Caroline Kennedy Is Seeking NY Senate Seat

Caroline Kennedy Is Seeking NY Senate Seat


It’s official. She wants it.

And frankly, it could be refreshing to have somebody who hasn’t been a diehard political operative in that seat.

From Politico:

Her move raises the pressure on New York Governor David Paterson either to choose her or to select someone else soon, as Kennedy’s rivals for the seat have already begun to respond to the possibility of her entrance by raising questions about her qualifications and her role in defeating Clinton. But she’s a close ally of President-elect Barack Obama, and Paterson is not particularly indebted to the Clintons.

She’s also reportedly hired a political consultant, Josh Isay, close to Chuck Schumer; his presence indicates that Schumer — a key player here — at least doesn’t object to Kennedy’s bid.

That news about Schumer is important because he probably has a ton of pull when it comes to this pick too.

However, she’s facing some internal opposition because of her “superstar” status and support of Obama early on…

“This isn’t a jihad or anything, but I’d be lying to you if I said that supporters of Hillary don’t remember where she was in the primary,” said Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, a possible mayoral candidate who is close to the former first lady.

A senior Democrat said Clinton supporters had expressed their resentment over a possible Kennedy pick to people around Paterson, and that tacit resistance has opened the door to other members of the congressional delegation to violate party taboos and directly criticize a Kennedy.

“I don’t know what Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications are, except that she has name recognition, but so does J.Lo,” another Queens congressman, Gary Ackerman, quipped during a radio interview Monday. “I wouldn’t make J.Lo the senator unless she proved she had great qualifications, but we haven’t seen them yet.”

Manhattan Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who has hired a one-time Paterson consultant to lobby for the Senate appointment, was overheard complaining about Kennedy’s “complete lack of experience” to friends on the floor of the House on Wednesday, according to a member who was within earshot.

My question…is Hillary against Caroline? It seems like once you lose you just have to accept that the person who won has far more leverage and work with them instead of holding grudges. Hillary’s move to Foggy Bottom shows that this is probably her state of mind, so why hasn’t that POV translated to her supporters?

Still, with Edward Kennedy actively pushing Caroline, my guess is that she’s a lock for this position.

More as it develops…

  • mw

    “frankly, it could be refreshing to have somebody who hasn’t been a diehard political operative in that seat.” – JG

    Huh. In light of this comment

    “McCain… made a VP pick that was completely unserious.” – JG

    …about a woman who was elected Governor of a state with $10 Billion budget and 15,000 employees, I wonder if you could enlighten me…

    Exactly how is it that a woman who has never been elected to anything, never run anything, and her sole qualification for public office is her last name, somehow be considered a “serious” pick for Senator? Oh wait. She endorsed Obama. Qualification enough, I guess – as long as you embrace the Chicago style “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back” Senatorial selection process.

  • Allen Dodson

    I think this is a prime example of the level my party (dem) has sunk unto. Name is everything. At least the Bush sons’ had to work their way up the ranks (i.e. governor first). Kennedy (caroline) has done what again to merit this appointment? Listen to Ted tell stories at holiday parties? It is all party politics with the Dems anymore. They are out of touch with their constituents. The Republicans just got punished for being out of touch on November 4th past. Wait and see what is in store for Dems in the coming years.

  • SaneInSF

    Cut it out mw. The Democrats don’t like it when you call them out and show how much they are complete hypocrites.

  • kranky kritter

    I would have no problem with Kennedy being interested in this seat if she were going to run for it. Because then she’d have to show her public face and demonstrate to the people of NY that she understands the people and the issues, and is capable of handling the job.

    Hillary Clinton was comparably inexperienced. But she ran for and won her seat. The fact that she managed to get elected makes her legitimate, because she was what the people wanted. Getting elected proves that.

    But in the case where someone is getting appointed, a different standard must apply.

    Were I from the state of NY, I’d be furious if someone with such a thin resume and scant experience as a prominent public figure were simply handed such an important job. So I don’t think this is going to fly. And if Kennedy herself does not understand this, that’s evidence that she is tone deaf. Anyone with such an experience level should rightfully be expected to make their case before the people of the state.

  • ExiledIndependent

    Why not hold a special election in these cases? Appointment inherently invites corruption.

  • sauerkraut

    Pretty funny reading comments which compare a possible CKS selection to Palin being McCain’s vp choice. McCain’s choice does not appear to be related to her responsibilities as governor of a state that runs a surplus thanks to oil companies (socialism, anyone?).

    And it’s with great irony that Hillary’s people complain about CKS only because CKS supported Obama. For Hillary people, it’s all about Obama. Had CKS supported Hillary, you can well imagine that they’d strongly support CKS in this endeavor. Party Unity My… yeah. Right.

    CKS at least comes from a NY family (Jackie Bouvier), went to law school in NY and has lived in NY for years. She is qualified and untainted by prior horse trading scandals.

  • kranky kritter

    I think cost is a legitimate reason not to have a special election. I have a problem with folks running for one position and then quickly moving on to greener pastures. I could see some sort of rule where if a person deserts their elected post then the runner up takes over.

    I agree that ideally a special election would occur. But again, there’s the substantial cost. I have seen numbers like 30 million and 45 million floated. Not sure how accurate that is, but should the state of NY spend another 30 million because Hillary Clinton wants to be SoS? That’s a lot of money that could do a lot of good. I could see some sort of compromise where the state legislature picked the replacement from a slate of candidates who qualified by collecting say 10k signatures.

  • Democratis

    Ours is not a monarchy! A name cannot buy a senate seat. There are hundreds of better qualified candidates – speaking of “candidate”, this is America where people earn their right to the people’s senate seat thru running a campaign. This is OUR senate seat, not Paterson’s, not the carpetbagger Hillary and not a wealthy granddaughter of a rum-runner. This family needs this seat to keep their power and get their land back in Cuba. Wake Up NY! Caroline endorses Obama and demands her payback – this is on par with Illinois corruption – don’t kid yourself. This is also a seat for life – without running an initial campaign. OUTRAGE!