Caroline Kennedy's Campaign Is the Blogosphere's Christmas Pony!
By Al Giordano
It's official: Caroline Kennedy has indicated to New York Governor David Paterson that she would like to serve in the US Senate. The reactions from many quarters are fascinating.
Some folks I respect and often agree with, like Markos and his front-pager Brownsox seem to absolutely detest the idea. Kos compared a possible Kennedy appointment to a "monarchy" a week ago. Yet the rank-and-file Kossacks apparently aren't swayed (in a poll there this morning, 61 percent favored Kennedy - her numbers appear to be increasing from previous Daily Kos diarist polls - to just 12 percent for Andrew Cuomo, 9 percent for US Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand and 17 percent for "other").
Others I have often disagreed with this year, like Jeralyn at TalkLeft (but with whom I share a passion for civil liberties and the Bill of Rights), however, sees what I see:
I think she's more than qualified to be a U.S. Senator and I hope she gets the position. We need more Senators who are cognizant and respectful of our constitutional rights. She'll be great for education and funding for the arts.
She's outside the Washington power grid but knows how it works. Her celebrity will bring increased attention to the progressive bills she introduces, co-sponsors and supports. I think she's exactly the kind of change we need to bring to Washington.
Chris Bowers at Open Left devoted an entire blog entry this afternoon to a Hail Mary pass on the matter, promoting US Rep. Louise Slaughter for the post instead:
Caroline Kennedy is now officially running to be appointed to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Frankly, I consider her to be undeserving of the seat, given that she has never won an election and that basically her only qualification would be her family name...
While I am pooh-poohing the Kennedy candidacy, allow me to offer a better choice: Representative Louise Slaughter (NY-28)...
He then goes on to praise Slaughter's progressive record.
But, oops! Also today, those progressive values led the same US Rep. Louise Slaughter to endorse... Caroline Kennedy for Senate:
"I am pleased to endorse Caroline Kennedy for the United States Senate. She has spent her whole life fighting for what she believes in - she is a champion of public education, a lawyer, and an accomplished author... Our nation is facing extraordinary difficulties. Caroline Kennedy understands that the stakes have never been higher for our state and our nation. We need our next Senator to have the skills and the stature to help bring about the change we need."
The campaign is on to persuade Governor Paterson - a veritable primary-of-one - from all sides!
Today's news sent blogger Jane Hamsher to furiously write her second Huffington Post entry trashing Kennedy:
It seems Caroline Kennedy has decided she'd rather have a US Senate seat than a pony for Christmas... Really? She's "making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest?" I guess it was either that or get her nails done... How about the public, huh? How about them? You know, those little people whose ordinary lives she hopes to enrich by her presence? How about getting out and talking to them? Maybe she could overcome her legendary shyness and tell people what she stands for? Now there's a thought... I thought at least she's get out before the cameras and start making her case to the public before she announced her intentions, because simply lobbying your well-connected buddies just oozes an outrageous sense of entitlement and insufferable pomposity.
I guess she'll take entitlement for a thousand, Alex.
Jebus, imagine if during the presidential primaries someone had snarked about Senator Clinton (Hamsher's candidate) getting "her nails done." There would have been accusations of misogyny and sexism and calls for that person's head.
And besides, Caroline has already had a pony:
(It's name was Macaroni, a gift from vice president Lyndon Johnson.)
All of this is so much fun. We political junkies get something to type about other than the long slow march of Obama's appointments, speculating without a crystal ball about how they'll govern, and the Blagojevich sideshow and criminal investigation in Illinois.
All the readers here know that I love the idea. And the louder some yell about her never having run for office or served in a legislature, the more it convinces me she'll be the right move for Paterson and my homeland of New York. True, she doesn't talk like a politician, she doesn't walk like a politician, and as a part of the vast majority of us that are part of "anti-political culture" but forced to deal with the blowhards of political culture because of the pain and suffering they inflict on this world, maybe we can slip one of our very own into that hornets' nest called the US Senate.
I mean, what is so friggin' special or meritorious about having spent one's career in elective office? That Caroline Kennedy could have had almost any political job for the asking in recent decades but chose other paths instead makes her, in my view, more qualified, not less. I'm just not impressed with most folks that have dedicated their lives to seeking public office, and have seen that process corrode at their principles and instincts too much to think that all politicians, when they move on, must be replaced from some kind of farm team of lower level elected officials.
And in any case, we get the next month or so - until Senator Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State there won't be any appointment from Paterson - to argue and debate about it. Hooray and Happy Hanukah.
Caroline has already saved the blogosphere from the holiday season doldrums. She's our very own Christmas pony. Thank you, Santa!