Can It, Caroline
Dec 30, 2008 | 3209 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Why in the world does Caroline Kennedy think she's qualified to be a United States Senator? Can somebody please tell us because we have no idea - and neither, apparently, does Caroline herself.

This was made abundantly clear over the weekend, when the Senate hopeful granted her first in-depth press interviews since announcing her desire to fill the junior New York State Senate seat to be vacated next month when Hillary Clinton is confirmed as the new Secretary of State.

The interviews were a disaster. They were almost as bad as the now-legendary grilling Sarah Palin received from ABC anchor Katie Couric last fall.

When asked why Governor David Paterson should pick her over a host of other seasoned political veterans, Kennedy alluded vaguely to her life experience as a mother, lawyer and author, and her family's commitment to public service.

Ah yes, her family. Her father was the president. One of her uncles briefly held the Senate seat she's currently vying for; another is arguably the most influential Democratic Senator in forty years.

But so what? Should a middle-aged adult in a family of doctors be allowed to suddenly skip medical school and start treating patients because, on a whim, they became enamored with a drastic career change? What about the son of an electrician who has spent the past thirty years baking pizzas? Would anybody want him to stop by and rewire their home?

Probably not, yet that is exactly what Kennedy wants to do, in her own way.

To her credit, Kennedy has an impressive history of behind-the-scenes public service work. She has lived in this state for decades, so presumably she has an understanding of the most important issues affecting Empire State residents (though she admitted she hasn't bothered to vote in a surprising number of local and statewide elections).

She is certainly well-connected, well-financed, and, maybe, groomed to step into the political spotlight on the national stage.

Yet none of these attributes qualifies her for the Senate. Unlike the state's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Congresswoman Kristin Gillibrand, and the other serious contenders for Clinton's seat, Kennedy has no experience as an elected public official.

If chosen by Gov. Paterson, Kennedy would waste the next two years in office - before running for re-election in 2010 - learning the basics of policymaking, backroom wheeling and dealing, fundraising, and the million of other skills politicians hone after years of practice.

Hopefully Gov. Paterson recognizes this, shows some backbone, and chooses someone worthy of the office.

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