Royalty in America

Doesn't it seem really crazy that someone we've never heard of or seen since she was a little girl at her father's funeral should now be set for a senate appointment to HRC's NY seat? This country loves its celebrities and its politicians, o.k. But to get a national seat without any qualifications except that your name ends in Kennedy? Sounds undemocratic to me. And like royalty.

Caroline Kennedy strikes me as a very impressive woman with all the right priorities, such as education. But I also find it unseemly and undemocratic that she seems to have vaulted to the top of the Senate list by virtue of who her dad was. Seeing which way the wind is blowing, Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post has already endorsed her. Isn’t that sexist? Isn’t that the kind of system we rebelled against in 1776?

Governor Paterson is said to be drawn to appointing Caroline Kennedy to the senate because she would be a good fund-raiser who could be reelected in 2010 and would cast a glow around him and his issues. But we don’t want a plutocracy, we want a democracy. And frankly it is discouraging to see the way the system so often elevates particular families into politics, generation after generation, because of their names, bank accounts and Rolodexes. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are self-made exceptions, but we now have a president who rose in part because of who his father was, and there are many such cases.

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Namewhore, the Bush family.

I don't know anyone who supported Bush II because of his lineage. In fact, few people know about the Bush family, the holdings, etc...

The Kennedys, on the other hand, are pop-culture icons.

The name carries a celebrity status, perhaps because it allows us some nostalgic link to our recent past. Seeing little Caroline elected to Congress would allow the narrative to continue--we are naturally drawn to stories like this. The image of her at her father's funeral is burned into our culture. The legacy of her father's "Camelot" presidency, his tragic and controversial death, her uncle and brother's untimely deaths, AND cousin William's dalliances, Uncle Ted's history, the Michael Skakel murder mystery, grandpa's booze running business, AND the mentally impaired aunt who was tucked away in an institution makes for a story that tops any network miniseries or James Michener novel.

People will want to see her reach office because it starts the happy-ending portion of the story.

I attribute a lot of Obama's success to this same phenomenon.

...Clinton would have been elected before Bush. Unfortunately, Gore did not ignite the party. Republicans will continue to win on legality ("Obama is not a U.S. citizen") rather than true electoral popularity. They will continue to use any technicality to obtain office, and Democrats had better get in the game rather than relying on a majority vote to ensure their election.

Old South End Broadway

Gosh, you make politics sound so...dirty!

To me it appears very vain for CK to come down from her ivory tower and take a paid position somebody else could fill who needs it (and is qualified). Reminds me of the celebrities "donating" their time (before all the cameras, of course) to dish out some food at a soup kitchen once or twice a year. Something isn't kosher. Bread and circuses...

"From 2002 through 2004 Kennedy worked as director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the the New York City Department of Education. The three-day-a week job paid her a salary of $1 and had the goal of raising private money for the New York City public schools.[7] In her capacity, she helped raise more than $65 million for the city’s public schools.[8][5] She currently serves as one of two vice chairs of the board of directors of The Fund for Public Schools, a public-private partnership founded in 2002 to attract private funding for public schools in New York City.[9]"

I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up only taking a dollar for this seat, as well.

"But to get a national seat without any qualifications except that your name ends in Kennedy?"

Article 1, Section 3 of the United States Constitution for the qualifications to be a US Senator:
"No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen."


Relax, Pete, you should know how the game is played by now. The very same people who are STILL savaging Sarah Palin (just for sport, and sheer rabid hatred, as her ticket lost) will give Sweet Caroline a total free pass.


'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'


'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

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