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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 Nydia Velazquez has withdrawn from consideration for Clinton's seat: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?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nobody should be appointed imo (12+ / 0-)

    Anywhere. There should be special elections to fill these seats.

    I demand prosecutions for torture.

    by heart of a quince on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:23:14 AM PST

    •  Legislatures would have (9+ / 0-)

      to change the way this is handled.
      The 17th Amendment

      When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

    •  Disagree (7+ / 0-)

      The cost of special elections (especially in these times) is quite a high bill for states.

      Sometimes they are warranted.  I think appointments are fine - but regular primaries and elections should be scheduled for the next immediate election cycle.

      Would you have a different opinion should Pat Roberts resign tomorrow in Kansas?  Haha  Just sayin'

      •  No I wouldn't have a different opinion (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BWasikIUgrad, gchaucer2

        Nobody should have sole control over something so important as a senate seat. This is the peoples' seat.

        I demand prosecutions for torture.

        by heart of a quince on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:31:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jay C

          Well only since 1913 have there been direct elections.

          There is something to be argued for continuity and not leaving the state vacant of a representative until a special election is held.

          But the 17th is well minded of the democratic nature of the seat:

          When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

          They could have stopped before the bold - but they ultimately gave final authority to the people.

          •  Also, we've already suffered by a lack... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BWasikIUgrad, CParis

            It would be an expensive process to hold special elections for seats like this.

            On top of that, we've already suffered for failing to have filled senate seats quickly enough. Not only should we not have special elections, but appointments should follow almost immediately - as quickly as is feasible.

            Any of guys & gals remember that vote on cloture for the auto bailout a few days ago? Biden was too busy to vote, Obama's seat was empty - that's two votes that we gave up. Two constituencies which were not represented. I'd say reasonably good representation is better than no representation at all. Keep the appointment process and speed it up.

            I'm a progressive, and a realist - only be embracing the sometimes unfortunate aspects of reality can we make maximum progress!

            by The Progressive Majority on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:56:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What about a compromise? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SadEagle, BWasikIUgrad

              The governor's appointment will not be eligible to run as the incumbent in the next election for the seat i.e. a mandated placeholder like Delaware just appointed.

              It seems odd to me that senate seats aren't term-limited.  I don't understand why there should be a different standard for those and for the presidency.

              •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                An obvious solution that anyone who has half a brain and cares enough about democracy to spend 5 minutes actually trying to find a solution, rather than grasping eagerly for the first excuse not to have one, could come up with.

              •  Sounds great nt (0+ / 0-)

                I'm a progressive, and a realist - only be embracing the sometimes unfortunate aspects of reality can we make maximum progress!

                by The Progressive Majority on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 08:19:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I respectfully disagree (0+ / 0-)

                  How effective is an automatic lame duck as a legislator?  And who'd want to disrupt life for two years to be the lowest ranking, short termed placeholder?  Sounds irresponsible.  Why would this person even show up for work?

                  •  Someone was talking about paying $1M... (0+ / 0-)

                    Finding people to take the job is not a problem... ever heard of Rod Blagojevich?

                    The important thing to do is insuring the person you appoint is reasonably honest.

                    What really sounds irresponsible to me is running for a senate seat when you know you're planning to run for President if that's going to mean your constituents won't get representation for X number of months/years. If we're going to do things your way, we ought to not allow people to run for an office whose term would cut short their current holding.

                    I'm a progressive, and a realist - only be embracing the sometimes unfortunate aspects of reality can we make maximum progress!

                    by The Progressive Majority on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 11:46:36 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Continuity (0+ / 0-)

            There is something to be argued for continuity and not leaving the state vacant of a representative until a special election is held.

            A special election could be held faster than this appointment is being made. But you probably wouldn't know that, since you probably have never bothered to find out anything about what is involved in holding an election, given that you consider them to be such a waste of money.

            •  Ugh geez (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CParis

              What gives man.

              I actually support special elections, and Ive done a great deal of election volunteering.  Im a Jacksonian Democrat.  I despise appointments.

              Im simply making the intellectual argument based on the 7th amendment and historical precedent for such an executive order.  Lest we want to go around as an echo chamber.

              Also noting the economic realities of the cost of special election factoring these decisions.  Do you deny that hasnt come up?  In IL theyre saying 30-40M for a special at a time when the budget is having to be cut.

              Some IL residents I knwo want a new Sen - but they prefer giving the authority to Quinn and forgoing an election until 2010 so its costs are rolled into the state budget for federal elections naturally held then.  As not to jeopardize other services needed in these hard times.

              There was no anti-democratic sentiments in my comments.  Chill.

            •  Faster? (0+ / 0-)

              Meaningful campaigns in a state the size of NY take quite a bit of time, since many candidates don't even have statewide name recognition.

              Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say... (from "Creatures of Light and Darkness", R. Zelazny)

              by SadEagle on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:19:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  God forbid... (1+ / 0-)

        The cost of special elections (especially in these times) is quite a high bill for states.

        God forbid we should spend any more money than we absolutely have to on our elections, merely to allow the citizens to select their own representatives.

