to politics in office- why don't we only elect females from now on- there are 17 female national leaders world wide out of 200+ countries, although women make up 52% of the population.

Male leaders have brought us to where we are today- so if we are saying that we need something entirely new- all future leaders MUST be female.

Doesn't that sound a little ridiculous?

It is naive to think that just because someone is new to the game that the whole game will change.


Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

its doesn't matter...New Yorkers loved the last carpet bagger senator..why not have a rubber-stamp replacement. New Yorkers are so dweeb that they will follow any pied piper.

Posted by: JWx2 | December 22, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

That's a pretty weak case. Most of those arguments hold for many of the leading contenders, except for the hereditary argument.

I've had enough of the House of Lords. My case against, "American monarchists (The Caroline Travesty)" is here:

Posted by: DaveCullen1 | December 22, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"Regarding her Catholicism: Catholics do not tend to vote as a bloc. They are one of the larger diverse swing groups in the electorate"

Chris seems to have some weird thing towards Catholics. He was sure that the Catholic vote would be the deciding factor of the election.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 22, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

So if Sarah Palin had a famous family in politics her "Non-Experiance" would have been wiped away? I don't think so, Caroline is probably a smart woman I would assume but no experiance is no experiance. No amount of famous kinship can change that. If Gov. Patterson has any stones he would not be swayed by political pressures and media bias and make his own choice.

Posted by: kkehoe5 | December 22, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse


We ELECTED HRC in 2000- perhpaps CKS can wait and run in 2010

Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I am a New Yorker- my whole life- and I DO NOT WANT Caroline Kennedy to be my senator.

Yes she has name recognition- so what? Name recognition helps with the getting elected part of the job, but not with the legislating part of the job which is THE JOB. She has never had to do this at all. She has operated independent of other bodies as an attorney, a writer, etc. Dealing and negotioation have not been part of her skill set- it is rather ambitious to start at the top when learning to do this type of thing. Her lack of previous interest in this area of public service is striking when you look at what she is asking for.

I wound up supporting Barak, volunteering for him in 2 states after he was the Dem candidate- but experience is actually an important argument.

Would you take the well spoken, charismatic manager of the mailroom to be the CEO of your company? Would you even put her on the board?

How about as head of your surgical team, someone who is just popular with the other doctors, but has never done the heart surgery before, or someone who has done the surgeries before?

Why do we think that in this job, which has more affect on all of us, that experience is unnecessary? Can't she even be elected, Beau Biden is waiting his 2 years in Delaware, and he has actually been AG in the state previously

As for the 18 million cracks thing- that is really ballsy- she is the woman who went with her uncle to back Barak, which was essentially to preserve Teddy's power base- not to lose the party further to the Clinton power base. It was politics. She did not support the woman. There are 5 other women atleast who want and deserve the spot more, Nydia Valasquez (my choice), Caroline Mahoney, Nadia Lowey, Carolyn McArthy and Louise Slaughter- Carolyn lost her second X-chromosome credential for getting this spot by not supporting the women, with the more progressive agenda- when she had the chance. Female shouldn't be a criteria in it's own right anyway- but if it is- she doesn't get it.

Most of the candidates mentioned are Catholic- not an issue.

So basically, it comes down to money and heritage- and these were things that everyone was ranting about in electing Barak- they were supposed to be bad ideas- is it ok when it is on our side?

I don't think so.


Posted by: nycLeon | December 22, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

This is the kind of thing where a bunch of people outside of New York get their knickers in a bunch over something that is entirely irrelevant to them. Whomever is the appointee made by Gov Paterson, the voters get their vote of confidence in 2 years. Given their apparent penchant for celebrity candidates, my guess is they'll give Ms Kennedy-Schlossberg a pass; they certainly didn't seem to mind sending a celebrity carpetbagger into Moynihan's seat back in 2000.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 22, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If I were Obama, I would be careful about embracing Caroline Kennedy. The whole annointing of Kennedy smacks of old politics, cronyism and patronage. Didn't Barack pledge to bring a new politics to Washington DC?

Think about two years from now in 2010, things might not well go as planned: the voters might be restless, the full effect of the trillion stimulus may not have taken, the economy could still be languishing, how does a weak and entitled Caroline Kennedy help New York? Obama may not be in a position to help his "best friend" even if he would like to. Left to rely on her own to forage for funds for New York against more seasoned and aggressive Senators, what will Caroline Kennedy do? Especially with blue collar champion Peter King stoking New York voter's angst. Democrats should be careful what they wish for. In addition, how does a wishy-washy Caroline Kennedy help Obama defend New York and keep a democratic seat, if the economy is still bad?

