Not A Fan, But Come On

I am not really a fan of Caroline Kennedy, and not because I have some reason to dislike her, but because I simply know very little about her, but I have to say I have found the pile-on against her the last few weeks to be really quite distasteful. Another snippy piece in the NY Post today (Guess what? She is rich! Imagine that! A rich Kennedy!) reminded me of all the anti-Caroline pieces I have seen in the progressive blogosphere lately, and for the life of me, I can’t understand it.

I can understand and support some of the criticisms against her, but there seems to be a real mean-spiritedness directed towards her (and again, maybe that is just me reading into things). Every interview she gives is dissected, stripped of context, and played in the most negative light possible, and every thing she says or does is portrayed as if she has some nasty ulterior motive. From where I sit, she has not spent her entire adult life constantly mugging for cameras, she has not killed a campaign worker, she has not been arrested for drunk driving, and she has not pushed a bunch of execrable bullshit about autism. All she seems to have done is quietly go about her business, do solid charity work, and keep a low profile.

Yet for reasons I can not yet ascertain, she is the Kennedy everyone seems comfortable dumping on. Maybe I am just reading into things, or, as we all know I am prone to do- looking at things through my own bizarre filter, but it sure seems like a lot of unfair stuff is being chucked at her. The only thing I can think is maybe Clinton partisans who can’t let go are getting their payback at the Kennedy clan for their support of Obama.

And again, I really don’t care who the next Senator from New York will be, and truly have no dog in this fight. It will be a Democrat. Beyond that, I am grossly indifferent.

*** Update ***

Ok. Not alone. More here.






124 replies
  1. 1
    Incertus says:

    Not only don’t I get it, I don’t get why anyone outside the state of New York cares or ought to. She’ll be their Senator, not mine. Even if she’s a total disaster, she won’t come close to being the worst Senator in there, not as long as either Bill or Ben Nelson are Democrats, or as long as practically any of the Republicans hold office.

  2. 2
    The Other Steve says:

    The only thing I can think is maybe Clinton partisans who can’t let go are getting their payback at the Kennedy clan for their support of Obama.

    Bing bing bing! We have a winner.

    I really don’t care one way or another. I say give it to Eliot Spitzer.

  3. 3
    satby says:

    And again, I really don’t care who the next Senator from New York will be, and truly have no dog in this fight. It will be a Democrat. Beyond that, I am grossly indifferent.

    I don’t either, but anyone who co-authored a couple of books on the bill of rights and the right to privacy has a couple of qualifications I wish the current bunch of Senators had.

  4. 4
    Funkula says:

    Personally, I’m rooting for Harriet Christian, whose qualifications can be found here. And yes, this appears to be a serious campaign. I’d like to see her in there, much as I liked Jim Traficant’s tenure in the House.

  5. 5
    bleh says:

    Well, as a Democrat from New York, I sorta DO care, since she’ll be one of the two in there grabbing for a share of the pie for us. And I’m afraid I’m not convinced she’s up to the job.

    Yes, she seems reasonably smart, and she’s certainly done some Good Things, but she’s not a public person. She hasn’t run for office, she hasn’t been the front-person for an organization, and she reacts negatively to softball questions about her feelings and motivations.

    I kinda feel like being a politician, as distasteful a profession as that might seem to some, is sort of a requirement for being a U.S. Senator. And she really doesn’t seem at all like a politician.

    There are a lot of capable people in New York. I just don’t see how being a Kennedy moves her to the head of the line. And the rush to do that makes this feel more like a hasty coronation than a considered Senatorial appointment.

  6. 6
    woody says:

    I really don’t care one way or another. I say give it to Eliot Spitzer.

    Speaking of "Bing-bing-bing-bing…" The best possible choice! His vices are already known.

  7. 7
    ed says:

    Fuck royalty!

  8. 8
    JR says:

    I think it’s misdirected anger at her Uncle Ted. They can’t hate on him anymore because he’s sick.

  9. 9
    MattF says:

    It’s true that Caroline Kennedy’s one actual political act, supporting Obama early, was a good one. But I still think that the people of NY would be better served by a real politician. And Kennedy just has to deal with the not-so-warm reception she’s getting from some quarters– as a real politician once put it, politics ain’t beanbag.

  10. 10
    Laura W says:

    I think age (and puppies) is softening you John. It’s a good thang.
    Was it precious Mika who just this morning read a statement by Caroline with several "you knows" in it, on camera, to be mocked commented upon by someone on panel?
    Because there is no one in the country more mock-worthy for their speech patterns, and mono-syllabic, idiotic, repetitive, nonsensical utterances, than Mika.
    ppppppfffffffffffttttttttttt

  11. 11
    southpaw says:

    I’m also from NY and it’s pretty clear to me that John’s hunch is right. Was Valerie Jarrett obviously unacceptable in Illinois? Was David Plouffe out of the question in Delaware? No.

    (Come to think of it, I don’t see anyone complaining that the shmo Biden staffer who got the nod in DE has kept too low a profile for people to be confident of his gumption.)

    The difference here is that this is Hillary’s seat. That it will go to someone with a relatively low public profile is basically guaranteed. Whether it will go to someone who publicly supported Barack Obama in the primary remains an open question.

  12. 12
    Tomk says:

    I don’t like Kennedy because I don’t want royality getting coronated in 21st century America. If appointed, her loyalty isn’t to the people. It’s not her, royality is offensive.

  13. 13
    aimai says:

    I think the pile on is bad, and I like Digby’s take on it today. But I also think the popular sentiment anti CK is based on the fact that she and her team ran this thing as a coronation and a return to power of a lost heir. The media played that angle up and then when that turned out not to be as effective a moneymaker as attacking her for incompetence and grandiosity they turned to that storyline. But both work because both are "true"–she did come out of nowhere, not having prepared the ground, not prepared for a true run for the job, expecting to be crowned ritually. In a democracy you are naturally (or you ought naturally) to get some blowback and some serious snark for those presumptions.

