I am frankly nauseated that Caroline Kennedy may be our (New York’s) next senator. Maybe I should not be so upset. After all, if Democrats can elect a president with no executive experience, why not appoint a senator who lacks legislative experience?
Roland Dodds (But I am a Liberal!) expresses opinions quite close to my own:
There are few things that disgust me like the reverence many Americans hold for the Kennedy household. I see nothing inherently wrong with claiming JFK was a good President (an average President in my assessment), or that liberals may feel Bobby Kennedy would have been an excellent president if he were not assassinated (an unscientific conjecture, but I am willing to let it slide), but to extend this benevolence to anyone associated with the family’s lineage is the most appalling form of nepotism Democrats readily participate in.
We have yet another Kennedy (this time it’s Caroline) looking to capitalize on her namesake, and she looks posed to take Clinton’s senate seat when she departs to be Obama’s Secretary of State.
The fact that she is even being considered for the position over qualified civil servants should disgust any American, but that doesn’t begin to repulse me. Forget that she has little experience doing anything of significance (let alone legislative experience), and that she has only been heavily involved in a number of duties that revolve around glorifying the family’s name (like standing as President of the JFK library). I can also excuse the reason she was brought into the political center stage: the Obama campaign wanted to incorporate the populace’s romanticism of America’s Camelot into electoral victory for their candidate. A shrewd but wretched political move, but so goes an American election.
Ross Douhat (The Atlantic) notes:
Caroline Kennedy is no doubt more prepared – in terms of her base of knowledge about national politics, her comfort with the ways of Washington, etc. – to be a United States Senator than Sarah Palin was to be Vice President. But if you consider where the two women started and stack their subsequent accomplishments against one another, Palin’s Alaskan career is roughly six times more impressive than Kennedy’s years as a high-minded Manhattan socialite and custodian of her family’s good name. That doesn’t mean that McCain was wise to pick Palin as his running mate. But if you think he wasn’t, then you should definitely hope that the Democratic Party of New York hunts a little longer through its ranks before handing a Senate seat to the editor of The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Eric Trager (Contentions) suggests city councilman John Liu is a better pick for the position:
Having represented parts of northeast Queens since 2002, Liu would be an intriguing choice for a number of reasons. First, as chair of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation, Liu would bring appropriate experience for working with the incoming Obama administration on improving domestic infrastructure. Second, Liu has demonstrated laudable political independence. In October, he was among the minority of councilmen who voted against extending term limits for city offices, including his own. Finally, having emigrated from Taiwan when he was five years old, Liu would be the first Asian-American to serve in a statewide office. His appointment would therefore widen political opportunities for one of New York’s largest – and often overlooked – minority groups.
Most importantly, putting Liu on the “short list” of possible Senate replacements would delay plans for the next Kennedy coronation. It would force Governor Paterson to choose between a respected councilman who has been hard at work serving his constituents for the past six years, and a presidential daughter who has conspicuously dropped “Schlossberg” from her last name.
Councilman Liu is an excellent choice. He had my respect when I was living in Queens and it has only increased over time. I really appreciated the way he stood up to Mayor Bloomberg and many of his fellow council members regarding term limits.
If you happen to live in New York (even if you don’t) and would like to express your opinion contact Governor Patterson:
Phone (518) 474-8390
To email the governor click here.