        What a ridiculous argument.

        Would you have a different opinion should Pat Roberts resign tomorrow in Kansas?  Haha  Just sayin'

        Ha ha. Democracy is such a joke to you...wink, wink. I'll bet if the Constitution didn't force them on us, you'd be all for dispensing with them entirely, great way to save some money.

        If Pat Roberts were to resign tomorrow, you are damn straight I would support a special election over an appointment.

        •  Ok I was kind in the other comment (0+ / 0-)

          but this one Ill give a metaphorical finger for suggesting I find democracy to be a "joke" and wish to "dispense" with elections.

          Im discussing the realities of the politics involved in these discussions - not articulating a particular philosophy of oligarchy or despotism.

          Give me a break.

      •  Senators can stay in office for decades. (3+ / 0-)

        It's worth the cost of an election to make that Senator the choice of the people in the first place.

      •  Plus there is the delay - NYS would go (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SadEagle, BWasikIUgrad

        unrepresented during the critical first few months of the Obama administration. With primaries and the like, the process would probably require 5 months . .

    •  I urge New Yorkers: call for Liz Holtzman! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randall Sherman

      Please take a few minutes to get this message to New Yorkers.  We don't need a light weight or, in my opinion, a member of the Kennedy clan to fill Hillary's seat.  We need to know that someone with a proven track record will be equal to or better than Hillary Clinton for the country and the people of New York.  I think that person is Elizabeth Holtzman.    

      Former congresswomen (and attorney) Elizabeth Holtzman has asked the Governor of New York to consider appointing her to fill the seat that will be vacated when Senator Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State. I encourage you to ask everyone you know in the state of New York to contact Governor Paterson and ask him to select Elizabeth Holtzman.

      New York state could soon be represented in the U.S. Senate by a woman with respect for and understanding of democratic representation, the Constitution, and the rule of law, which is not something we've grown accustomed to finding in Washington for the past eight years. Liz Holtzman is a woman who has done more to oppose the abuses of power of the Bush administration than have most current members of the House or Senate through her participation as an expert witness in both House and Senate judiciary committee oversight hearings from 2006 and late summer of 2008.

      Liz Holtzman served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and was the youngest woman elected to Congress, where she quickly took a leading role in the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. She served two terms as the first woman elected District Attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn) and served as the first woman elected New York City Comptroller.  

      Before any of that, she co-founded Law Students Civil Rights Research Council, which recruited law students to work in the civil rights movement in the South. In 1963 she worked for a civil rights lawyer in Georgia. In 1964 she interned for the NAACP and helped write a brief on the first anti-miscegenation case.

      When she entered Congress in 1973 and took a seat on the House Judiciary Committee, it was just in time to pursue the impeachment of Nixon. She gained national attention for her work on that impeachment, and for her questioning of President Gerald Ford about his pardoning of Nixon. She then gained international attention by exposing the presence of Nazi war criminals in the United States and forcing the creation of a special Justice Department unit to bring them to justice. Holtzman led committee work and passed legislation on a wide range of issues in Congress, but in the area of justice alone it is worth noting that she co-authored the special prosecutor law and brought a lawsuit challenging Nixon's unauthorized bombing of Cambodia.

      Serving as District Attorney in Brooklyn from 1982 to 1989, Holtzman played a key role in ending racial discrimination in jury selection, led the effort to reform New York's rape and child molestation laws, persuaded the Court of Appeals to allow prosecution for marital rape, and created the first environmental crimes bureau in the state. In my opinion, we need this woman's knowledgeable voice in the US Senate as the 111th Congress faces the responsibility of investigating and restoring the rule of law.  

      I can understand how she got so much done everywhere she went because I have been an ardent watcher of her advocacy work during the Bush-Cheney era. She has been one of the most articulate, authoritative, persuasive, and energizing speakers, writers, and agitators against warrantless spying, torture, the occupation of Iraq, and the erosion of the rule of law in our federal government. In 2006, she published, together with Cynthia Cooper, "The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens." Whether or not you wanted Bush impeached, this book is worth reading for a refreshingly different view of the law and the balance of power in our government.  

      Here's a video clip of Liz testifying in Congress on this topic earlier this year:

      http://youtube.com/...

      If you would like to see her take Hillary's seat in the United States Senate, please write, call or e-mail Governor Paterson and let him know.  Yes, it's the holiday season and you're busy, but after the last eight years of living with a totally lawless administration, let's be fully aware of the power of the vote and utilize this opportunity to ask Governor Paterson to appoint Elizabeth Holtzman to take Hillary's place in the United States Senate.  

      Anyone should feel free to use text from this message to write their comments, and be sure to ask people to include their names and New York addresses when they write to Governor Paterson at the following address:

      Governor David A. Paterson
      State Capitol
      Albany, NY 12224

      Call: 518-474-8390

      or

      E-mail  him at:  http://161.11.121.121/...

      Please forward this message to your New York friends, associates, students interested in change and family members so they have time to contact Governor Paterson.  Elizabeth Holtzman will not let us down.

