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NY-Sen: Is it Caroline?

The dean of the New York political press corps -- New York Post columnist Fred Dicker -- reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson (D) has settled on Caroline Kennedy as his pick to replace soon-to-be Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate.

Dicker draws his conclusion based on conversations between "several unhappy contenders" and their associates in recent days.

He writes:

"The contenders based their conclusion on the view that Paterson, after nearly two months of indecision, would 'greatly embarrass' and 'entirely humiliate' Kennedy, anger her prominent political family and even offend President-elect Barack Obama by picking someone other than President John F. Kennedy's daughter."

The Fix did a bit of checking with several of the people -- not named Kennedy -- who are allegedly under consideration and there is no sign that Paterson has been reaching out to anyone to inform them of his decision if in fact he's made up his mind.

And, Errol Cockfield, a spokesman for Paterson said that "the governor said on 'Larry King' last night and again on CNN this morning that he hadn't made a decision."

All of the potential contenders will get a chance to talk to Paterson face-to-face tonight when New York Democrats gather for a party at the Smithsonian Castle on the Mall. (What the Fix would give to be a fly on the wall at that gathering!)

Those in the know expect Paterson's decision any time now especially since the seat will be formally vacated tomorrow afternoon when the full Senate is expected to confirm Clinton as Secretary of State.

It's hard to believe Paterson would make the announcement on the day Barack Obama is being sworn in as the 44th president but he could well decide to do it early on Wednesday when much of official Washington is still digging out/waking up from the inauguration festivities.

We continue to believe that Kennedy is the favorite for the appointment for one main reason: she is clearly the preferred choice of the incoming president. Kennedy emerged as a public figure during Obama's campaign and the two are friendly. No one else in the field can make that claim.

Could Paterson spurn the president and the first family in Democratic politics? Absolutely. Remember that Paterson's primary concern is getting elected to a full term in 2010 and, if he believes that state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Reps. Kirsten Gillibrand or Steve Israel or even Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown make that more likely, he may well go against Kennedy.

If, however, Paterson follows conventional wisdom and names Kennedy, expect Republicans to immediately start making the case against Kennedy (no experience, the return of dynastic politics) and promoting the potential candidacy of Rep. Peter King (R).

New York is a Democratic stronghold so in a traditional election the Democratic candidate, whoever he or she may be, should be favored. Are the circumstances surrounding Kennedy extraordinary enough to put this seat in play in 2010?

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 19, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 21, 2009 4:10 AM | Report abuse

"We continue to believe that Kennedy is the favorite for the appointment for one main reason: she is clearly the preferred choice of the incoming president. Kennedy emerged as a public figure during Obama's campaign and the two are friendly."

Chris, is your second sentence meant to support the conclusion of your first? Because I think it cheapens Obama to presume that he prefers Caroline Kennedy for Senate based on the fact that he accepted her as a supporter. Wouldn't it be just as true for you to say that he clearly would have preferred Oprah to be his replacement for Senate in Illinois? Oprah emerged as a political figure in her early support for Obama and the two our friendly. Unless you have evidence that Obama prefers Kennedy, you are merely speculating and indulging in the sort of tin ear, shabby, cynical punditry we have come to expect from you.

Is there any evidence Obama has expressed any preference to Paterson at all about who he would like to replace Clinton? Of course you probably won't read this. You're too busy hobnobbing with the rich and powerful to pay close attention to what gets said on your own fairly mindless blog.

Posted by: crestfallenwassailing | January 21, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Please let The Fix not buy into the myth of Pete King. I'm not stating there isn't the "Great Hope" of the GOP, but it isn't this notorious blowhard.

He's pro-choice and pro-gun control which works well on Long Island, but death among Upstater, especially Upstate Republicans. His loud sympathic stance toward IRA terrorism in the past will not help him look "tough on terrorists" and he's notorious "too many mosques in this country" comment make him look like a bigot. He's always appealing to his autobiography "My dad was... I grew up in..." which works only to a point and he can't being doing that and then critize Kennedy for doing the exact same appeal. He has no relevant experience in agricultural (Upstate), financing (Wall Street) or counter terrorism (New York City in general). At some point he's going to have to stop the cheap shots at "Princess Caroline" as make the case of himself and beyond "I'm not Caroline Kennedy", not much there. Face it, if it wasn't for Caroline Kennedy, would anybody know who Pete King is (let alone invite him on their political commentary TV show to not so much talk about himself, but bash Caroline Kennedy)?