If I were Obama, I would throw Caroline Kennedy under his esteemed bus along with Reverend Wright. If I were Obama I would very quietly and discreetly start whispering the name Cuomo in Paterson's ear.

Posted by: exocet | December 22, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"For the record, the late Tim Russert was one of the very few who achieved similar status in the Catholic world"

That's a joke, right? Russert was a joke and nowhere near an idol among Catholics. Certainly he is not as well recognized as a Kennedy.

Posted by: freedom41 | December 22, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I think Kennedy is a mistake for the long term health of American politics. Sure she can win. I dont care. I dont want people in high office whose main qualifications are fame, wealth and no "priors". Not having a point of view on the major questions of our day is a political plus and a negative on 'citizenship".

Posted by: ottothewise | December 22, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how I feel about Caroline Kennedy as a Senator. But what I'm sure of is that her lack of elected office experience does not disqualify her. Our Government is full of experienced elected officials. It doesn't look like they've been doing such a great job. Maybe it's time for some inexperienced people in the Government.

Posted by: tim7 | December 22, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I believe this last presidential election proved that the American rank and file are sick and tired of "professional politicians". I believe Caroline will bring the fresh insight to the Senate that we so badly need. It is truly the right time for change.

Posted by: EastTexasGrandma | December 22, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Blarg. I think these are all weak cases, particularly the ones about her being Catholic and Universally Known.

In terms of her being Universally Known: The Kennedy assassination was decades ago and has less immediacy as time goes on. It is not a cogent argument for her to assume the Clinton's seat

Regarding her Catholicism: Catholics do not tend to vote as a bloc. They are one of the larger diverse swing groups in the electorate

Rather than appoint someone, NY State should hold a special election

Posted by: RickJ | December 22, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Good thing she isn't known as Caroline Schossberg. No one would be talking about her.

Democrats should think twice about this. Asked if she would support a Democrat against Bloomberg she wouldn't answer. She also doesn't like to take a position as we have seen since she won't vote in primaries.

New Yorkers have no idea where she stands on the issues and the best she could do when asked why she is running is that she is a MOM. Oh and comes from generations of service by her family. Kind of a joke really.

She won't do press interviews because I think someone must remember how her Uncle Teddy destroyed his own Presidential campaign by his first interview when he couldn't explain why he is running other than that he was a Kennedy.

I think New Yorkers derseve better than annointing someone who has been strong in guarding her privacy and only came out in public to raise money from her rich friends to support education and went against the woman candidate to support Obama. Then she talked about how Obama reminded her about her father. God bless JFK who I supported but Caroline was only 4 when he was shot so her memories of his politics came from her mom. I hope in many ways Obama is not like her dad who today most likely couldn't have even run with all the womanizing etc.

If Patterson wants to give Caroline Kennedy a chance than maybe he should appoint a caretaker Senator. Someone of real national stature who can get something for NY in the next two years, who has contacts to Obama and can get his/her phone calls returned, and who pledges not to run in 2010. That way Caroline Kennedy can run in a primary in 2010 if she has the stomach for that and prove she can be elected and let New Yorkers know where she stands on the issues.

If she turns down that opportunity then we know this wouldn't be the right appointment anyway.

Posted by: peterdc | December 22, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I must agree with Blarg about the weakness of your case.

She has published works of legal scholarship. Was she responsible for the research? Was it high quality work?

She has performed some municipal administration tasks in NYC. Was she good at them?

Assuming that positives in her career resume appear and were generally thought to have been earned and deserved, that would have been more enlightening than a puff piece about name recognition.

When Canadian billionaire Belinda Stronach first ran for Parliament she had just led tough and successful negotiations for Magna with the UAW. Often called the Princess Diana of Canada by the Toronto press, she presents an analog of a first time pol with a big name and a big fortune and an aura of "glamor". But she had just led tough and successful negotiations with the UAW.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 22, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

New York Republicans are so weak that they will likely lose to any Democrat. They are losing legislative seats in heavily Republican districts all across the state.

Perhaps now that George Pataki and George Bush are gone, the Democrats will be put on the defensive.

Recall that 4-Term Representative, Rick Lazio had literally had NO issues to run on (soft money?? ha ha) against Hillary Clinton in 2000, and he lost by 12 points while outspending Clinton by millions.

Lazio's campaign was entirely negative attacking Clinton 7 days a week while offering ZERO to the voters on why they should vote for him. Empty suit campaigns will get a politician nowhere.

The one disadvantage Kennedy-Schlossberg has is that 2010 is NOT a presidential election year. Hillary Clinton had the benefit of a 1.4 Million vote landslide by VP Al Gore.