    Me, I’d like it if she was a raving tearing democratic radical and she said up front "look, with hillary stepping down I’m excited to have a chance to maybe get in there and fight hard for things that ordinary politicians who come up the hard way sometimes can’t fight for. If you want the things I want–and here they are–then phone patterson and ask him to appoint me. Because these things are so radical and take so much struggle that they are usually the first thing left behind in bruising primary and general election." As steve martin used to say "now you’ve got *me* excited." But she didn’t say that, and now the moment has passed.

    But at any rate the only reason to tolerate a hereditary ruling class in a democracy is that sometimes elites are the only people who can afford to be truly radical without compromise. If they can’t offer that, then screw ’em.

    aimai

  14. 14
    The Moar You Know says:

    @ed: I’m confused. What is her title again?

  15. 15
    Cyrus says:

    The only thing that bugs me about this is all the comparisons between Caroline Kennedy and Sarah Palin in blogs and political cartoons and the news. (Boilerplate: I don’t like dynasticism in politics and I don’t have any particular reason to favor Kennedy for this.) It’s lazy commentary, based on only a superficial similarity. Just because it would make liberals look dumb if they were accepting of a flaw their own candidate that they criticized in the other party’s candidate… doesn’t mean it’s actually happening.

    Yeah, they both have short records in public life. But inexperience was just the beginning of problems with Palin and I don’t remember anyone saying otherwise. She was an incoherent moronic wingnut with a penchant for demogoguery, and that would have been the case whether she had been governor of Alaska for two years or 22. The fact that the McCain campaign had made a big deal about experience until half an hour before she was announced was icing on the cake. Again, I don’t particularly care about Kennedy, but any equivalence between her and Palin diminishes the many valid criticisms of Palin.

  16. 16
    Frank says:

    I think some of it may be a reaction to the sense of entitlement that accompanied the first floating of her name. We lefties tend to react negatively to persons with a sense of entitlement based on nothing much in the way of accomplishment.

    Then there is also the tendency of Democrats to eat their young.

    At the same time, this story comparing her to an average woman reentering the job market after a taking time off to raise children was from fantasy land.

  17. 17
    John S. says:

    @Incertus:

    Brace for it my Floridian friend.

    Not only will we be forced to endure another term of the incredibly suckish Bill Nelson, but we may have another Bush on our hands soon. I know it’s early, but the only serious Dem contender for Martinez’s seat seems to be Alex Sink, and I’m not sure she takes across the finish line (nevermind the fact that she’s a ‘centrist’ like Nelson).

    I miss Bob Graham.

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    and again, maybe that is just me reading into things the fucking NY fucking POST!

    caveat emptor, carpe diem, semper fi, or whatever that latin phrase for "it’s the fucking NY "Is Bush better than Jesus, or better than Jesus and Pop-Tarts?" Post fer chrissakes, dumbass" that fits here.

  19. 19
    C says:

    At this point I really feel like the intra-Democratic squabbles are family business, and the republican / concern troll media can just butt out of "my" business and stop faux-caring.

    There are plenty of legit reasons for concern, but I to some extent agree that the dogpile is not out of proper concern but artifice, the usual media dogpile that belongs to discussion of dead babies or other tabloidery.

  20. 20
    Dork says:

    She lost a bro, yo, but that’s no go for a d-low shrill to mill on the Hill for the Hill.

  21. 21
    Corvus says:

    aimai, CK supports gay marriage and the EFCA, probably about the two most far-out-there issues that need support that I can think of. Any politicians holding positions to the left of those probably doesn’t even have a chance of being appointed. So I think CK actually fulfills the terms upon which you think she should be acceptable rather well.

    Also, New York having a senator not being beholden to Wall Street would be very nice.

  22. 22
    NickM says:

    Aimai, as so often, gets it right in my view (at #13 above).

  23. 23
    Tim Fuller says:

    Palin is the political equivalent to Kennedy in the same way as Intelligent Design is to Evolution for the wingnut science sector.

    Enjoy.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    All of this stupid coming from the stupid in both parties tells me that she could be the best person for the job.

  25. 25

    I think some of it may be a reaction to the sense of entitlement that accompanied the first floating of her name.

    I confess I haven’t been paying that much attention, but is it Kennedy herself who gave off this sense of entitlement? Any quotes anyone can point out for me?

    I’m a little baffled by the whole thing, really. Both the fact that she was suddenly touted as the front runner and the sudden vicious backlash before I’d even heard a word come out of her mouth.

    She lost a bro, yo, but that’s no go for a d-low shrill to mill on the Hill for the Hill.

    Now who can argue with that?

  26. 26
    sparky says:

    @John S.: i can’t really see jeb making it back. too many people think the crash is his fault.

    and as a former ny voter, perhaps CK wouldn’t be bad, but since she has ZERO experience and has not shown any gift for politicking or any other talent, that’s not a good reason for appointing her unless everyone else in the state is worse. and i just don’t think that’s the case. so i’m a’gin her.

  27. 27
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    What you said.

    Which comes full circle to the Hillbot revenge factor, at least for dems. Wingnuts hate the Kennedy’s because they can and want to, except when concern trolling during election season against current dem candidates, that are all inadequate lieberal pussy’s compared to JFK. And when said campaign is over then JFK again becomes the biggest lieberal pussy of all.

  28. 28

    Yet for reasons I can not yet ascertain, she is the Kennedy everyone seems comfortable dumping on.

    She’s the only one left.

  29. 29
    Brian J says:

    I can understand and support some of the criticisms against her, but there seems to be a real mean-spiritedness directed towards her (and again, maybe that is just me reading into things). Every interview she gives is dissected, stripped of context, and played in the most negative light possible, and every thing she says or does is portrayed as if she has some nasty ulterior motive.

    Maybe it’s a Hillary Clinton thing, in that any sort of Democrat who replaces her in any role she has ever had is subjected to the same sort of treatment.

    Seriously though, I’m not sure what to think, and I have a more vested interest in this than most, as I live in New York. She doesn’t seem particularly suited to the job, but then, who does? She also doesn’t seem objectionable. In other words, she seems acceptable, but not in the sense that I’d make a push for her if I was in a position of power.

