I have no problem whatsoever with Caroline Kennedy being named to the United States Senate seat from New York that Hillary Clinton will be vacating if she is confirmed as the new Secretary of State. In fact, I could offer a couple of powerful argument why Ms. Kennedy should be named (and I will later in this post) but an artist friend, Zina Saunders, sent me this piece that I could not resist posting:
Her Highn… I Mean, Senator Caroline Kennedy (by Zina Saunders, December 26th, 2008)
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Caroline Kennedy’s quest for the Senate seat being left vacant by Hillary Clinton. Questions have been raised about Kennedy’s qualifications and experience and financial entanglements …to read more, go here and here.
Caroline Kennedy’s bid is audacious, sure, and carries a certain presumptuousness that I think Ms. Saunders sought to puncture in this art. I love the piece. It is great, especially her depiction of the putative kingmakers, the Rev. Al and Uncle Moneybags. But her audacity is precisely the reason why I think Ms.Kennedy should be named to this seat. She has the stature to be presumptuous, to expect that the seat would be handed to her.
Yes, some of the people handling Ms. Kennedy’s bid have made missteps, including the efforts to strong-arm some political leaders to jump on-board. They need to show some class. But I blame New York Gov. David Paterson for most of the backlash that is beginning to build against Ms. Kennedy. The governor is outspoken and plainspoken and, often, that is part of his charm. Not in this case. Paterson has appeared, at times, petulant. with reporters when discussing Ms. Kennedy’s bid. He needs to show some class.
Any of New York’s political class who gets the nod, Andrew Cuomo included, would come into the role with a tremendous status gap that the 51-year-old daughter of a martyred president of the United States has never known since the day she was born and would never suffer from as long as she lives.
Who could better serve the interest of New Yorkers? A woman who comes the closest to being America’s royalty, or some sweaty New York politician? Yeah, Chuck Schumer is great and Al D’Amato was, whatever, but it should not be that hard. I can understand wanting to puncture the kind of presumptuousness that attend to people like Caroline Kennedy, certainly. It can be unbecoming.
But Ms. Kennedy brings to her bid a record of public service equal to, if not better than, that of many who have sought the office.
When our carpet-bagging First Lady, Hillary Clinton, first sought the office, was she really that much more qualified than Caroline Kennedy is now? No. I believe New Yorkers start out way ahead with Caroline as their United States senator.