    •  Hopefully Gov. Patterson will NOT handle (0+ / 0-)

      the seat in the matter that Blago, who hasn't even earned the title he holds, has done with Obama's seat!  According to the image he presents here, we don't need to worry about that.

  •  Yes, What chance (11+ / 0-)

    I am sick of having a political aristocracy.  I would rather see a relative unknown whose accomplishments are impressive.  I would rather see Velasquez move up from the house to the Senate.

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:23:54 AM PST

  •  Well said! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, srkp23, mrblifil, MadEye, MBNYC

    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?

    So much for the concept of meritocracy.

  •  I have a hard time believing she wasn't pushed (9+ / 0-)
  •  I don't get Kennedy's popular support (9+ / 0-)

    One of the plumbest elected positions in gov't should not be handed to someone on the basis of name alone. I'm sure she's very bright, but come on, she's never even run for dog-catcher.

    •  JFK Jr's friends said he considered running for (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, mrblifil, freakofsociety, klamothe

      Senate until he found out Hillary was interested in running..( and sadly of course he died in the summer of 99) but he was approached by some in the NY Dem party about running for the Seat once held by his uncle.

      Many believe he was considering someday getting involved in politics after he saw where his magazine was headed or after he turned 40..sadly that never happened.

      I think he could have won any office he sought and perhaps the same for Caroline...name recognition can carry a lot of weight ..not that I approve of it.

      I wish we had a Kennedy in PA to take Specter's seat away from him..we could use help  here and in several other states.

    •  I get it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SadEagle, npb7768, GN1927, freakofsociety

      some people are thinking about the big picture, which not only includes notions of fairness, but also the reality of needing both name recognition and the abiltity to raise money to succeed against future challenges from the GOP. additionaly, as a political benefit to the state, not all candidates can claim the same sort of positive relationship with Obama that Caroline Kennedy can. and few can claim to have a power base that extends beyond the state as CK can.

      it's a great choice, one that will reveal its benefits when GOPers like Rudy and Pataki consider whether they want to take her on.

      •  Big Picture (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis

        The big picture is that New York is an aristocracy, not a democracy. That's what people are thinking.

      •  I don't think Rudy or Pataki (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, CParis

        has a chance against any mildly competent Dem. Rudy especially burned his bridges in his POTUS run. He wasn't that popular locally to begin with and his exploiting 9/11 and demonizing NYC as a modern day Gomorrah lost him what little NYC Metro support her had.

        To say nothing of his vicious attacks on our President-elect, who won so handily here.

        •  a lot of people still like him (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          npb7768

          though I agree that he's stock dropped after his POTUS run. as a figure with state wide name recognition, he can't be ruled out as a threat to the seat, especially if he perceives weakness there.

          my only point is that the CK pick has the value of forstalling the interest of potential GOPer heavyweights who can raise money and who already have statewide name recognition. 2 years isn't a lot of time for the new pick to generate all that if it doesn't already exist.

          •  The Rudster is DOA (0+ / 0-)

            after his idiotic performance at the GOP convention, where he dissed "cosmopolitan city-dwellers" and his firm's involvement in the $700billion cash grab.

            What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. ~ Dan Quayle

            by CParis on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:08:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  People magazine politics/nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clarknt67
    •  Party Machine Politics (0+ / 0-)

      Doesn't matter. All they want of their candidates is that they can win, thus the emphasis on the name. After that, they are just supposed to play the role of Senator (it is a role) and dutifully "vote with the Democrats." Not much experience required, only high name recognition and an appealing public persona.

  •  I'll be happy (6+ / 0-)

    as a mere mortal just to find a welding job

    thank you

    ''Al-Zeidi is the man...He did what Arab leaders failed to do.''

    by eeff on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:25:51 AM PST

  •  Gross.... (5+ / 0-)

    on the Caroline Kennedy thing.

    I am so tired of this "star celebrity" attitude.

    When you see the Buddha on the road kill him

    •  My guess is she doesn't even want it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CParis

      She has probably been pushed into it by people close to her who would like to be close to a Senator. By people for whom her lack of experience is a plus, since it should make her all the easier to manipulate to their ends.

  •  Walter Mondale, George Mitchell, Sam Ervin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    npb7768, mrblifil

    What do they all have in common?  They were all appointed Senators.  So was Arthur Vandenburg (R-Mich.).  Nothing wrong with appointed Senators.  They can be great ones -- or at least have the potential to be great ones (see Wofford, Harris, D-Pa.).

    •  Mondale (0+ / 0-)

      worked hard, going up through the party ranks. He may have even been a community organizer.

      "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

      by agoldnyc on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:27:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  being appointed is not the point (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C, agoldnyc, MadEye, CParis

      The point is - what did they accomplish before they got appointed? That is the question with Caroline Kennedy

    •  Myopic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SadEagle

      It is really very lame to grasp upon a selected set of individual examples and hold them up as evidence that there is "nothing wrong with" whatever it is you are defending.  It is also myopic...you are focused on whether or not there is something wrong with the individual senators who get appointed, instead of the big picture (which is what is under discussion here, whether you get it or not)...the long-term global impact of appointing senators instead of electing them.

