Ah, another day another anti-Caroline Kennedy diary on the frontpage of Kos. You would think with the attention given to the NY Senate appointment that this is the most important thing that will happen next year when a Democratic Administration takes over. Who cares about leaving Iraq, getting UHC or Card-Check Neutrality, as long as that women with the elitist name, and all the nerve in the world is not allowed to serve in the United States Senate.
We have heard a lot of what many people believe are CK's shortcomings on the front page here. It comes as a huge surprise to me, because she was a sweetheart to the frontpage Obama supporters when she endorsed him in the primary. Man, I sure would hate to go to war with folks with that short of a memory!!
With all this talk about why she should not be appointed, I thought we might look at some of the good Caroline Kennedy could bring.
First, that dreaded name. Now, I realize that not every Democrat views the name Kennedy the same. That family's legacy speaks for itself, and nothing I can say will change anyone's mind. However, as history students such as myself know, the Kennedy's have always driven their children to do more despite their status, and much has always been expected of them. It has led them to excel, as well it could Caroline Kennedy. She summed it up nicely herself:
"In our family in particular there is a sense we have to work twice as hard — people have this perception, and we are fortunate," Ms. Kennedy said. "But I think it’s a question what you do with that opportunity."
So, just by birthright Caroline Kennedy brings two of the most essential ingredients in politics with the system we have created to the table, name recognition and money. I mean, in Kentucky more popular Democrats were forced out of the Senate race this year for a candidate who had more money. It is funny to me how some of the same people harped on who had the most money in the primary, but now think that money and name recognition should not be considered.
Like it or not, if Caroline Kennedy gets appointed she will be in an awesome position to raise money and easily win this seat back in two years. And for those so vehemently opposed to her, they need only wait the two years to work, contribute and vote against her if they live in New York. Also, a Caroline Kennedy appointment will insure that a woman gets to hold the Senate seat vacated by another woman, Hillary Clinton.
But despite money and name recognition, Caroline Kennedy brings an outsider's perspective to Washington. She only realized that she has the desire to serve in public capacity by campaigning for Barack Obama:
She said that the Sept. 11 attacks made her want to give more to the city, but that she began to seriously consider public office only after campaigning for Barack Obama. She said she had talked to people across the country about their problems. "I thought, ‘What can I do now?’ and when this opportunity came along it seemed like, you know, I really ought to give it some thought."
To those who question her readiness, she offered this in her defense:
Ms. Kennedy, 51, said her experiences as a mother and writer, as well as her work as a fund-raiser for New York City schools, had prepared her to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to be confirmed as secretary of state next year. But she conceded that she faced hard questions about her readiness.
Now, I beg any of the frontpagers here to take up a copy of the Constitution and tell exactly what requisite for a Senator that Caroline Kennedy does not meet. Just because she is rich and has a famous name does not disqualify her. The fact of the matter is that she has shown a lot more respect to the process than has been shown to her:
She said Friday that she had been reluctant to appear to be campaigning for the job because Clinton's replacement would be appointed, not elected.
"I was trying to respect the process. It is not a campaign," she said.
She also said she believes her approach has been "misinterpreted."
"If I were to be selected," she said, "I understand that public servants have to be accessible."
She has also shown that she has a firm grasp on what she wants to accomplish in the Senate:
She said that if appointed senator next year by Gov. David A. Paterson, she would focus on securing economic aid for the state, overhauling the nation’s health care system, and school issues.
I for one think this lady has her head screwed on straight, and would very much welcome another voice for UHC in the Senate. With the DLC apparently in control of the new Administration, we will need every one we can get.
Either way, a Senator will be appointed by the Governor of New York next year. Whether it is Caroline Kennedy or not, I believe she is every bit as much qualified to hold a Senate seat as any sitting Senator we have, and the obsession with derailing her is looking increasingly self-serving and childish.