Posted by: Corey_NY | January 21, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Democracy really is like sausage making.

Posted by: newbeeboy | January 20, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me. Ms. Kennedy has performed decades of service for the people of NY. She is a New Yorker, a lot more than you can say for her predecessor
She also has the most real life experience you can have. She has raised children to adulthood. How very sexist to discount that.
Oh so I think that any one who has succeeded @ motherhood is qualified for the Senate. Well, yes I do or for just about any other job I can think of.

Posted by: miriamac2001 | January 20, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you on Gillibrand. She is supported by all the Democrats I know who live in her district. They were thrilled to support her against the Republican incumbent and have stayed with her since the election. I see nothing wrong with any effort she is making to appeal to the Republicans who live in her district. She is their representative too. She won by a huge margin for re-election, 2 to 1.

People who use against her the fact she reaches out to all her constituents simply fail to appreciate that her Democratic supporters understand the need for this. It's bizarre, quite frankly, for people outside the district to think they can simplify the issues, or want to use it against her.

I like Caroline Kennedy but I do not support her appointment. Not when there are so many very fine, hard working and experienced people available and interested in the job.

I am losing interest in David Paterson, since his support of the "Gang of Three" who tried to hijack the Democratic caucus in the state senate. I see the possible Kennedy pick in the same way. Politically opportunistic for the governor. I see that strong tendency in him and I don't like it.

On the other hand, he can win me over with a pick that makes more sense, like a congresswoman from upstate.

Posted by: kateinNY | January 20, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Bondosian, I do not agree. I know many, many liberal Democrats upstate who voted for Gillibrand.

Additionally, she has at least put herself out into real life, and has a real solid resume working as a lawyer and in government. Also, part of her district is Dutchess County, where many New Yorkers have moved in the last decade. Count on them to support her as well.( I know many of them.)

I don't know enough about Maloney, but somehow I don't think voters from the East Side are going to vote for a ditz year after year. Makes no sense. I will take their word over your brother's.

Did you by chance read prize-winning Wayne Barrett's illuminating and solidly reported piece on Kennedy? If not, please do. After reading that piece, I can't see how anyone would think that she is not beholden to anyone. Barrett describes her as his pawn. But the most damning part of the piece is her shocking lack of work experience. I don't car how progressive she has. I repeat: SHE HAS NO EXPERIENCE and no life qualifications.

I also know that many voters are infuriated that in 1988 Kennedy wrote in her Patriots Handbook that the most important day is election day , yet didn't bother to vote herself that year, and has only voted in HALF the elections since then. Prety shoddy and shows a lack of civic interest. If the rest of us peons can schlep out to the polls for the primaries, so can she. I can see skipping one, but 50 % ? Just bizarre. I mean, how hard could it be to get an absentee ballot?

Sure she endorsed but she has skipped many mayoral or state contests. Don't see how this shows she's got New York's best interests at hear.

I don't care how progressive she is. She neither has the goods nor the fire nor the personality to do this.

In these harsh times, we want someone who already knows the ropes. I don't want a candidate who is "going to learn on the job." Kinda think, Bondosian, that you're probably a pal of Caroline's. That's Ok. Her defenders have the right to blog.

But a new Quinnipiac poll just came out today that New Yorkers still want Cuomo. Paterson should follow the will of the voters if he wants to keep his job.

Posted by: VictoriaBalfour | January 20, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse


I interrupt my inauguration-watching to refute your notion that Gillibrand would make a good choice for NY. Yes, she's part of the NY congressional delegation, but she's a conservative Democrat (which she has to be because she's from a Republican district). She supports gun rights, wants to make Bush's tax cuts permanent, and considers herself a blue dog Democrat.

She would invite a primary challenge and would probably lose.

Maloney used to be my congresswoman and now she's my brother's. I've met her. To call her a ditz would be kind. When you ask her a tough question, she suddenly remembers that she's got something else to do or needs to take a phone call.