      You are picking only the examples that (you think) people would find "nothing wrong with." This is both intellectually dishonest (you intentionally ignore the appointments that people might find something wrong with) and just generally lame logic.  It is like the Bush Administration selecting a few examples where the Iraq War accomplished something positive in Iraq...drove a band of terrorists out of a village, built a school, etc, and concluding that there is "nothing wrong with" the Iraq War.

  •  Whoever gets appointed (7+ / 0-)

    I hope is going to be the millionaire scion of a political dynasty, preferably one who has never been north of 96th Street (except for an occasional trip to Albany).

    Who else can represent the working people of New York State?

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:26:23 AM PST

  •  Is she popular? (0+ / 0-)

    Or are other politicians happy at the prospect of someone who would not upstage them and would do little while in office?

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:27:12 AM PST

  •  It's A Very Weak Field At the Top (7+ / 0-)

    We should stop pretending otherwise.

    NY State Democratic politics is only marginally less corrupt than Illinois Democratic politics, and while its image as a progressive Democratic state is much burnished by the presence of NYC, that just means that NY Senators are reliable shills for Wall Street, as the Times pointed out in a lengthy article on Chuck Schumer this weekend. The same is true all the way down to the local level. Our pols are, in the main, bought and paid for agents of special interests, primaries are generally rigged, and there is no genuine choice to be had in our elections.

    It's a very sad and dispiriting state of affairs, which really provides little or no incentive for grass roots progressives to engage in Democratic Party politics in NY. Even sadder is the pretense that things are otherwise, or that star-fucking nostalgia is an effective antidote to systemic corruption and backroom mutual backscratching.

    •  Weak field, my ass. (0+ / 0-)

      Carolyn Maloney, for one.  A veteran legislator with a great record.  Nydia V. is another.  Brian Higgins and Kristin Gillibrand are not weak candidates.  What Repub would beat them?

      This is just ruling class, political incest bullshit.

      •  You don't get it. (0+ / 0-)

        When people are describing them as "weak" candidates, they are not talking about whether a Republican could beat them.

        •  I don't get it? (0+ / 0-)

          Oh please.  The discussion of "weak candidates" has centered on electability in 2010.  Caro is a "strong candidate" because she can raise enough money to run against anyone.

          Pay attention, fer crissakes, and don't tell me I don't get it when you are just passing wind.

      •  No More New Democrats Thank You (0+ / 0-)

        It's not a question of who is or isn't beatable.

        The problem is that there are major problems with each candidate.

      •  Beyond weak (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SadEagle, Jay C, greenskeeper

        I've lived and worked in both Maloney and Velazquez's district.  They may not be weak candidates, but they are weak representatives who did nothing for their constituents in terms of local services.  I'm not sure either even knows the main issues which affect their districts.

        Its funny to think that NY has a weak bench, but I think thats a result of the machine system here - too many qualified people stay out of politics rather than deal with the machine.

        Try to make the Democratic party the party that you think it should be - but not at the cost of losing.

        by Matty NYC on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:12:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  An another factor... (0+ / 0-)

      ... while I mostly agree with you, I think the size & regional diversity of the state combined with the Spitzer + Hevesi situations means few politicians have statewide profile. If Spitzer was still in office, we would probably be talking about Senator Paterson.

      Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say... (from "Creatures of Light and Darkness", R. Zelazny)

      by SadEagle on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:27:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anybody but a Kennedy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50

    Name recognition is not a qualification for the Senate.

    These seats are not hereditary, we are not a monarchy, and the Kennedy dynasty does not have a "right" to the seat.

    We need leadership, not name recognition.

    While she is an accomplished woman and attorney, there has to be someone in New York state of equal or greater qualification and potential.  

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:28:44 AM PST

    •  Qualification and potential is essential (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, wishingwell, conlakappa

      However, I also don't think someone should be disqualified because of their name.

      I'm not arguing FOR Caroline Kennedy at all - a convincing case needs to be built that she's the best person for the job.  But if the best person for the job happens to be a Kennedy, I can live with that.

      I'm shocked to learn that 1 in 12 Americans do not know that the bird, is in fact, that word.

      by dansac on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:30:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  heard over the weekend ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srkp23, Free Spirit, Aunt Martha

    elizabeth holtzman.

    that would be a nice choice. woman, held federal and state office, has nys name recognition, has experience, blah, blah....

  •  Tom Duane for Senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sirclown

    Just saying since no one else ever does.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  Who is the Most Re-Electable? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, CParis

    As much as I'd like the Senate to be a meritocracy where the most honorable servant wins the seat, let's face it -- the person named this year will have to get themselves voted in upstate in a couple of years. It took the last celebrity Democrat, a First Lady, every ounce of her ability to pull those votes down in places like Syracuse and Binghamton. It's always going to be extra-tough for a NYC pol to pull it off.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:30:55 AM PST

  •  My suggestion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle, alba

    Isn't Lady de Rothschild the obvious candidate? I would have thought Hillary would engineer this for her.

