Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are Caroline Kennedy’s prospects weakening?

Yes, according to WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart - - -

…[Kennedy’s] celebrity could have taken her far, were it not for five big political, style and substance mistakes committed by her otherwise able strategic team that have diminished the prospects of the highly regarded Camelot heiress.

Mistake No. 1: Not voting in many New York City and State elections over the last 20 years. It's hard to carry the mantle of America's political royal family, with its well-earned history of public service, when it's been revealed that you couldn't even muster the energy to vote for Democrats.

Mistake No. 2: Refusing to swear allegiance to the Democratic challenger to Mayor Bloomberg when he seeks a third term next year. New York Democrats are right to demand it.

Mistake No. 3: Not giving money to New York's Democratic Party candidates. According to the New York Daily News, in the last ten years, Kennedy has given $1,000 to local office seekers. She was more generous at the federal level. She even maxed out to Clinton, who gave the money back after Kennedy publicly endorsed Barack Obama. …

Mistake No. 4: Avoiding the press. I could understand Kennedy not chit-chatting at length with the press corps in Syracuse on her first day as a Senate aspirant. But her strategic advisers were a little too cute in asking for written questions from media outlets and then selectively answering the inquiries with as much depth as an After Eight mint. …

Mistake No. 5: Refusing to make any potential financial, legal and ethical disclosures until after she's been appointed. Kennedy is not legally bound to do this. But this arrogance won't go over well with most New Yorkers. And considering that most of the other senatorial prospects are elected officials who must submit to all manner of public and financial disclosures, and who are held accountable for them, it's unfair.

Capehart’s entire post’s here.



I agree all 5 mistakes have hurt her.

But another mistake that’s hurting Kennedy isn’t on Capehart’s list.

Kennedy and her team’s failed to prepare for some very obvious problems they ought to have known she’d face once she indicated her interest in the Senate seat.

With some common sense planning, Kennedy could easily have avoided the fallout from what Capehart calls Mistake No. 2 (Bloomberg and the ’09 mayoral race) and Mistake No. 5 (financial, legal, etc records releasing).

Mayor Bloomberg’s been a big booster of hers. So the question of who’d she support in next year’s mayoralty election was bound to come up.

She should have been ready with a standard answer such as: “I’ve worked effectively with Mayor Bloomberg on a number of projects and have great respect for his skills and commitment to doing his best for the people of New York. If I’m appointed to the Senate, I look forward to continuing our work together for all New Yorkers. As for next year’s mayoral race, I’m a Democrat and have every expectation I’ll be voting for the candidate of my party.”

Regarding the financial, ethical and other disclosures, Kennedy should have said something like: “When the possibility of my serving in the Senate came up, I sat down with my husband, and we talked. We agreed if I’m considered for the Senate appointment by Gov. Paterson, he will first want to look at records that bear on my financial, tax and ethical dealings. Our financial advisors, tax attorneys and others are reviewing and updating those documents now so they’ll be ready or as near ready as I can make them should Gov. Paterson request them.”

“At such time as Gov. Paterson may request them, those records will also be made available to the press and public.”

I think party leaders, the press and public would generally have reacted favorably if Kennedy had made Bloomberg/mayoral race and records statements such as I’ve sketched here.

Do you agree Capehart’s Mistake’s Nos. 2 and 5 were avoidable with just some common sense planning?


Anonymous said...

I would agree. However, another mistake that was made is her belief that her family's "special calling" in government service makes her more qualified to serve than others. For one thing, this is not a monarchy - Kennedy has no special family calim to any position in government because of her family and its "service".
Make no bones about this - Patterson is looking at this from the money and influence angle - will Kennedy use her vast financial sources to help Democrats in New York (and specifically him retain their positions)and her influence with Obama (it was the Kennedy imprimatur which anointed him over Clinton as the heir to to the JFK legacy) that will gain favors for New York in the coming pork barrel legislation of the next Congress.
To that end, Patterson will be no different than Blago in Illinois. He will be "selling" the senate seat. The only difference is that Blago is more scatologically honest about his motives than is Patterson.

Anonymous said...

One further note, although Patterson comes from a political dynasty, I would argue that he will be hard put to deny the Kennedy juggernaut unless there is some wheeling-dealing among the remainder of those who desire the Clinton senate seat. I guess that we will see just how enduring the Camelot mystique is. THe interview done by the NY television station with Kennedy was the sort of soft ball approach with which the Kennedy's are often treated. Who should really care what her late mother or brother thought? Her comment that her mother loved to campaign is at odds with all historical accounts. However, I suppose f the people of New York are willing to live with revisionist history there is not much that the remainder of the nation can do about it except hope that if she is selected, her tenure will be short-lived as the bruising nature of New York senate races will not be so kind in 2010.

Anonymous said...

I was astonished to hear on Chris Wallace's Fox Report this evening a comment that Sarah Palin and C. Kennedy were "alike" in their inexperience, etc. Alike? Palin is a duly elected governor of a large state, with huge responsibilities and a trackable record, INCLUDING VOTING. Palin also has no previous family political dynasty, or $60 million fortune behind her. From where I sit, the only discernable similarities between Palin and Kennedy is that they are both women.

And THAT is what makes the comments so outrageously sexist. Nobody would have ever made such a ridiculous comparison between two men who were running for office.

C. Kenney is not qualified for anything. If NY politicians fall for her "entitlement" they will hang themselves with an albatross. The woman shows no passion to make any difference in the world through the political process. She needs to bow out. She is too rich, too spoiled, and too naive to be in public office.

But then... you can never know for sure just what the American public thinks true qualifications are, can you?

Ken said...

Someday, someone in the Kennedy family will do something admirable. It will be a first.

JWM said...

To cks,

I'm with you on both your posts.

They make more sense and convey more information than a lot of what we've been reading about "Return to Camelot."

To Anon @ 9:54,

Imagine what the NYT and other lib/left news orgs would be doing to Kennedy if she were an Republican.

She's getting kid glove treatment and the MSM is also doing all it can to keep alive the myth of Camelot.

That's why we don't hear about Judith Exner and all those wiretaps of Dr. King.

To Ken,

Some Kennedys some times have done some outstanding things and terrible things.

Thank you to all of you,