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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here's My Nickel's Worth of Free Advice to Dems Re: Caroline Kennedy

Don't do it. It's mind boggling that her name continues to be floated as a possible Senatorial candidate given 1) that it's so clear that she's only being considered because of her last name and 2) her performance in front of the media since her name began to be floated.

Now, every Democratic operative that defends her potential selection has the exact same reasoning. She will be able to create all sorts of fundraising for herself, the local, state, and national party. I assume that is likely accurate. The thing about fundraising though, is that it can be a double edged sword. While it maybe so that she can become a fundraising juggernaut, Republicans at all three levels can also use Kennedy as the subject of endless fundraising campaigns of their own.

If Kennedy is chosen, it would be the worst kind of dirty back room politicking. She's done absolutely nothing in her life worthy of this seat. Here is how Dick Morris described her qualifications, or lack thereof.

Her involvement in politics? Not much. She campaigned for Obama and worked on his committee that recommended the Vice-Presidential candidate. She’s never been active in New York politics and she hasn’t even voted in about half the contested elections in New York since 1988. Over the past fifteen years, she’s contributed to her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, her cousin Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, and Connecticut wanna-be Ned Lamont, and former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford (1991) Not much interest in New York’s candidates or issues!

He also goes onto mention that she wrote four books though three of them were collections of other people's work. If she were to run for the Senate, that would be one thing. Simply handing her this seat because she is a Kennedy is political malpractice.

She won't merely be some back bencher Senator. Everything she will do will be reported on. That means if her inexperience translates into a series of gaffes and political missteps, that will all be put under the microscope. Do the Democrats really want to spend the next two years explaining each and every misstep that she makes?

She's taken no questions from the media. She won't even release her personal financial information. No one knows how she stands on any issue and there is absolutely no paper trail to help anyone. Yet, she still wants the Senate seat. How will such a public stance jive with the Democrat's mantra of transparency? How will it jive with Obama's mantra of transparency?

Finally, it will needlessly put into play a Senate seat that should be safe. The public will simply have a visceral reaction if she is chosen. They aren't going to like it and it will leave the door open for the Republicans to attempt to try and punish the Democrats for doing it in 2010. New York is about as blue as they come. Why would the Democrats put that seat into play by choosing a candidate that so clearly will create a major electoral backlash?

What does this say about the talent pool of New York Democrats? If they are forced to pick someone with no experience and only a famous name, then what they are really saying is that they have no one in New York worthy of this seat. Kennedy shouldn't even have been given more than a split second thought. That her name continues to be out there is evidence that New York's Democratic talent is rather thin. If she is picked, the Democrats in New York are essentially saying that none of their politicians are better than someone with a history of accomplishing nothing. Is this the message they want to send? That's exactly the message they will send if they choose her.


Anonymous said...

You're right Mike. Unqualified for the job. Lack competence etc

Kind of reminds me of someone else who got their foot in the door without earning it.

First name Sarah, Last name Palin.

mike volpe said...

The differnce being that Palin was elected multipile times to offices, was running for an elected office, didn't run simply because of her name, released personal information, and was running for an elected office. Not to mention that Palin had a history of political accomplishment. Besides that though, the two cases are one and the same.