    No matter what your opinion of her is, I think this is a good reason to support replacement elections, as opposed to political appointments. I also think that if people are really bothered by it, they should just shut the fuck up if it happens, because there will be an easy chance to knock her off in a few years. It’s not like she’s being crowned or something.

  30. 30
    AK says:

    John, I am with you on this one. I really don’t understand the pile on. I don’t know anything about her aside from her being the daughter of our former president and being a part of "Camelot."

    I am not entirely convinced that Ms. Kennedy believes that she should be "crowned" anything, but according to the so-called progressive voices of the blogosphere, that’s exactly what Kennedy wants. How they figured that one out, I don’t know.

    No more dynasties, is the chant! Well, in my view, if she turns out to be the best candidate for the citizens of New York, why not install her? If she is favored by the constituents that she will be serving, why should anyone living in California or Florida even give a shit? It’s rather disturbing, especially when the liberal blogosphere marches in lock-step, condemning this woman simply for seeking office.

    Like you said, John, this is a woman who hasn’t lived in the spotlight and has went about her life doing what she does quietly. I am truly disturbed the the level of animosity that has been thrown at her. Did she set somebody’s house ablaze? Does he harbor secret racist views? Is she pro-Hamas? What gives here?

  31. 31
    TenguPhule says:

    but since she has ZERO experience and has not shown any gift for politicking

    For NY Senators, this could be considered an achievement.

  32. 32

    but since she has ZERO experience and has not shown any gift for politicking

    Well, but her cousin tossed those objections to the curb. The retort was woman, money. And woman. And money. Did we mention, she is a woman? It’s important that the seat go to a woman, it was won by a woman last time, we can’t lose the seat to a non-woman. And money!

    Don’t forget the money, and also, woman.

  33. 33
    dewberry says:

    I think she’d be better than a lot of existing Senators. I don’t know if New York can do better–but it seems like when your Senator can attract oodles of media attention, get primo staffers, and generate enthusiasm for your state’s issues, it’s a good thing for your state.

    I think right now she’s in a damned-either-way spot. Either she politics for the seat or she sits back and waits. Both tactics lead to criticism. But, as Fred Thompson and Rudy Guiliani and the Newtster found out, you can’t expect people to come around drafting you and do all the work for you. You have to prove that you want it. I think she’s trying to do that with her recent efforts.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    Hmmm…

    I can understand and support some of the criticisms against her, but there seems to be a real mean-spiritedness directed towards her (and again, maybe that is just me reading into things). Every interview she gives is dissected, stripped of context, and played in the most negative light possible, and every thing she says or does is portrayed as if she has some nasty ulterior motive.

    Not sure why this sounds so familiar. Almost as if you’re talking about someone else…

  35. 35
    Zifnab says:

    caveat emptor, carpe diem, semper fi, or whatever that latin phrase for "it’s the fucking NY "Is Bush better than Jesus, or better than Jesus and Pop-Tarts?" Post fer chrissakes, dumbass" that fits here.

    Yeah, I can’t help but notice that its the same "liberal" media which spent the last six months fawning over Sarah Palin and the last 8 years cod polishing the current sitting President that continues to raise questions of dynasty and political experience.

    As a liberal, I’m not thrilled with the idea that Caroline gets the seat because she’s got a very Democrat last name. And let’s get real, this is the only reason she’s even in the running.

    But I’m not the one stating my opinion in dozens of major newspaper columns or across the length and width of the cable news circuit. Caroline has become the media punching bag because Obama’s jujitsu is just too smooth. The GOPers need to reawaken the animus against the Dem party and they’ve got a historically thin playbook. Fortunately for them, "beating up on the Kennedys" is one play they still know how to run.

    Caroline isn’t going to get judged on her merits – at least in the public media – any more than Obama or Biden or Clinton or Edwards or Franken or Ted Kennedy or Pelosi or Emmanuel or Barney Frank were when they came up for reelection two months ago. It’s open season on Dems, as usual.

    And, seriously, the NY Post? Why not tell us Gingrich’s take on all of this, because I’m interested in how the other non-partisans feel. :-p

  36. 36
    Shinobi says:

    Um, I, think that CK should like, take, you know, um, a speech class?

    I mean might be, a decent politician but you know, but can’t tell, because I mean, she sounds like, you know, a 15 year old.

  37. 37
    Mike says:

    It’s not just Democrats piling on. My favorite is Ross Douthat, who’s oh-so-conflicted about Bush and Cheney’s guilt for torture, but has no trouble getting his hate on for Caroline.

  38. 38
    Mike says:

    OK, having seen Caroline tell those Times reporters what douchebags they are, I’m now a fan.

  39. 39
    north_aufzoo says:

    I definitely like Caroline more since her "woman’s magazine" crack, but her potential appointment feels a bit too much like "loyal Bushie" culture for my comfort. Is the seat supposed to be payback for her early endorsement of Obama? Will Caroline be someone who will be an independent voice that can speak truth to power w/r/t the Obama administration? Or will she just be another enabler, in good times and bad? I need to see evidence that this isn’t an echo of Bush-era cronyism. For Obama to be an effective president, he’s going to need Democrats in Congress who can provide him with constructive criticism and don’t feel the need to pay fealty to him. In my ideal Senate, I would take an underqualified Franken over an underqualified Kennedy any day.

  40. 40
    John S. says:

    @Sparky:

    From your mouth to the voters ears. Unfortunately:

    1) Two years is an enternity in politics, and voters’ memories tend to be short.

    2) Your average voter does not know about Jeb’s little financial maneuvers.

    3) Florida loves it some good ol’ boy politicians – even the fake ones like Jeb!

    If we can overcome 2 of these 3 things, then all should be well in the sunshine state.

  41. 41
    srv says:

    I look forward to John’s defense of Jeb in 2012.

  42. 42
    HyperIon says:

    I don’t get the allegation of piling on. I have seen pieces for and against. Some of the pieces for have been really stupid. Ruth Marcus’s WaPo piece a few weeks ago (i think it was her) used the Disney movie metaphor, dreams come true, etc.

    The pieces I have read against do not seem like piling on. Mostly they just make Zifnab’s point: it’s all about her last name. Krauthammer (ugh) had a clever line: Camelot is Not a State.