    "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality."

    by Marshall on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:31:47 AM PST

  •  Is this about Caroline at all? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, klamothe, jmnyc

    There seems to be a backlash brewing against Caroline (with silly, smarmy comments like one Congressman comparing her to JLo). Couldn't this just be about Velazquez not being the best candidate to run statewide?

  •  Its NY eh nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klamothe, Free Spirit
  •  I like Caroline, but . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle, jxg, klamothe

    I once heard her answer questions from an audience when she was on a book tour.  The audience was gushing and adoring.  Caroline Kennedy, in response, gave mostly terse, monsyllabic responses, that suggested impatience with the petty concerns of the adoring female audience.

    I appreciate Caroline Kennedy's early support of Obama, and I have every confidence in her being able to perform well in the Senate, but I'm not sure campaigning--which she would ultimately need to do--is going to be her strong suit.  At minimum, if I were Patterson, I'd play her back a tape of her prior Q & A sessions and ask if that is the kind of performance she would put on as a candidate for the Senate, and if not, what would be different and why.  

    "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion." C.Bronte

    by Agatha X on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:34:02 AM PST

  •  Hereditary office (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klamothe, Free Spirit

    I wonder if there have been any discernible trends towards officeholding within a family?  Particularly in bad economic times, I can see a lot of attraction towards steering political office to families.

    On the other hand, the Kennedys don't need money.

    I think I see an overall move towards restricting higher level jobs, in both government and the private sector, to relatives. It is part of the further development of a class system in the US.  But - in the past there were religious and other restrictions.

    The one thing that seems clear is that the expense of higher education is placing barriers to lower income groups to gain access to these jobs.  

  •  While I understand the objections to Kennedy (0+ / 0-)

    and even agree with some of them, it's kind of hard to make the case for not appointing her when everyone else is dropping out of the race.

  •  I actually think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srkp23

    that Kennedy is more attractive as an appointee, so she doesn't have to play Kampaign Kabuki, and she arrives as less beholden to fewer people. Given the nutjobs on the other side of the aisle, Lieberman included, I feel like we could do a whole lot worse than Caroline Kennedy.

    That said, she should probably specify that she does not intend to run for re-election, in order to put to rest charges that she is merely getting ahead on coattails and connections. Then any movement to retain her at the end of Hillary's term would be a grass roots effort, which would put her in a stronger position when she inevitably announces her intention to compete to keep the seat.

    I think objections to her are valid, however. I'm assuming Paterson will be communicating closely with the Obama team about the best options. And yes, I imagine Hillary will have some kind of influence as well.

  •  CK is better than Zell Miller (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, Agatha X

    But this appears to be another case of the Democratic party shunting aside career politicians with minority bacbgrounds in favor of someone who may not work hard to get re-elected.

    Caroline vs. Rudy in 2012?

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:35:07 AM PST

  •  How much is the senate seat in window? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klamothe, alba

    The one with the curly brown hair.  How much is the senate seat in the window...????

    Caroline and the legacy/annointing debate.  If a person focuses only on legacy issues...: The bush crime family has stronger ties to legacy than the Kennedys.

    Gosh, you have grandpa prescott then daddy 41 then 43 also lil jebby and lil marvin and super fuck up lil neil and there is another boy in there... I forget his name, then there is georgy the son of lil jeb.  Unfortunately, we won't be done with the bushes (heheheheee) for a loooonnnnngggg time.

    Kennedys on the other hand... The list of potential prosepects for the, ultimate prize, White House is a lot more limited.

    My point?  I like Caroline for the Senate.  We need her star power and her brains.

    "When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." --Abraham Lincoln

    by winter outhouse on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:36:41 AM PST

  •  Good News (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle, mrblifil

    Velazquez would have been a bad appointment.  She is a completely undistinguished member of the delegation who has shown no appeal outside of her Congressional district and no ability to raise money.  I got the appeal of her being a woman and a Latino but she has been in Congress for 16 years and has a very, very thin record.  I figured she would never have made it through a primary and if she did she would have been a weak general election candidate who could have lost to a Repub.  

    NY has some impressive Latino and African American elected officials including our new Gov David Paterson, Comptroller Bill Thompson and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carion.  Unfortunately Velazquez does not fall into that category in my opinion.

    I have no opinion on Caroline Kennedy although I think there should be a special election rather than a Gubernatorial appointment.

  •  Mere Mortals? You mean Charlie Rangell is in the (0+ / 0-)

    race too?

    I want to see a debate where Caroline uses the line: "I knew Jack Kennedy, and Andrew, you're no Jack Kennedy."

  •  I don't blame her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klamothe

    working as a state legislator is probably way less stressful and makes you feel more directly involved than being a senator.  Too bad though, she sounded like she might have been an interesting candidate.

  •  Well, when you weed out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klamothe, Egalitare

    the people who couldn't afford to stop working and be a senator, the people who couldn't otherwise logistically work it into their life, the people whose skin isn't thick enough to put up with all the abuse public officials bear, the people who couldn't even get their own family to support their candidacy, the people who couldn't speak in public without looking like a complete ass, the people too shy to do it, the people who couldn't hold their temper when confronted constantly by idiots, the people who would refuse the job, etc....

    that only leaves the Kennedys and Cuomos.