I support Kennedy because I believe she will be an unapologetic liberal, of which there are far too few in the Senate. She will be beholden to no one other than her father's and two uncles' legacies.

Even Chuck Schumer, whom I support, has become too beholden to Wall Street (he didn't believe hedge fund managers' income should be taxed at responsible and fair rates).

I think Paterson will choose Caroline and history will vindicate his choice.

Posted by: Bondosan | January 20, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, it's her first real job, but, so what, you have to start somewhere..."

Funny - that's almost exactly what JFK said about Bobby when he nominated him for AG. That didn't work out too badly in the end. I'd caution people against getting too caught up in the notion that we need someone "experienced" in the Senate, as if that job is something to work your way up to. Please. It's government work. When you're not working on a pet project, you mainly just vote "yes" or "no" and occasionally sign your name on a piece of paper. For this you get an expense account and a pension. Not that "experience" is, de facto, a bad thing. Just that all of the pols in NY with "experience" that I know of (e.g., Maloney, Cuomo, Suozzi) are venal, talentless dirtbags. In any case, real legislative "experience" doesn't involve substance - it consists of knowing enough people to make deals happen. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are as much a nation of men as we are a nation of laws. Caroline knows people. The other guys merely owe people. Best of a bad lot, people. Learn to live with diminished expectations.

Posted by: francescothemagnificent | January 20, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Mrs. Schlossberg. She will be, you know, uh, a great Senator for NY.

No seriously, her pivotal role in making O-Nation happen, endorsing BHO at a citical time in the campaign against Mrs. W.J. Clinton and tipping the "Establishment" in O's favor, outweighs any of her failings identified by the press. Yes, it's her first real job, but, so what, you have to start somewhere...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

While ineloquence and minimal experience aren't exactly qualities to be sought in a Senator, they also don't pose the same problems as they would in a Vice President.

Assuming that Caroline is a poorer candidate than the others, her last name aside--because of that last name, Patterson may decide that she would still be better for NY--just from naturally being higher profile.

On his marketing blog ( ), John Tantillo analyzed Caroline's candidacy from a branding position--predicting that she would not only be Senator but also the first female President.

(The idea of her as Senator doesn't bother me; the idea of her as President I find frightening..but unlikely. Still an interesting piece.)

Posted by: elo8 | January 20, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

While ineloquence and minimal experience aren't exactly qualities to be sought in a Senator, they also don't pose the same problems as they would in a Vice President.

Assuming that Caroline is a poorer candidate than the others, her last name aside--because of that last name, Patterson may decide that she would still be better for NY--just from naturally being higher profile.

On his marketing blog, John Tantillo analyzed Caroline's candidacy from a branding position--predicting that she would not only be Senator but also the first female President. Tantillo's full post

(The idea of her as Senator doesn't bother me; the idea of her as President I find frightening..but unlikely. Still an interesting piece.)

Posted by: elo8 | January 20, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I think Ms. Kennedy would be a great choice, but I wouldn't put too much stock in Mr. Dicker's report. No offense intended, but the Governor alone knows and all the rest is the equivalent of reading tea leaves.

One thing overlooked in this: Much of the visceral punch of the Kennedy brand is the result of a set of dramatic, charismatic, and heart-tugging historical images burned into the memories of Americans. Guess what? David Paterson has never seen them. Indeed, he has never seen her.

Paterson's primary sensory perception of the Kennedys is auditory, and Caroline's broadcast interviews have not exactly been "ask not" quality. Of course this lack of impromptu public speaking polish is minor in a post where elections are decided by $50 million TV ad barrages. But then David Paterson also has no personal experience with the full impact of television as a medium.

My point is that Paterson may not have the passionate reaction - positive or negative - towards the Kennedy name that characterizes and determines the comments of the internet posters, press columnists, talking heads, and bloggers.

Given this (and their hyperventilation so far) it is hard to credit the pundit's tea-leaf skills on this one.