    If she wants to be in the senate, she should run for it.

    Because the cable news outlet have lots of talking heads that have to spew something, I don’t doubt they are "piling on". But that’s what they do to ANY topic under discussion. Wright, fist-bumps, Spitzer: repeat the same BS over and over. Someone watching might get the impression that cable news actually reflects reality. That’s why I don’t watch commercial cable news.

  43. 43

    I live in NY and I say "no". Not so much the royalty aspect, but, as someone somewhere else pointed out, she didn’t lift a finger to help Dems (other than toss them a few bucks)during the Bush years until Obama came along. In a state with so many talented politicians (Nadler anyone?), she should not get that seat.

  44. 44
    Rosali says:

    Can someone explain to me why CK is more qualified than NY Atty General Andrew Cuomo ?

  45. 45
    HyperIon says:

    @John S.:

    Your average voter does not know about Jeb’s little financial maneuvers.

    My parents still live in Fla. The newspapers there have been all over Jeb’s Lehman Brothers connection. The state pension fund and many community governments have taken a real hit.

    So I gotta go with Sparky on this one. Florida will NEVER elect Jeb Bush to another state-wide office.

  46. 46
    Dork says:

    OT:

    Cronyism, thy name is OSHA

    There appears to be not a single department that Bush did not completely, utterly, yet intentionally fuck up.

  47. 47
    benjoya says:

    The only thing I can think is maybe Clinton partisans who can’t let go are getting their payback at the Kennedy clan for their support of Obama.

    spoken like a true non-NYer. i love teddy, and have very little use for hillary, but i think there are a lot of NYers who could do the job better than CK (or hillary, for that matter)

  48. 48
    PeakVT says:

    Some people are having a hard time differentiating between the bad process argument and the bad person argument. This is definitely a case of the former, regardless of Kennedy’s actual skills, beliefs, personality, and loyalties, all of which may or may not be "good" from a left-ish point of view. That Kennedy would be selected from out of the general public largely on the basis of her last name is really, really bad process because it would be the result of a non-legislated, non-transparent method. (The appointment itself would be legal). Selecting someone who has shown the ability to campaign and legislate or govern would at least make the selection reflective of previous election processes. The whole replacement selection process would have to be changed to a special election before I would call it good.

    So, even if I agreed with her I think appointing her would be wrong. Plus, it would be really bad PR for Democrats – and totally avoidable.

  49. 49
    Geeno says:

    I don’t think CK is getting it. The way it was presented as a fait accompli, like Patterson was only tangentally involved in the decision really grinded his gears. He’s belittled her accomplishments, and almost sneered at reporters asking about her chances. He seems very set against her now. If I were betting, I’d put my money on Andrew Cuomo in spite of having some problems of his own.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    he’s going to need Democrats in Congress who can provide him with constructive criticism and don’t feel the need to pay fealty to him.

    That would be Blue Dog Democrats aka Republican Lite.

  51. 51
    William says:

    "Every interview she gives is dissected, stripped of context, and played in the most negative light possible"

    Yeah, but if you don’t really spell out your policy beliefs
    aren’t you are just leaving it up to the press to spell them out for you? Of course, after the last eight years perhaps I’m being a wee bit touchy because of the whole political dynasty thing.
    Meh…

  52. 52
    WMass says:

    It’s really simple, the only reason she is in line for the job is because her name is Kennedy. Many of us DFH think that we should put people in power because of their accomplishments, not who their Daddy was. So we are pissed at her for demanding a job she does not deserve, pissed at people who think it’s a good idea, and a little embarrassed that our political party still seems to run on nepotism.

  53. 53

    I actually don’t care who the governor picks but I would say CK is a pretty smart pick for several reasons.

    1. She has access to enough funding to run in 2010 for the special election and in 2012 when the seat is up for a full six year term. Whoever gets the nod will have to raise 100+ million over the next four years.

    2. Her funding sources would be outside of normal Dem channels in NY so she would not take money away from local Dems.

    3. Her uncle Ted is probably the most effective legislator in modern Senate history. Who better to have as a mentor in the Senate? I know he won’t be around forever but if she can learn enough from him to jump start her effectiveness as an advocate for her state.

    4. She’ll be one of the most influential Senators because of her personal friendship with the President.

    So, yeah. Fuck royalty. I just hope the anti-CK NY crowd uses a sharp knife while it’s cutting off its collective nose.

  54. 54
    kwAwk says:

    It is amazing how many different things Cole and the commenters here can find to blame on Clinton supporters.

    Lets gets something straight here. The only reason Caroline Kennedy is in contention to take over this Senate seat is that when Hillary ran for Senate in 2000, John Kennedy Jr. stayed out of the race so as to clear the field for Hillary. Now that Hillary is leaving the seat, the favor is being returned, but since John Jr. is dead, they favor is being bestowed upon Caroline.

    The reason for the uproar against Caroline seems to be that the Senate seat from New York is quite a prize, and there are a lot of people who want it, who didn’t have a chance at it the last time it was open. Chuck Shumer is in his late 50s and Caroline Kennedy is in her early 50s, which would seem to mean that if Kennedy is handed this Senate seat, it is quite possible that there will not be another chance at getting this Senate seat for probably 20+ years. Neither Shumer nor Kennedy is at this point considered a candidate for President which probably means they will sit in these seats for the forseeable future.

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    @HyperIon:

    If she wants to be in the senate, she should run for it.

    She got that message and she has become increasingly pervasive in the media and in New York. That’s a good thing.

    Still, her comment that she wouldn’t seek out the seat in 2010 unless it was gift-wrapped for her in 2009 makes her feel like a lukewarm candidate at best. What’s to keep the junior seat in NY from falling to Bloomberg or some other warmed-over Republican if things go south in the next two years?

    It wouldn’t hurt if she had some higher publicized opposition. I’d rather see Caroline beat a state senator in a popularity contest than have the "Caroline" faction beat the "not-Caroline" faction by fiat. At least then NY knows what it passed on.

