Once considered the frontrunner to succeed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velazquez has withdrawn from consideration for Clinton's seat:
Velazquez, one of the state's most prominent Hispanic politicians, says she told New York Gov. David Paterson Friday that she is not interested in the Senate appointment.
"While I have been proud and humbled to be considered, I have decided to stay" in the House of Representatives, where she chairs the Small Business Committee and the Hispanic Caucus, Velazquez said in a statement.
Velazquez had double appeal for the Governor as a prominent female politician and one of the state's top Hispanic politicians.
Her withdrawal has to be considered good news for Caroline Kennedy:
The behind-the-scenes jockeying for the job has intensified in the past week after supporters of Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, said she was interested in the job.
Kennedy is by far the biggest name in the mix, but there are plenty of others: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Nassau County District Executive Tom Suozzi, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., as well as Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Steve Israel, Jerrold Nadler, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Brian Higgins.
I like Caroline Kennedy, and she has been the most popular potential selection among New Yorkers according to polling. That said, there are a lot of strong candidates in this pool, including many solid progressives who have worked in public service for decades. Granted, many political legacies seek political office themselves...but most of those actually run for office, as Ted Kennedy and Patrick Kennedy did, and as Hillary Clinton did. I'd be a bit more enthused about Caroline Kennedy if she were actually running for the seat and campaigning for votes, rather than seeking an appointment.
Kennedy and Cuomo are probably the frontrunners at this point. Which means, in essence, that the son of a former State Senator and Secretary of State (Paterson) is picking between the daughter of a former president and the son of a former governor and frequently touted presidential candidate, to succeed the wife of a former president in the U.S. Senate.
What chance do mere mortals have?