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.
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…