    Because the cable news outlet have lots of talking heads that have to spew something, I don’t doubt they are "piling on". But that’s what they do to ANY topic under discussion. Wright, fist-bumps, Spitzer: repeat the same BS over and over. Someone watching might get the impression that cable news actually reflects reality. That’s why I don’t watch commercial cable news.

    :-p Can’t blame you there.

  56. 56
    sparky says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: you’re quite right, and so far as i know, the funding argument is really the only one in her favor.

    but–and i think it’s a big but–if i were Paterson, i’d be thinking about Cuomo. if he appoints Cuomo, what’s Caroline gonna do? run against him for gov? maybe throw some cash to Suozzi, but that’s about it.

    the sad thing about this is that there really aren’t any political reporters worth a pair of worn-out shoes any more. if one was around, he or she could at least lay out what was going on, rather than our wind-baggery.

  57. 57
    sparky says:

    ooh–moderation! but me no butts!

  58. 58
    Roza Hussein says:

    I find the whole thing sad

    But more suprised about some of the crap I have read on
    "progressive blogs"

  59. 59
    J. says:

    I’ve got nothing personally against the Kennedys, but I would rather have The Nanny, Fran Drescher, than Caroline Kennedy (ditched the Schlossberg) as junior senator from New York, where I was born and lived for over two decades.

    Forget dynasties, I’m against cronyism, though some cronies are more deserving than others — and hey, that’s politics. But if Caroline’s last name was "Smith" and she wasn’t from a well-known political family and just another fundraiser for Obama, does anyone seriously think she would have gotten this far?

    She may have the makings of a great senator, but there are others equally if not more deserving and capable.

  60. 60
    mak says:

    Top Ten Reasons why New Yorkers should want Caroline Kennedy to be appointed to Hillary’s seat:
    1. She can pick up the phone and get Obama like that.
    2. She’s not a politician (feature, not bug)
    3. Not beholden to Wall Street
    4. Constitutional Scholar
    5. Would piss off Harriet Christian and all her PUMA friends
    6. Not Cuomo, Silver or Israel
    7. Will win in 20 months anyway.
    8. Would help Paterson get reelected.
    9. Gay marriage (not just "civil unions," but marriage)
    10. Cuz Ted wants it for her – good enough for me.

  61. 61
    cyntax says:

    @Laura W:

    Because there is no one in the country more mock-worthy for their speech patterns, and mono-syllabic, idiotic, repetitive, nonsensical utterances, than…

    See and I totally thought we were going for some joke at the expense of ole #43.

  62. 62
    Mocha Dem says:

    It brings to mind the early progressive blog feedback when Obama started to consider his run. Dismissive, condescending, arrogant. I hope it works out for her.

  63. 63
    Screamin' Demon says:

    She’ll be their Senator, not mine.

    Senators make decisions that affect every citizen in this country. I’m in Washington state, and she’d be my senator every bit as much as theirs. I have a right to express my opinion on the matter, the same as anyone in New York who cares to involve themselves in the debate surrounding the use of BLM-administered public land in Idaho. The land doesn’t belong to the government; it belongs to the citizens of the United States of America. And so do Senate seats.

  64. 64
    satby says:

    I’m really not moved by the "anti-dynasty" argument; it only resonates more now because Bush II sucked so bad.
    Politics can be the family business, and no family knows the high price public life can exact better than the Kennedy family. I think it’s the disaster of the Bush years that finally moved a woman who clearly is a private person into offering to serve now.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    dewberry says:

    This whole thing has the feel of the Veepstakes time, when talking heads speculated ad nauseum about who Obama (and McCain) would pick, often without a shred of evidence, but rather just to fill air time.

    In the end, Paterson will pick whichever candidate he prefers, and the rest of us are left out of the process.

    And I get the reasons why some people might be opposed, but I have to tell you, stuck in Texas with BigBadJohn and KayB. as my senators, Caroline Kennedy looks darn good to me.

  67. 67
    Laura W says:

    @cyntax:

    Because there is no one woman in the country more mock-worthy for their speech patterns, and mono-syllabic, idiotic, repetitive, nonsensical utterances, than…

    Quick Fixt!

  68. 68

    Every interview she gives is dissected, stripped of context, and played in the most negative light possible, and every thing she says or does is portrayed as if she has some nasty ulterior motive.

    I thought that was SOP for Dems and the "MSM".

    Or perhaps I’ve been without a television since, oh, 1996?

  69. 69

    @J.: CK has ALWAYS been Kennedy. The Kennedy-Schlossberg thing was a media construct. She did not change her name when she got married.

    If CK’s last name was Smith she would be her cousin. (Remember William Kennedy Smith? Of course, he’s infamous in his own right.)

  70. 70

    @sparky: Since I don’t live in NY I don’t know much about any of them. Cuomo is the other name I read quite a bit but don’t know much about his political skills. Practical considerations are important here, and be able to raise money for reelection is important. That is just a fact, like it or not. Does Cuomo have the financial base to raise that kind of money?

  71. 71

    bleh @ 5:

    I kinda feel like being a politician, as distasteful a profession as that might seem to some, is sort of a requirement for being a U.S. Senator. And she really doesn’t seem at all like a politician.

    With the all the stalls to muck out after the departure of Herr Cowboy and his ilk, I’m easily convinced that we’ve exhausted the capabilities of existing Senatorial "qualifications" – I’m happy to see some seats replaced with people who can think, reason and articulate. Ms Kennedy seems perfectly capable of each*. As well, the next two years will be very busy – many things await the incoming Congress. If she’s ready to get down and boogey, perhaps Paterson ought to consider letting her dance.

    *Not a jab at Senator Clinton – Senator Moynihan was selective in who he thought should stand in his place, and his choice was a benefit to all.

  72. 72
    jon says:

    A child of a President can’t be a Senator in a state that elected the spouse of a President in an environment where the son of a President is President, especially if another President’s brother is a Senator in a state with a shared border, provided of course that someone with another, filial, relationship is serving as a Governor in a non-bordering state of the first child mentioned.

    I think it’s in the Fifth Article of the Constitution. Or Reader’s Digest. But I’m sure it’s somewhere. And there’s a diagram.