  •  Um... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle, klamothe, crossroads

    Nassau County District Executive Tom Suozzi,

    The job title is, "Nassau County Executive", no "district" needed.  And he has never been a legislator.

  •  The Blago scandal means that any black senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alba

    will probably have to come from New York, if there's going to be one; which is to say, there's probably not going to be any black senators in the next Congress.  There's a credible upstate African-American in Byron Brown, but you run into the problem of there being a massive push for Hillary's replacement to be a woman.

    I like Caroline K. for the job, regardless.

  •  I liked Carolyn Maloney until she voted for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klamothe

    war resolution, way back when.  I remember her reason for voting to give Pres. authorization to use force, was based on her brother being in the military. I listened to the debates in both House of Reps and Senate. I saved the lists of who voted "yes" and who voted "no",for a long time.  I won't vote for any of the "yes" voters.  Haven't had to change my mind yet.

  •  Caroline Kennedy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Jay C, alba, steve2012, Egalitare

    has great name recognition, strong connections with the Obama administration and would beat all comers in 2012.  I doubt Rudy would even run against her.  Who wants to run against the smart, attractive daughter of JFK, arguably the most popular politician in the northeast for the last 50 years? You wanna beat up on Caroline? Bloomberg is pulling for her and will amost certianly not run against her. She has stayed out of trouble for her whole life even though she has had the spotlight in her since she was a baby.

    Like it or not, being attractive and interesting as a person is a great asset.  Who would you rather have dinner with, Caroline or any other politician in New York? (She probably doesn't drink beer!)

    She will be an instant star and will have more power than the average Freshman senator - just like Hillary did.  

  •  Kennedy only most popular due to name rec n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle

    We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

    by dconrad on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:53:57 AM PST

  •  He should pick my Congressman,... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Mike Arcuri.  He's from Upstate, and by Upstate, I don't mean Westchester County.  He's from Utica, gritty, gray, Utica, where the favorite dish is chicken rigatoni, the favorite sport is snowmobiling (we call it a fucking snowmobile, not a wussy snow machine like they do in Wasilla), and people have back yards with tomato plants growing in them every summer.  An Upstate Democrat could hold that seat twenty years after he died.  

    You want to shut the stupid redneck Conservatives and America Firsters up for good?  Pick one of our fine upstanding Upstaters for Hil's Senate seat.  It would even be worth having the 24th CD going red again.  It would EVEN be worth having our worthless state senator Joe Griffo (R - Rome) getting elected to that House seat.  We would just LOVE to get his sorry ass out of Albany and down to Washington where he would no longer have any influence.

    Half-baked ideas for sale - cheap!

    by Steaming Pile on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:54:35 AM PST

  •  Caroline's baggage: Cousin Kathleen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, klamothe

    I have to admit that the electoral disaster that is her cousin, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who managed to lose Maryland's Gubernatorial election in 2002, gives one pause as to whether the "Kennedy mistique" is gender-biased.

    Having lived in Maryland for a couple of years, I can tell you that Ms. Townsend just didn't have "it" to begin with. She's smart, gracious and kind, but there's a big hole in her political astuteness.

    This may or may not be at the root of the unnamed staffer for Paterson who suggested that Ms. Kennedy isn't "aggressive enough" to properly represent NY.

    It's up to you, Ms. Kennedy, to show that you have different chops than your cousin.

  •  Andrew Cuomo was one of the AGs (0+ / 0-)

    ...threatening MySpace based on hysteria about Sexual Predators.

    MySpace is a publisher.

    Cuomo doesn't respect the First Amendment.

  •  Can anybody tell me what the reason behind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C

    having the Governor choose the occupant of the senate seat is? IMO they should change the law and make it so the person vacating the seat chooses the new occupant.

    •  Not a "reason" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      klamothe, alba

      but a Constitutional requirement. Since the original adoption of the Constitution, the election/replacement of Senators has been designated to be the responsibility of the individual States. Originally they were "elected" by State legislatures, but since 1913 (17th Amendment) by popular vote in the states - and 17A reaffirmed the appointment power to the Governors.

      Some states (e.g. Alaska) do mandate special elections to fill replacement Senate seats, but by-and-large, "replacement" appointments serve out at least one Congressional session, if not the entire unexpired term.

      And, JFTR, the notion of allowing departing Senators to name their own replacements is, IMO an extraordinarily bad idea. Even if that is the result the system produces in any case.  The notion of democracy necessitate the involvement of the populace at as many levels as possible: Gubernatorial appointment may not be the ideal, but at least it acts as some sort of defense against nepotism, self-dealing and/or dynasty-formation.        

  •  What? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle, jxg, klamothe

    frequently touted presidential candidate

    Have these touters ever met Cuomo? He's not a very nice guy.