Posted by: CormacNYC | January 20, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

From these comments for and against, it appears that Mrs. Schlossberg is Patterson's choice. [Her legal name is still Mrs. Schlossberg because she hasn't troubled herself with obtaining a pro forma court order for de jure recognition of the name she has decided to use. After all, why should nobility like her have to be bothered with such trivial legalities?]

Although inactivity has made Mrs. Schlossberg a political blank page, by the appearance of intimate association with Patterson, who has been bordering on charges of corruption since he took office, she could by 2010 have been bathed in political sleaze. However, it would never stick, just as evidence of the White House activities with Sam Giancana's girl friend, of the killing of Mary Jo at Chappaquidick, and of the treatment of poorly paid Congressional secretaries as sex slaves was never able to stick. These kinds of occurrences involved privileges of the elite. In any event, once Mrs. Schlossberg is consecrated or annointed or whatever, preservation of political purity will have required every contact with the hapless Paterson to have been prophylacticized. She won't be touching him again with a ten foot pole.

So abandon your state of denial about privileges of the elite, feel appropriate pity for poor Mr. Schlossberg, for whom recent use of the Hollywood-style Kennedy moniker has resulted in social nothingness, and for Patterson as well, accept the reality that a spirit of equality and democracy in America has been smothered, and cry out "God save the new duchess" (oops! senator).

Posted by: reformthesystem | January 20, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Fix, did you catch that about two weeks ago Fred Dicker had the inside scoop that the pick was Steve Israel, a rep from Long Island? Sure thing, he said. Sources, he said. Done deal.

Dicker is entertaining. That's about it.

Posted by: kateinNY | January 20, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Wantari: To your remarks:

In due time, she will undoubtedly grow to fulfill her role as the heir to the Kennedy's political power.

What era do you think we live in? Heard about the recession and jobs lost? We don't have time to train someone on the job. There are at least a dozen candidates who are far more qualified and need no on the job training.
Kennedy is the only one who's never had a real job and doesn't know what it's like to engage with the "real" world. She doesn't even bother to vote half the time.

As for flair- have you seen her interviews? She makes Sarah Palin look like Abe Lincoln.

The people here who defend her seem to be stuck back in some bygone Camelot myth from the 60s.
This is real life, New York State is close to being in trouble and we want someone who's already rolled their sleeves and got their hands dirty for the voters of New York.

Posted by: VictoriaBalfour | January 20, 2009 5:55 AM | Report abuse


Barack Obama is the greatest liar in history (no wonder he is an excellent lawyer!) During his campaign, he told lots of hope in future for America if he was elected, but now he warns Americans of oncoming darker economy and not to put too much hope in his promises. He promises a big plan to reduce budget deficit but his inauguration ceremony this January will be the most costly in history (50 millions) while the nation is in deep depression, as well as his presidential campaign (600 millions), which was far more than his opponent John McCain's. He swears to clean up Washington DC, but he failed to first clean up his homestate Illinois, one of the most corrupt state with the scandal of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who greatly helped Obama to win his state senate seat in 1996, 1998, and 2002. And his favorite slogan is "Yes, we CAN", yet he himself CANNOT quit smoking at all !!!

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 19, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

This election is a vindication of a lot of the suffering caused by the political crimes and corruption that were allowed to fester in the USA since Nixon's days. What better justice is there than to appoint Caroline Kennedy to represent the great State of New York? Caroline Kennedy would be a great Senator, one with the JFK's flair for the media. In due time, she will undoubtedly grow to fulfill her role as the heir to the Kennedy's political power.

Posted by: vantari | January 19, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

If Patterson was going to appoint her, he should have announced it 6 weeks ago; "Because these times are so perilous, so that NY doesn't skip a beat and the next senator has time to get up to speed, assuming that Sen. Clinton vacates her senate seat to become SOS, I am announcing that I will appoint Caroline Kennedy as her replacement. Caroline Kennedy comes from a family....."

By waiting so long, Gov. Patterson has only ticked her off and she will display no gratitude for the appointment.

I could be wrong, but I think he will go with Cuomo to get rid of a potential rival in 2010.

Patterson's choice will say a lot about his political smarts.

Not appointing Kennedy is the smart move.

