12/24/2008

New Year's Resolution: No More Kennedys


Remember in The Godfather Part III when Michael Corleone says "just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in"? While GFIII was totally forgettable, that one line lives today as our country takes another tiny step toward the American Idolization of our politics should NY Gov. Paterson appoint lucky sperm club member Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's seat in the U.S. Senate. While I'll give Caroline Kennedy props for being smart enough not to play touch football while skiing down a tree lined mountain like her cousin, there are at least three things I'm willing to ignore about her candidacy:
  1. Sickening sense of entitlement of Ms. Kennedy, or more correctly, her advisers. From today's NYT, emphasis mine: "Kevin Sheekey, a top deputy to Mr. Bloomberg who has been advising Ms. Kennedy, had called a labor leader and told him that Ms. Kennedy was going to be senator, 'so get on board now.'"
  2. Kid glove press treatment. Al Hunt on her qualifications, again emphasis mine: "She has all the qualities - intellectual curiosity; a friendly, at times pointed, sense of humor; and a deferential manner (she hails her own cabs) - that are the stuff to make a good senator.")
  3. Resume puffery: Al Sharpton on Bloomberg.com, once again emphasis mine: “My knowledge of her in the area of education and on behalf of children generally, the fact that she has written several books, and her other civic involvement more than qualifies her to be senator.
What's hard to ignore is that Caroline Kennedy has no serious public record or public stance on a broad range of issues and has never been elected to anything anywhere at any time. She has a killer political last name (oops, bad word choice) and can raise a boat load of cash from those who think her last name is cool and aspire to be connected to it. She raised a bunch of money for NYC schools, but that gig never gets offered to her if her last name is Kowalski.

I'm sure CK is a nice person and a hard worker and if she got, you know, actually elected to the job I'd retract my critique. I'd still think her last name greased the election, but an electoral win is credible in a way an appointment isn't. I admit to being totally mystified about why the Kennedys are such a big deal. Having been born after JFK and RFK died and only being an infant when Mary Jo Kopechne was accidentally killed in that accidentally horrible accident that EFK accidentally didn't acknowledge or report until the next day, I never became a Kennedy Kool-Aid drinker.

Sarah Palin's name has gotten tossed around in the discussion of Caroline Kennedy, and while I was never much of a Sarah Palin fan I don't think the comparison's fair.

To Sarah Palin.

Palin campaigned by regurgitating clever sound bites McCain's handlers jammed into her head. If she really knew her stuff she could have ignored the handlers. If she didn't know her stuff, she should have. A college educated adult can be passably conversant on national issues by reading a couple national newspapers a couple times a week which, if she does, she sure hid well. But at least Palin once won some elections, which is a far cry from being appointed to a job because you picked your parents well.

2 comments:

Steven L. Baerson said...

As Dick Morris recently said, if CK is appointed to this Senate seat, doesn't that mean that we really have a House of Lords. Remember, we fought a war so that we didn't have that. And, by the way, until all of this lobbying for the Senate seat began, didn't CK use her Jewish sounding last name of Schlossberg???

Rational said...

Your attacks on CK are nothing more than a ranting temper tantrum against the tides of inevitability. She and The One will, when combining their forces, change the world forever. You may not want to be standing athwart history screaming "STOP!" when the Obamedy train comes rollin' through....