Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caroline Kennedy's celebrity shouldn't be enough

Excerpts from Fred Lebrun’s Albany Times Union column today followed by my questions below the star line.

Lebrun writes - - -

... [Where else but New York state] would Caroline Kennedy be seriously considered for a U.S. Senate seat, even for a millisecond? Have we lost our collective minds?

The 51-year-old attorney and daughter of martyred President John F. Kennedy is interested in Hillary's seat, or at least her cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says she is.

Supposedly, she's made an inquiry about the job with Governor Paterson, who will do the appointing for the unfilled term.

As soon as her name popped up as a possibility, in some minds she became a front-runner. It's absurd. What, in heaven's name, are her credentials, her applicable experience? It's all wrapped up in a name, and it isn't heaven's.

That simply isn't enough, not in New York. Not everyone who carries the Kennedy name is automatically adept at politics. Please, show us proof.

We're told Caroline Kennedy is apparently a bright, wonderful person, who is soft-spoken, intensely private and, given her enormous celebrity, has miraculously avoided the limelight. …

OK, but she's never run for political office, and before becoming deeply involved in the Obama primary against Hillary, didn't show us an overt interest in the political process at any level.

Now she's become the close friend and adviser of President-elect Obama, who says she's a warm and terrific person and would make a great senator. But, Obama added, he declines to get involved in New York's political process. As if he just didn't.

There is much that is off-putting about this trial balloon. It's being pushed exclusively in Washington, in Hyannis by her uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and in New York City. There is no indication from any upstate political voices that Caroline Kennedy has a grasp of the problems afflicting our 62 counties, or up to now, done much to find out. She hasn't spoken out on issues, or policy, or even personalities except for Obama's. ...

The rest of Lebrun’s informed, insightful and properly critical column’s here.


For the most part, New York’s media response to Kennedy’s possible appointment to the U. S. Senate has been, “Oh, goodie!”

Lebrun’s column’s an honorable exception.

Shouldn’t media be digging to find out whether she’s spoken out on our Iraq and Afghanistan policies?

What, if anything, has Kennedy said about American strategy in those two countries going forward?

Does she think that as part of a bailout package, UAW workers at GM, Ford and Chrysler must accept the same wages and benefits as workers at Toyota and other profitable foreign companyies' auto plants here in America?

Does she think NY Congressman Charlie Rangel should at least step down from the chairmanship of the House committee which writes our tax laws?

Has Kennedy said publicly anything critical of Rangel?

There are many more important questions Caroline Kennedy must answer before she's considered for appointment to the U. S. Senate.

If she doesn't, it will be an admission she being considered solely on her celebrity.


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that Obama was elected President solely on celebrity. His resume was just about as thin as Caroline's is. "Lost our collective minds"? Perhaps, and sadly so. Steve in New Mexico