Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No to Caroline Kennedy

The papers tell me that JFK's daughter is trying to win herself an appointment to the U.S Senate. She's been on the phone with various local hacks and politicios trying to sell them on her credentials, and apparently has a sit-down scheduled with Governor Patterson, who has the sole authority to appoint Hillary Clinton's successor. I hope the governor is just being polite, and that he has no serious plans to give her the job. Caroline Kennedy has never served held public office, and nothing in her background suggests she has the skills or the fortitude to represent NY State or to argue its interests.

Serving in the US Senate isn't just cocktails and speeches. To do a good job, you have to be passionate about things that are mind-numbingly boring. To her great credit Hillary Clinton threw herself into the job, and acquired a fair fluency on the policy issues that matter to residents of the state. She also had a blue chip law career in her background and though she ultimately failed to close the deal, she oversaw the development of a massively detailed, breathtakingly vast plan to overhaul the health care system. I opposed her Senate candidacy on the grounds that she wasn't a New Yorker (plus I was bored with the Clintons and their drama) but I never doubted she had the chops for the job, and on that score I wasn't disappointed.

Caroline, on the other hand, is a lady who lunches. She raises money for worthwhile causes and goes to galas. She's never displayed a taste for policy, or any interest in how government gets done. She's just a Richie, worried about her family's legacy now that Uncle Ted is ill, grasping for the shiny prize she believes is her due, while leapfrogging over better-qualified, harder-working politicians in the process.

NY's Senate seat isn't a sinecure. It should not go to someone unqualified and unproven regardless of her last name or her rolladeck

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