  73. 73

    @Laura W: Thank you! Boy, with the Former Cheerleader still in office it really is tough for anyone else to lay claim to the crown.

  74. 74
    Tsulagi says:

    I say give it to Eliot Spitzer.

    Nah, give it to his hooker. Anyone who can get $1,000 hr. has got to have excellent experience and expertise you can count on. Plus, as I recall, she was hot. Maybe she could even wake up the Dems in Congress. All good things.

  75. 75
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    A lot of the criticism of Caroline Kennedy seems mysoginist to me. But I recognize that some of it is the plebe class reflexively bashing the "elites". So add those two together and you get what appears to be a cacaphony of mean-spiritedness.

    I guess it’s easy to find something to dislike about her, if yer so inclined.

  76. 76
    mey says:

    Feels like the PUMAs don’t like the idea of another woman upstaging Hillary. Lefties and DFHs are spending way too much time worrying about the splinter (CK) in one eye and ignoring the giant fucking redwood forest sticking out of the other.

  77. 77

    I don’t give a shit as long as she votes like a Kennedy. The republicans drowned my scruples in their scummy bathtub.

  78. 78
    Rosali says:

    Bristol Palin had her baby. His name is Trip.

  79. 79
    sparky says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: oh, i agree it’s important but perhaps not for the same reasons as you do?
    in 2010, whoever gets the D nomination for senator will win. the same is probably true for the gov. race. so the issue isn’t who can raise money for the party, but who can raise money for specific candidates.
    if CK is appointed, she gets the incumbency in 2010 AND she will have to pony up for Paterson. so that’s a reason for him to go for her. BUT if he does that he might face Cuomo in a challenge in Albany. Kennedy has cash, and can get more, but Cuomo can tap a lot of cash in the state–he’s got more in the way of roots, not to mention cards to play as AG. money is important but it matters a lot more against a hapless candidate (see Arnold v Grey Davis, Bloomberg v Mark Green) than it does against someone polished like Cuomo. putting Cuomo in DC solves a problem for Paterson and puts him in Paterson’s debt (assuming Cuomo wants to go to DC first).
    if it were me, i think i’d kick Cuomo upstairs so’s he’d help with getting elected in 2010 and give CK something else. i think (though this is only a guess) that if Suozzi decides to run, he could clean Paterson’s clock.
    then there’s always the possibility of a US senate primary contest, too, but IMO the likelihood of a challenge to Cuomo or Kennedy is pretty low.

  80. 80
    Laura W says:

    @Rosali: Tripp’s parents plan to marry "soon" and raise him "together".
    Tripp! Stop teasing your Uncle Trig!
    Thud.

  81. 81
    ed says:


    @ed: I’m confused. What is her title again?

    The Duchess of Spoiled, Self-Absorbed, Anointed, Inconceivably Loaded Hyanissportshire.

  82. 82
    sparky says:

    clarification: my point was from inside the state; on the national party level it might play better for CK to be appointed. that means someone in the Obama camp has to lean on Paterson and promise him something. could be the case but i don’t get the sense that they’ve been doing that.

  83. 83
    Zifnab says:

    @satby:

    I’m really not moved by the "anti-dynasty" argument; it only resonates more now because Bush II sucked so bad.

    It’s not the on-its-face-nepotism that bothers me. It’s the fear that you don’t know what you are getting when you just throw a "Kennedy" or a "Bush" into office and hope for the best. Because Bush 43 was NOT Bush 41, no matter how you cut it. And Ted Kennedy is NOT John Kennedy, nor would John Kennedy Jr have been nor would Robert Kennedy have been. These are separate people with unique skills, flaws, and personalities. People have to know what they are buying into. Simply rubber-stamping Caroline "a Kennedy" and giving her the seat before anyone knows her political beliefs might not give us the liberal or the "Kennedy" anyone bargained for, but definitely gives us a Senator with an unhealthy aura of entitlement.

    If Caroline is the right person for the job, I want to see her earn some scars and prove it. Dynasties give us progressively fatter and softer emperors. We don’t need any more puppets or pushovers in the US Senate.

  84. 84
    Zifnab says:

    @Rosali:

    Bristol Palin had her baby. His name is Trip.

    /Facedesk

  85. 85
    habilis says:

    I think Caroline K sounds like a fine person, and I have nothing against her personally. She could probably do an adequate job, though no more so than many people randomly picked off the street. But isn’t there something profoundly, disgustingly anti-democratic about handing one of the most powerful positions in the country to her, based solely on the fact of her birth name?

  86. 86
    rob says:

    @Rosali: isn’t the Trip name already taken by one of the other Palin’s? What is it with these hillbilly Palin’s, and their hillbilly names.

  87. 87
    demimondian says:

    @Rosali:

    BristolSarah Palin had her sixth baby. His name is Trip.

    Fixt for republican family values.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Rosali says:

    Sarah’s kids: Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, Trig
    The next generation: Tripp

  90. 90
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I simply cannot believe that a media that has glibly allowed sons, daughters, brothers, wives etc., to be "annointed" to a post simply because of their genes and or marriage are suddenly growing a set when it comes to Caroline Kennedy. Oh and by the way the endorsements page at Harriet Christians site is priceless for its sheer comedy value. Her main qualification apparently is that her initials are HC. That’s it, she’s our girl! Orange balloons at the ready.

  91. 91
    Rosali says:

    @DougJ: I like that the PJTV conference featuring Joe the Plumber will take place in late Feb. There’s plenty of time for more Joe dirt to surface and for his 15 minutes to be way over.

  92. 92
    JL says:

    It is surprising that talk about Caroline Kennedy being a possible senator is all over the news shows. She would be Senator of New York not the nation. They are still counting votes in Minnesota and Illinois will be without a Senator but the New York seat seems to be taking precedence. Hillary hasn’t resigned yet.

  93. 93
    tomtom says:

    Three reasons to go after Caroline Kennedy:

    1. Anyone who runs for the Senate will be ripped apart. If Caroline Kennedy can’t take it now she can’t take it later and we are best off with someone else.