    I trust Barack Obama.

    by MBNYC on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 08:04:56 AM PST

    •  I suppose the touter was Cuomo heh (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SadEagle, Jay C, MBNYC

      I listen to a public radio station based in Albany, including a show called "The Media Project".  It combines media analysis and commentary with more than a little bit of snark.  At one point on one episode, Cuomo's name came up, apparently during a discussion about the Clinton administration.  One of the hosts mentioned Cuomo's rank in the line of succession as HUD secretary (13th? 16th? can't remember), and added "and don't think he didn't know it."

      Mario and Andrew Cuomo both have enormous egos, but they have done generally good things for New York state (the Myspace thing aside).

      -7.13, -6.97 Does Joe Lieberman have some dirt on Senate Democrats? Embarrassing pictures?

      by klamothe on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:00:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like Caroline. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, alba, Egalitare

    My Mom use to say that Caroline would be the first woman POTUS.  Mom may have been prescient.

    A couple Senate terms & Caroline for POTUS might be a winner.

    I really like her.  She has the no drama appeal, and she's a work horse with show horse appeal.

    All that, & she's my sentimental favorite too.

  •  Primogeniture (0+ / 0-)

    The founders didn't look kindly upon the eldest son inheriting a all family's fortune(primogeniture). It promoted aristocracy.I think we might say we have a primogeniture log jam in New York Democratic politics.

  •  Glad that Vasquez is Gone (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, SadEagle, alba, Egalitare

    She's my Rep for my district and I couldn't stand her. She made the horrible remarks during the primary, that Obama wouldn't win Latinos and Gov. Richardson's endorsement was meaningless.

    •  She also doesn't represent her district (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare

      in any way shape or form that I have ever seen.  

      I was at one of her small business fundraisers back around 2002 (when she was chair of the small business subcommittee) and she was talking about ending the death tax!  Bet she never gave a speech like that in Williamsburg.

      I also don't recall her knowing a thing about transgas or the waterfront rezoning - she just showed up at hearings and gave generic talking points.

      Try to make the Democratic party the party that you think it should be - but not at the cost of losing.

      by Matty NYC on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 08:57:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What are possibilities of ousting her? (0+ / 0-)

        Until I read your response I wasn't sure how popular she was here. I think it's time that we had someone here who represented better the diverse and changing district.

        •  Not good (0+ / 0-)

          North Brooklyn has no bench, and Nydia remains popular for who she is, not what she does.

          You would need a dynamic latino candidate who could raise money, and I certainly don't know of anyone.

          Try to make the Democratic party the party that you think it should be - but not at the cost of losing.

          by Matty NYC on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 07:45:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Councilwoman Letitia James for Senate (0+ / 0-)

    Councilwoman Letitia James for Senate. the best choice!

  •  At least Cuomo has been elected (0+ / 0-)

    Caroline Kennedy has not been elected to any office; I don't think she's even run for one.

    Elected officials really should be top priority at this point.  It's bad enough that the new senator has to be appointed (albeit only until 2010); to have someone who has never had to go through the rigors of a campaign smacks of favoritism, especially in light of the Blogojevich scandal.

    I'm not necessarily saying it has to be Cuomo, but it really has to be an elected official.

    -7.13, -6.97 Does Joe Lieberman have some dirt on Senate Democrats? Embarrassing pictures?

    by klamothe on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 08:51:21 AM PST

  •  Higgins, Brown (0+ / 0-)

    Anyone appointed from Western New York will lose in the first primary s/he faces.

  •  Bad news for New Yorkers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadEagle

    We have a long and dishonorable tradition of dreadful Senators, most prominently the odiously corrupt and blatantly mob-connected Alfonse D'Amato. Things were better recently, as Hillary for all her faults as a Presidential candidate has been a remarkably effective and diligent junior Senator, which makes it almost depressing for New Yorkers that she's being snatched for Secretary of State.

    I score Chuck Schumer far lower; for all his success in raising money for Democratic Senate candidates, he has been a loyal servant of the financial 'industry' responsible for the world-wide depression bearing down on us all. His defense of taxing the billion dollar "bonuses" of hedge fund managers at low dividend rates was and remains simply obscene. Even now he diligently defends the interests of the grotesquely wealthy clowns who brought this economic catastrophe down on our heads.

    Andrew Cuomo is a smart and capable guy. Unfortunately he is an arrogant grandstanding microphone hog who behaves way, way too much like Elliot Spitzer for my tastes. And Caroline Kennedy? I see her as a completely untested, sheltered hot-house flower who is quite likely to wither and flee under the fire of the rabid right.

    God help us all.

  •  I'll be voting straight Republican for all higher (0+ / 0-)

    offices in New York from now on if Kennedy gets that seat.

    I'll vote Dem for Rep, but GOP for governor and senate.

    I've talked to a lot of local Dems in WNY who feel the same way.

    The Western NY/NYC issues have just reached the tipping point when, under Paterson's administration, the Western contingent lost all representation at the top when Democrat Stachowski was stripped of his chairmanship. Given the state's voting past, it probably won't make a difference for Senate though it could make a difference for the governorship.