Posted by: IMHO5 | January 19, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I wish her well and hope for her safety. It takes allot of guts and we could do allot worse. She's a smart gal and the last of an historic (immediate) family that has served this country well. I miss her brother and mother as well. They have been through allot and her willingness to give and, her experience around politics should serve hr well, as well as NY. There are allot of fools in that body who are allot less talented. Best wishes from Macoroni and Pals!

Posted by: crrobin | January 19, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Caroline is appropriately fluffy for the role of the U.S. Senate. Oh right. She's the mostly highly qualified person for senate who never actual ran for or won elected office.

Caroline. Sunscreen would have been your friend. Yikes.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | January 19, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

The likelihood of a Republican being elected to the Senate in New York in 2010 would be the same odds as a Democrat elected to the Senate from Texas since Johnson & Benson…Paterson is on safe ground if he elects either Kennedy or Cuomo. My personal choice is Kennedy because I am an Obama activist and the Kennedy’s more than anyone else helped Obama win the primary. But, Cuomo was a Democrat a birth so either one would be fine with me…

They both are terrific candidates and the situation is a win, win for Democrats… I believe Caroline will win but by a very narrow margin over Andrew… Paterson and either one will win by a landslide in 2010…

Posted by: citystreet | January 19, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Hate to burst your bubble, bud, but we already HAVE a dilettane Senator named Hillary (along with a self promoting weasel named Schumer). This is not an argument.Posted by: francescothemagnificent | January 19, 2009 7:32 PM
You get the leaders , you elect.

Posted by: clovisbuford | January 19, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Was there ever really any doubt that this would happen? C.K. is a shoe-in! Pretty soon we can make her the next Pelosi in Chief.

Posted by: newbeeboy | January 19, 2009 3:27 PM
A couple of things , you get to vote for whoever gets appointed in 2010 , so evryone should take a breath , #2 newbee boy ought to at least know the difference between the house where Pelosi is in charge , to the senate(the posiition ms Kennedy is vying for)where Sen.Reid is in charge.

Posted by: clovisbuford | January 19, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

VictoriaBalfour is completely correct. The only thing Caroline Kennedy has ever "accomplished" is being born famous. New York State has literally thousands of politicians, scientists, doctors, academics, business people, social activists and others who have climbed to the tops of their professions the hard way, and almost any of them would be more qualified to serve in the U.S. Senate than she is. New Yorkers have suffered through enough nepotism over the years. Time to put an end to it now.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 19, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

"The last think NY needs now is a dilettante Senator."

Hate to burst your bubble, bud, but we already HAVE a dilettane Senator named Hillary (along with a self promoting weasel named Schumer). This is not an argument. As for the other contenders, Andy-boy Cuomo is crooked. As HUD secretary he was responsible for lining the pockets of NY real estate interests with millions of dollars of inflated Section 8 subsidies (did you know that, under Clinton, landlords were claiming - with straight faces - that the reasonable market rent for apartments on the Grand Concourse was upward of $3000.00 per month? Ever been to the Bronx? There isn't one apartment in the whole borough that's worth $3000.00 per month). The rest are no names. Caroline, however, has Big O's ear. As far as I can see, this means that Caroline = federal money for New York. THAT would be a change...

Posted by: francescothemagnificent | January 19, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

cms1: what evidence do you have that she has been successful in everything she's done?

She never practised law a day in her life, so it can't be that.

She hasn't voted in at least half the elections since 1988, so it can't be that.

According to the Village Voice, there were others who can take just as much credit for fundraising as she for the NYC schools.

Kennedy has never had a job. Most of her books were co-written and some were collections.. In one of her "Books" she urged people to vote and yet didn't vote herself that year.
Have you looked at the other candidate's resumes? If you want to see women who have truly succeeded in everything that they've done, then look at Maloney and Gillibrand.

You can't succeed unless you've tried. And Caroline made the decision not to try.

Posted by: VictoriaBalfour | January 19, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why her uncle can't resign and she take his seat in the Senate. That would make a lot more sense and make it look less like a celebrity seat.