    2. This is America. We don’t have a king. We like to imagine we are a meritocracy. Dynastic candidates offend our national mythology. We do not achieve equal opportunity for all, but we like to think we try.

    3. Caroline Kennedy seems nice and smart enough, but not special. If we are going to swallow our gorge and have the occasional dynastic candidate let’s limit it to people who are really special. For example Hillary Clinton showed some real stuff, breaking past our natural and justifiable suspicions that the only reason she reached the heights was her marriage. It wasn’t pretty, but it let us know she is the real thing. Let Caroline Kennedy prove our suspicions wrong. Distrust, but verify.

  94. 94
    Original Lee says:

    The baby’s name is: Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston.

    (via Mudflats)

  95. 95
    J. says:

    @ Grand Panjandrum #69:

    Didn’t know it was a media construct. Knew people who did fundraising with her who used her married name, too. Also heard that she was getting divorced. And yes, I know all about William Kennedy Smith and thought about that after I left the comment. Thank you. : )

  96. 96
    Tsulagi says:

    Bristol Palin had her baby. His name is Trip.

    I’m guessing she was thinking "Oops" would have been the most appropriate name, but went with Trip. Obviously Bristol’s at least as clever as her mom and likely more so.

  97. 97
    JWC says:

    I don’t understand the uproar either. And I particularly don’t like the feeling of piling on… She is actually a New York resident, for a change. And I don’t see any reason she would not make a decent Senator.

  98. 98
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    Michelle Malkin.— Zuul

    Joe the Plumber.— Vinz Clortho

    Glenn Reynolds. — The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

    Who’ya gonna call?

  99. 99
    Dave_No_Longer_Laughing says:

    "Every interview she gives is dissected, stripped of context, and played in the most negative light possible, "

    No, it’s not.

    "and every thing she says or does is portrayed as if she has some nasty ulterior motive."

    No, it’s not.

    Watching TV on some other planet, are we…? Or are you watching Sarah Palin reruns? Anyway, Caroline is an easy target and since it bleeds, it leads, so anything she says or does, now, is newsworthy. There are a few folks in the state of New York, like Nita Lowy who’ve been looked over a bit too much for the Senate. As a New Yorker, myself, I think Tom Golisano would make a fine Senator.

  100. 100
    DougJ says:

    I live in NYS and cover politics there semiprofessionally. Democrats will hold both Senate seats in 2010. That is not at issue here.

    Let’s debate Caroline Kennedy’s appointment (which I oppose) with that in mind.

  101. 101
    TenguPhule says:

    Anyway, Caroline is an easy target and since it bleeds, it leads

    But it won’t die after 7 days.

  102. 102
    John Cole says:

    Look- some of you seem to think I want Caroline as Senator. I really don’t care. And again, I can understand some of the concerns- the legacy bit, the royalty bit, the sense of entitlement, the fact she has never held elected office, and the fact that she has really done herself no favors the way she went about this at first.

    That having been said, there just seems to be something about the way people are going after her- as if it is almost personal. It is really weird, and really inexplicable. Maybe I am imagining it. But at least Caroline lives in the damned state.

  103. 103
    eastriver says:

    She’s unqualified for the job.

    Less so than Sarah Palin.

    It’s that easy.

    Get it?

    End of story.

    (Reading any Clintonista crap into it is making it a soap opera, instead of honest criticism.)

  104. 104
    DougJ says:

    That having been said, there just seems to be something about the way people are going after her- as if it is almost personal. It is really weird, and really inexplicable. Maybe I am imagining it.

    You’re not imagining it. It’s weird and it’s personal.

    And I write that as someone who strongly opposes her appointment as Senator.

  105. 105
    John Cole says:

    @DougJ: It just seems vicious and nasty. You would think her name was Bush or Gingrich.

  106. 106
    John Cole says:

    And anyone who says she is less qualified than Sarah Palin is dumber than Sarah Palin.

    Insufficient experience in elected office is not what makes Sarah Palin unqualified. The fact that she is a total fucking moron is what makes her unqualified.

    Take that Gerry Ferraro bullshit elsewhere, please.

  107. 107
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @eastriver:

    I’m pretty sure Caroline Kennedy could give a coherent answer to a foreign policy question without a rehearsal.

  108. 108

    […] Reads” on this topic: John Cole of Balloon Juice; Jammie Wearing Fool (Right); dday of Hullabaloo Sphere: Related Content You Might Enjoy These […]

  109. 109
    Anton Sirius says:

    Al Giordano made the point somewhere in a DKos comment that Kennedy is "one of us" – she’s one of the many who were inspired by Obama to enter/re-enter the political arena and make a renewed commitment to serving their country.

    I’m beginning to think a large part of the anti-Kennedy venom is simply sour grapes that all these n00bs and interlopers (of which Kennedy is simply the most visible example) are crashing the progressive party now that it’s finally coming to life.

  110. 110

    […] 29, 2008 · No Comments John Cole is a little more sympathetic to Kennedy: I can understand and support some of the criticisms against her, but there seems to be a real […]

  111. 111
    OriGuy says:

    @Funkula: There’s a post at Rumproast with some well-constructed snark about the Harriet Christian "candidacy" and the PUMAs.

    I don’t understand "if Caroline wants to be Senator, she should run for it." Whoever becomes Senator will have been appointed; Andrew Cuomo hasn’t run for the office either.

    I’d rather see her as Senator than her cousin, Robert Jr., as director of the EPA. He’s a little too fond of psuedoscience, as Orac discusses. Fortunately, Obama chose otherwise.

  112. 112

    Insufficient experience in elected office is not what makes Sarah Palin unqualified. The fact that she is a total fucking moron is what makes her unqualified.

    Why so angry?

  113. 113
    Chris says:

    "Feels like the PUMAs don’t like the idea of another woman upstaging Hillary. Lefties and DFHs are spending way too much time worrying about the splinter (CK) in one eye and ignoring the giant fucking redwood forest sticking out of the other."

    Are we so unable to multitask?

    If we ignore CK, will Reid and Pelosi suddenly retire and allow actual leadership to take place?

    Please let us know.

  114. 114
    wobbly says:

    I live in upstate New York and have voted in every election held here-general, primary, and schoolboard-since Nixon enfranchised the teenagers.