    Too bad Spitzer screwed up. He was 10x better than anyone in this inbred Democratic Party.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:23:36 AM PST

    •  Stachowski may be back in chair... (0+ / 0-)

      ... or minority ranking member, anyway. The deal is off.

      Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say... (from "Creatures of Light and Darkness", R. Zelazny)

      by SadEagle on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:34:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, when did this come down? (0+ / 0-)

        Please do tell.

        That one relevant piece of news will have me voting entirely Dem again.

        There hasn't been anything reported about this in the press.

        Also, he's in the majority so I don't know about the second part.

        Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

        by upstate NY on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:25:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some links below (0+ / 0-)

          And majority part is iffy --- remember, the situation is
          that 3 "Democrats" are threatening to caucus with GOP if they don't get what they want (wonder if they really want to run like that?). Malcolm Smith first agreed to their ridiculous terms, which included screwing over Stachowsky,
          and then apparently backed down when the rest of the caucus balked.

          http://www.thealbanyproject.com/...
          http://www.thealbanyproject.com/...

          Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say... (from "Creatures of Light and Darkness", R. Zelazny)

          by SadEagle on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:37:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for that. (0+ / 0-)

            I have to bookmark some new blogs.

            I would note that even the Gay Advocacy Groups were saying they would start to vote Republican because of the deal with the three thugs.

            Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

            by upstate NY on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:43:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Silly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      So you would vote for Rudy "9/11" Giuliani over Caroline Kennedy?  What if she turns out to be a good competent senator?

      I think temperament and intelligence are the things to look for - she seems to have both in large quantities.  

      Another thing about her having a family legacy is that she knows how to handle herself in the spotlight.

      •  Read the links above. (0+ / 0-)

        The Democratic leadership of this state has just completely ignored two of their most important base supporters, the gay rights movement and upstate Democrats.

        Are you aware that Sen Malcolm Smith gave a key leadership position to a fundamentalist preacher who threatened to side with the Republicans? Soonafter, the pracher announced to the media that the gay rights movement in new York was dead. The gay advocacy groups then announced they'd be supporting the GOP in New York. He then gave another of the "thugs" the only leadership position (out of 10 in the state) still held by an upstater. Then this morning Paterson put forth a budget that is again tilted heavily toward NYC and suburbs.

        Upstate Democrats are now forming a caucus with Republicans that will be place priority on upstate issues over party issues. So, while we'll vote Democrat for local leaders, we're sending a message to NYC Democrats that they cannot take our vote for granted. Kennedy is a NYC Democrat.

        Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

        by upstate NY on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 11:23:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If You Are Under a Certain Age (0+ / 0-)

    You likely will not have the same feeling about JFK's daughter joining her uncle Ted in the Senate as those who lived through the 60's. You can pooh it all you want. Ask your grandma what she thinks.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:24:37 AM PST

  •  And Kennedy's qualifications are....??? (0+ / 0-)

    And what, exactly, are Caroline Kennedy's qualifications for being a Senator, other than being a Kennedy???  Enough with the dynasties already.

    •  Name Recognition and the ability to raise cash (0+ / 0-)

      Piles of it, in fact. Are there questions about other aspects? Sure, but we are staring at elections in 2010 and 2012. Likely being a well funded candidate is a very real asset for Ms. Kennedy.

    •  Smart, well-mannered, well-connected, well-liked, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Egalitare

      attractive, and a person who has handled the media extremely well. Her family legacy probably gives her a 5 to 10-point edge going into any election. She will have a lot more power than the average freshman senator because of her star appeal.

      Other than that I agree with you.

  •  Caroline Kennedy is a ridiculous choice (0+ / 0-)

    She knows nothing about governance. Her only claim to fame is that she is a celebrity, and part of America's "royal" family. That's it! Royalty is antithetical to this nation's values. And we need competent Democrats in the Senate to support President Obama at this hour of crisis. There are so many competent leaders anong NY Reps, County Execs and Mayors. It is disgraceful that Kennedy would even be considered for this critical role. She isn't a princess. She needs to earn it.

  •  Mere Mortals (0+ / 0-)
    Maybe New Yorkers don't want mere mortals ;)

    Stephanie Dray
    of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

    by stephdray on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 10:53:20 AM PST

  •  None. (0+ / 0-)

    2 out of 100 Senators from the same family?  It's ridiculous on its face.

    Don't tell me about the "new politics" if you're an asshole.

    by Ms Johnson on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 02:30:04 PM PST

  •  I'm older, have been thinking about this a lot: (0+ / 0-)

    considering the newest Pelosi/Reid stupidity or worse (for the loophole they let Bush put in at last minute in re bailout), I don't think Caroline Kennedy being appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat for 2 years is a bad thing.  While many are upset about her not being voted in, I look at it from this perspective:

    My father, volunteered for WWII and came out disabled,and died , right after my 10th birthday (after having spent a whole lot of time in VA hospitals).  I was a young adult when JFK was murdered.  I think if Caroline wants to spend 2 years in the Senate, from my state, let her have it.  I really was surprised to hear that she was interested.  To me, it's part payment of an IOU from the USA.  I am not a fan of celebrity or "royalty", just a woman who grew up without my father.

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