Posted by: johnstonrw | January 19, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy has been successful in everything she has ever done. There is NO reason to expect she would "fail" as New York's Senator. As a matter of fact, her "inexperience" would likely give her an advantage seeing as how she would not be compromised, bought, or bullied into anyone's view except her own.
Further, it would be emotionally restoring to the nation to have her in the Senate. I hope Governor Patterson has the good sense to appoint her.

Posted by: cms1 | January 19, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't know whether Paterson picks Kennedy or not, but I do know that although I am a lifelong New Yorker and enough of a political junkie to be posting comments on the Fix, I have never heard of Fred Dicker.

I read the Times, not the Post. (Except YOUR Post, of course!) But my secretary does read the Not-Your Post every day, and a quick check indicates that she doesn't know who Fred Dicker is, either.

I know very few people in Manhattan agitating for Kennedy. Maybe her support lies in the outer boroughs; I have had prior secretaries and knew people growing up in the Irish Catholic suburbs who were serious devotees of the Kennedy cult.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 19, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

You know, I don't care who NY sends to the senate, but I've finally been driven by crazy by all of you people talking about who is "qualified" to be a senator....what, you have some kind of magic handbook that lists all the special things that one must do to be qualified for a senate seat? The only freakin' true qualification is common sense, and a good ear for what the people want.

And all of you idiots screaming about someone being "unqualified" are just making up your own qualifications.

I think that the opportunity for the Governor to appoint a senator gives the state a great chance to have someone named as a senator who wouldn't normally be elected, but would provide value to the senate.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | January 19, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

With that inarticulate fool Bush that the GOP picked, no one should be making fun of Caroline.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | January 19, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy? Well, uh, er, I would, you know, like, will be a, uh, good, you know, senator for, you know, New York. I, like, have had many years, you know, of, uh, experience. I know which, like, wine to order. I know, you know, the best food to eat. And, you know, I can raise, you know, a ton of money for my, uh, you know, my election in 2010. So, please Governor, listen to my, you know, Uncle Teddy, and, please, you know, er, make me the next, you know, senator. Hey, anyone, know where my, you know, tiara is?

Posted by: PalmSpringsGirl | January 19, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

If Paterson picks anyone other than Kennedy he will be putting them in direct competition for funds, with his race for Governor in 2010, not too wise.

Then there are all those who do not have statewide, forget national name recognition. In a recession that will most likely still be going on next year, he'll be shooting himself in the foot. I've not heard of Gillibrand until the past few months.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | January 19, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Woops, I mean "Gillibrand"

Posted by: dognabbit | January 19, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with VictoriaBalfour: Go, Gilliband!

Posted by: dognabbit | January 19, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

The fix is in, Kennedy is Bloomberg's candidate, and Paterson is being told this is an offer he can't refuse. Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice spelled it out in great detail in a long piece last week and Carolyn Maloney confirmed the story yesterday on Fred Dicker's radio show in Albany.

Posted by: rdklingus | January 19, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Er, Milbrooks27... Kennedy,hardworking ?Perhaps you meant Kirsten Gillibrand or Carolyn Maloney who have actually had paying jobs their entire adult lives? You do realize that Kennedy has never worked, right?

I suggest you read this insightful and well-reported piece by prize-winning Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett on Kennedy. After you read it, you will realize that she is the antithesis of hardworking. I don't understand why people here who make sweeping generalizations about Kennedy without researching her background first:
Here's the link to the Voice piece:

Go, Gillibrand !

Posted by: VictoriaBalfour | January 19, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The last think NY needs now is a dilettante Senator. Is she really going to fight for funding for the Second Ave subway line in Manhattan? Is she really going to fight to stop cuts in Medicare reimbursement? Does she even understand Medicare reimbursement?

Posted by: Garak | January 19, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Gee Whiz... As a guy, if I knew that it only takes to be a socialite to become a New York Senator, right out of the box, I would have put on a dress, wore some lipstick and done some major sucking-up.

It is obvious the selection of Mrs. Schlossberg, lacks vision (no pun intended) and the foresight on the part of Gov. Paterson, unless his goal is to ride Mrs. Schlossberg's coat-tails! The fact that she was on the Obama VEEP selection committee is her total "experience."

I think Rudy Guiliani will make a better Governor or Senator in two years. Bye-Bye David. Maybe your buddy, Deval Patrick or Mr. "O" will give you a job?