Posted by: Digital_Voter | December 22, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The whole thing stinks of entitlement to me. The reasons given for Caoline Schlossberg's appointment to Hillary Clinton's senate seat remind me of the NY representative's comment that she is well known, but so is J-Lo. I, for one, am sick of talking heads comparing Caoline to Hillary. Hillary Clinton was not elected because she is Bill's wife. Did she have a leg up on others because of her last name? Maybe, but that is not why she won twice. Look at the preidential primary, Hillary won 18 million votes not because of her husband, but I would argue, in spite of him. Where are we as a nation if someone is given a powerful, high profile job in government based on the ability to raise money and a last name? How is that any different than the debacle in IL with the governor attempting to sell Obama's seat? At least the people to whom he was trying to sell the seat were minimally qualified, unlike a certain former president's daughter in NY. The whole thing just seems to be contrary to who we are as Americans. You know, the whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps thinking. I, for one, feel we need special elections in this type of situation. Let the people decide; that is how it should be.

Posted by: HillaryClintonSuppoter | December 22, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Most of those who oppose Caroline Kennedy are doing so because of her name, while claiming that if she's appointed it will be because of her name. In fact, Caroline is a very qualified candidate, and her past avoidance of politics and the spotlight adds to her appeal. She has no need of more money and fame; apparently she's inspired (like many of us) by the incoming Obama administration and the promise it holds for America.

Posted by: bamccampbell | December 22, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Name recognition, money and dynasty.

Name recognition is the easiest obstacle to overcome -- just buy a lot of ads. Numerous candidates have shown that name recognition can be built almost overnight with political advertising.

The money Caroline raised was given in a non-partisan, charitable context. Private philanthropy is much different from political fundraising. It is well known (and well demonstrated by Barack Obama) that there is ample money available to the better candidates.

The Kennedy dynasty is already represented: Patrick Kennedy serves in congress as a Representative from Rhode Island.

She's built a life on keeping the public away. She never developed the skills needed to win an election. Now that she sees an opportunity to become a senator without an election, she's interested.

It is her desire to serve without having been elected to anything that uniquely disqualifies her. She's so out of touch, she doesn't know how bad it makes her look.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 22, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Democrats in NY state have a two seat majority in the state legislature and an "accidental governor" who wants to raise a bunch of new taxes in an already over taxed state. Infighting among the Democratic party regulars and Bloomberg's interference all give hope to the NY GOP in 2010. Kennedy and Paterson are not sure things if real GOP money and competition are put up against them. Neither has upstate support which is half of the state,and is reliably republican.

It would be a lot easier for Cuomo than Kennedy to keep the seat Democratic. She's a great choice for an Ambassadorship (Ireland, Vatican) and needs more public exposure and experience if elected political office is her goal.

Posted by: rdklingus | December 22, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Only look at the opposition.

Mostly those who wouldn't be supportive unless Caroline Kennedy put an Is raeli star on her forhead. God forbid she should
put American interests first.

New York needs another Schumer?

Posted by: whistling | December 22, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse


Ms. Kennedy-Schlossberg:

For the sake of the family legacy and the New York Democratic Party, please withdraw from contention, continue your good works, earn your stripes and then enter the fray well-prepared for the inevitable political challenges you will face.

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not as long as government-supported extrajudicial "vigilante injustice" squads are "community/gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 22, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Name recognition, money and no record to complain about are not enough. New York State needs a political professional to be its voice in Washington. We need a person with a loud voice and sharp elbows, not somebody who is "painfully shy".

So tell us what you think about Ted Kennedy's other bright idea: appointing his new wife, Victoria, to his seat when he his gone. Kennedy seems to think that Senate seats are his to dispose of.

Posted by: bobbiewick | December 22, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

This is a pretty weak case for Kennedy.

Universally Known - As you say, she herself isn't well-known. She has a famous name, which is synonymous with public service. That says nothing about Caroline herself.

Money - She has rich friends. That's a terrible reason to pick someone as Senator.

Passing the Torch - Basically the same as the first reason. By the way, Ted Kennedy's son currently serves in the House from Rhode Island; the torch has already been passed.

Woman to Woman - New York currently has several female Representatives, and I'm sure there are other female politicians in the state as well. Caroline Kennedy is not the only woman in New York.

Catholic - Again, this is based on her famous name.

New Politics - If she's the scion of a famous Democratic family, how does Caroline Kennedy represent anything new? And the fact that nothing is known about her politics is not an advantage; it's evidence that she doesn't deserve to be Senator.

I'm not completely opposed to Caroline Kennedy. She might be a decent seat-filler until the next real election. But your case for her is very weak, based almost entirely on her last name.

Posted by: Blarg | December 22, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

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