    I was appalled when carpetbaggers and dynasts Robert F. Kennedy and Hillary R. Clinton used their star power to claim a Senate seat representing me, but was also quite pleased with the way each of them worked so hard to deserve it subsequently.

    Both of them were far and away better than the "natives" Daniel P. Moynihan and Al D’Amato, who represented me for dog years, over my dogged objections.

    I have no problem with Caroline throwing her bonnet into the ring, nor any problem with her being savaged for it.

    This is an interim appointment. If she’s appointed, she’ll have two years to to prove herself, and then it goes to the voters. That’s plenty of time for the natives to come up with one of their own, donate in their millions, and march to the polls to unseat the anointed queen.

    That actually never happens, but nothing in our lawbooks forbids it.

    It does amuse me that, with all this talk of "dynasties", no one seems to get that Governor David Paterson himself is the product of a political dynasty.

    That would be the Patersons of Harlem, New York, New York.

  115. 115
    Chinn Romney says:

    She’s rich and she’s a lawyer. And I was worried she wouldn’t fit in with the other senators.

  116. 116
    John Cole says:

    @Jim Treacher: Let me guess- you won’t believe Palin is stupid until you read it with your own two eyes in African Press International.

  117. 117
    onceler says:

    no, it isn’t Clinton fans who have a problem with Caroline Kennedy being handed this Senate seat. to conclude such a thing, you really have to be sort of unaware of the general mood of the country right now.

    yes, of course it has to do with her wealth and lineage, although not exclusively. I don’t think you’d find this kind of nepotism particularly popular anywhere in the country right now. people are angry and fearful, and the over-arching obvious reason why that is, is corruption and cronyism in our government. for it to be suddenly assumed that the best candidate to replace an elected Senator is the most famous person who pipes up about their interest comes across to many, myself (an Obama supporter who had little use for Clinton’s campaign) included, as a little fishy. not just a little actually, it looks like flat-out payback for saying nice things about the President-elect. it has the immediate appearance of impropriety.

    people want our government to start at least trying to live up to its rhetoric. at least try. none of this is anti-Caroline Kennedy sentiment, and although I’ve looked a lot, I haven’t seen much, if any, of that. I’ve seen a lot of healthy questioning of why it is that someone who has never run for office or been elected to anything or shown any interest at all in the general field, can just waltz into the picture ahead of dozens of vastly more qualified candidates. I guess that’s considered some form of hate speech these days, but that is ridiculous.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why she wouldn’t prefer a legit campaign and election to this move, which would obviously earn her lifelong and somewhat deserved scorn. who would want to start a political career that way? she could reassure her critics, but seems to think she has some kind of right to this seat, which is disconcerting. her press appearances have been abominable. so far, she is not passing any of the tests you would want someone in her position to pass – transparency, support for fellow Dems, etc.

  118. 118
    onceler says:

    I actually agree with those who think Spitzer should get the seat for now. I think that would be pretty perfect, actually. There would be no question of anyone being in anyone’s pocket, and he might give so little of a shit about the consequences of his actions that he might actually get something useful done. We all know he’s pissed off as can be these days, I say let him at them, get him up there interrogating CEOs and corrupt Republicans. Get him to tear some people apart and get some truth out there. I can’ think of a better way for him to repay his debt to New York for acting as idiotically as he did.

  119. 119
    eastriver says:

    JC-

    I went back this morning to check if you responded to my comment, and you had! (Which I knew you would.)

    Sarah Palin is horribly ignorant and remarkably uninformed, but she’s not stupid. Carolyn is wonderfully educated and soaked in knowledge, but she’s not terribly bright.

    I’ve worked with Ms. Kennedy a couple of times in the past few years. One-on-one, just me and her, for an hour or so each time. She’s blandly pleasant and dull. And utterly lacking any sense of humor. (These are not political office requirements, but surely detriments to public speaking. Which is what we were working on, sort of.)

    I liked her, sure. It was cool to meet her. (She’s a fucking Kennedy.)

    But please.

    If she wants the seat, let her run.

    If Carolyn’s last name were only Schlossberg she would never be considered for the seat.

    And throwing Geraldine Ferraro in my face was below-the-belt. That was totally uncalled for. I had to wash my eyes three times after reading that.

    Seriously. Dude.

  120. 120
    John Cole says:

    @eastriver: Alright, I admit. I wasn’t playing fair with the Ferraro bit.

    But seriously, any comparison to Palin is a cheap shot, IMO. Put it this way- who would you rather have in the Senate? Palin or Caroline?

    Of course the answer is Caroline by a wide shot- they aren’t even on the same playing field.

    As to the rest- her name, the legacy, and all that, I actually agree with most of it. My problem is not that people oppose Caroline, it is just that it seems deeply personal and nasty, and Caroline really has done nothing to deserve that.

  121. 121
    Birdzilla says:

    chapaquedic ted must have been sucking on the bottle again

  122. 122

    @John Cole: Thanks for reading! You saw the correction too, I assume.

    I won’t believe Palin is stupid until she says something dumber than the smartest thing Biden has ever said.

  123. 123

    Actually, make that corrections.

  124. 124

    kwAwk wrote:

    Lets gets something straight here. The only reason Caroline Kennedy is in contention to take over this Senate seat is that when Hillary ran for Senate in 2000, John Kennedy Jr. stayed out of the race so as to clear the field for Hillary. Now that Hillary is leaving the seat, the favor is being returned, but since John Jr. is dead, they favor is being bestowed upon Caroline.

    Uh, actually John Kennedy Jr. didn’t stay out of the NY Senate race in 2000 so as to clear the field for Hillary Clinton. No, John Kennedy, Jr. stayed out of the NY Senate race in 2000 because he was dead, having driven his airplane into the ocean in July of 1999. To elaborate: He passed on. He was no more. He had ceased to be. He had expired and gone to meet his maker. He was a stiff. Bereft of life. He rested in peace. His metabolic processes were history. He kicked the bucket. He shuffled off this mortal coil to join the choir invisible. HE WAS AN EX-KENNEDY!

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