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | January 19, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about her name pr even her politics. Every thing we know about this person tells us she is decent, honest, hard working and actually cares about people and this country. Compared to the hacks that inhabit Washington, she is a breath of fresh air. I hope she is selected - *WE* deserve her.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 19, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Instead of Paterson spending all his time and efforts to get himself constantly in the news about who will replace Hillary, he should stop the theatrics and cutsy cutsy nonsense and start taking care of the people in his state who are hurting economically and trying to behave and act like a Govenore. NYS rural people can barely keep up with the constant increases in their property and school tax.

Paterson do your job, you are not Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood. Hollywood is in Calif. not in the state you are neglecting as Govenor, NYS!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 19, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Of all the lame arguments that the NY Senate seat is owed to Kennedy, the weakest is that she is Obama's preferred candidate. Yet many pundits make this claim. First, there is no visible evidence that he prefers Kennedy. If the pundits HAVE any evidence, they owe their readers that evidence. Secondly--and more importantly--it makes a mockery of everything Obama claims to stand for to suggest that NYrs would benefit from her relationship w/ Obama. He says we are now in a new political era in which there are no special favors, where even REPUBLICANS are treated equally. There is no reason to assume that Obama would treat Kennedy any differently than he would any other Democratic Senator. The pundits who supported Obama throughout his campaign should get w/ the program. You make him sound like a hypocrite. If this seat is GIFTED to Kennedy, justice would be served if she loses in 2010.

Posted by: YellaDog | January 19, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Why do you keep calling everyone "the dean" of this or that media niche? You have more media deans than the White House will have policy czars.

Posted by: hiberniantears | January 19, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I hope Caroline gets it! But the waiting is killing me. Please NY Gov announce it.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 19, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Was there ever really any doubt that this would happen? C.K. is a shoe-in! Pretty soon we can make her the next Pelosi in Chief.

Posted by: newbeeboy | January 19, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Since I am not a citizen of NY my opinion is of little value to NYorkers, but nonetheless here it is.

In reading these posts the majority of NY'ers do not feel she is qualified. That should be the basis of your Gov's decision. If it is his desire to become re-elected it would be wise of him to listen.

However, and this is a rather large however, he has had Ted Kennedy on his back on this deal since its inception and "Good Old Boy Ted' will play, as he has for the past 30 years, party politics on your Gov. Ted will pull on all his 'tokens' and keep the pressure on Patterson until he folds.

Besides, who wishes to 'besmirch' the name of the late President (gone nearly 45 years now)by not naming his daughter? Only someone who wishes to committ political suicide.

My long distance bet is that it wil be Kennedy and then you folks in NY can vote her out in two years. We can then put this 'dynasty' crap to bed once and for all until HC runs in 8 years.

Good luck New York.

Posted by: dharper2 | January 19, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry if Kennedy is appointed the media will start their disinformation campaign in late 2009 to tell the American voting sheep who to vote for so she'll win re-election.

I don't expect much rational thought or remembering anything more than 6 months ago from liberals at this point. They're too busy practicing the Idealist utopia religion and being bigots voting on race and gender.

Posted by: Cryos | January 19, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse


Patterson may have prevailed upon Caroline to remove her name from consideration in exchange for a prominent role in state Democratic politics -- a role that could serve as a training ground and launching pad for a future run for office in a full-blown election.

That way, the people can decide, and the dynasty objections are put to rest.

If Caroline & Co. can't accept the logic of that argument, she probably wouldn't do well in the world of realpolitik (as opposed to dynasty-politik.


(With a special comment related to "The Fix":)

OR (if link is disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 19, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Um, Pupster, your information about the other candidates not being powerhouse fundraisers. Gillibrand is one of the top fundraisers in the entire House.
From CQ Politics:
Kennedy is not the only one vying for the Senate seat, however, who has demonstrated fundraising clout.

Among the list of contenders, Reps. Kirsten Gillibrand and Joseph Crowley and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo lead the way in money raised and/or donated in the 2007-08 election cycle.

Gillibrand, who was elected to her second term in the Republican-leaning 20th District in November, has established herself as powerhouse fundraiser during her short time in Congress. She raised a whopping $4.7 million for her 2008 election campaign, ranking her 11th among all House candidates, according to Federal Election Commission records through Nov. 24. Gillibrand also donated more than $374,000 in campaign funds to Democratic Party committees. She has eschewed fundraising via a leadership political action committee, which many other members of the House and Senate use to augment their political funds.

Gillibrand serves on the Armed Services committee and by all reports is a rising star in the House. Don't tell me she doesn't have clout. And at least she's worked her entire adult life, unlike Kennedy, who has never held a job. In these harsh times, experience counts for more than a name. Wanting a candidate because of her"name" seems very shallow. It also does't make sense.

Posted by: VictoriaBalfour | January 19, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Is She?

Hopefully not.
She is unqualified.
She made HER choices and she CHOSE to stay out of the public eye. Well we now say, Keep it that way. The last time we took a look at the Webster's dictionary it did not spell experience K E N N E D Y
nor was it spelled E N T I T L E D.

Posted by: Texan2007 | January 19, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

As a New Yorker, I couldn't care less whether Kennedy is the choice of the incoming President. If Obama cares about the voice of the people, as he purports to, then he should pay attention to the voters of New Yorkers. The majority of us do not want her.

Kennedy is embarrassingly unqualified. She is the least qualified of ALL the candidates.
My pick is Kirsten Gillibrand. Unlike Kennedy she actually worked for years as a lawyer for Davis & Polk and for David Boies firm. She was elected twice by voters, serves on the Armed Services Committee, is among the top ten fundraisers in the House. She's a working mom of two very young children,

And did I mention that she has actually voted in every election - unlike Kennedy, who despite writing in one of her "books" in 1988 that Election Day was the most important day for Americans, she neglected to vote that year and has skipped 50 % of the elections ever since.

If Paterson chooses Kennedy, then I won't vote for him. Case closed.

Posted by: VictoriaBalfour | January 19, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If I was a serious contender having been working a good part of my life for this opportunity I would be unhappy too. We know Kennedy has never run for much less been elected to office. Has she ever even held a paying job?

Posted by: brewstercounty | January 19, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If Caroline is the preferred choice of the President -- and he has been careful to make no public statements to that effect -- then it's because he is unfamiliar with the other choices.

As one commenter has already noted, Obama has many jobs he could give to Caroline that are within his gift. New York's senate seat is not among them.

If Paterson hands this seat to Caroline Kennedy in the face of her obvious unpopularity with New York voters, the Democrats are likely to lose both that senate seat as well as the New York State House in 2010.

The argument that being turned down would "embarrass" or even "greatly humiliate" Kennedy is deeply offensive to every normal person who -- unlike the waaaay too privileged Ms.Kennedy -- has ever sought a real job out there in the real world.

Posted by: prettierthanyou | January 19, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Caroline is the only logical choice. Only Cuomo has comparable state-wide name recognition, but he is despised by Paterson, Schumer and Obama. Remember that Cuomo accused Obama of "shuck and jive" during the primary and his father Mario made some not complimentary comments about the PE as well. Further, his incompetence at HUD is not easily forgotten.

The other possible choices are all regional players little known outside their districts, nor do they have the fundraising capacity to keep the seat in 2010 and 2012. And by picking one, Paterson would make enemies of the others.

Peter King is running in 2010 no matter who is his opponent. But his trashing of Kennedy at every turn shows you who he is afraid of the most. His ugly mug and crass television demeanor will not go over well with the NY electorate. And he's a Bush crony.

Posted by: Pupster | January 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"...she is clearly the preferred choice of the incoming president. Kennedy emerged as a public figure during Obama's campaign and the two are friendly."

Usually the President makes people they like an ambassador, not a Senator.

Posted by: ahashburn | January 19, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe that Gov. Paterson has not already made his decision. I suspect that he feels he's acting within his right to name our new senator at a time that he feels is appropriate. It appears, alas, that his efforts at playing coy have been annoying people. But in the Governor's defense, it's hard to keep a secret from the New York press.

Posted by: dognabbit | January 19, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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