Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

Throughout all of the debate about whether or not Caroline Kennedy should be the pick to succeed Hillary Clinton as New York's new Senator I have largely been ambivalent, understanding of the argument that a reliance on legatees isn't a particularly good thing but also believing that Kennedy could be one of the few picks that could immediately match the stature of her predecessor. But with Kennedy apparently unwilling to publicly back the Democrats for at least one key position, I now find myself opposing her selection.

But Ms. Kennedy did not answer a question from Politico about whether she would support a Democratic candidate for mayor during the 2009 elections or supported Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's controversial but successful effort to alter New York City's term-limits law to allow him to run for a third term.

Ms. Kennedy's Senate effort has been managed by Josh Isay, a consultant to Mr. Bloomberg, who won his first term as a Republican and is now an independent. And she is also being aided by Kevin Sheekey, one of Mr. Bloomberg's top deputies.

Markos notes that in addition to Kennedy not coming out in favor of the Democrats in the 2009 New York City mayoral elections she also has a poor track record of voting in Democratic primaries -- hardly an indication of someone wholly committed to the party. Although I do not believe, nor do I expect, that every Democratic Senator toes the party line at all times, the deep blue state of New York -- a state with only three Republicans out of a House delegation of 29, a state with a Democratic trifecta (the governorship and both houses of the state legislature) for the first time since 1935, a state that gave Barack Obama 62 percent of its vote -- should have a Senator willing to back the Democratic ticket. If Caroline Kennedy isn't willing to support the party in a key election, she shouldn't be Senator.

Tags: Caroline Kennedy, New York, NY-SEN (all tags)

Comments

34 Comments

Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick
Markos is suffering from severe CK derangement syndrome, for what reason, I don't know. I hope we're not getting it going here as well.
She missed 4 Democratic primaries for mayor since 1989 and 1 GE (Patrcik Monyihan won with a 13 point  lead, not even a close race in the year that the republicans took over Congress). Hardly a "poor" voting record for someone in their 50s.
by skohayes 2008-12-21 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

I know, I don't get why everyone is hyperventilating about this.

Bloomberg is an exception.  He's technically a Republican but he has wide bipartisan support in the City.  He's been good for New York, and while I can't remember ever voting for a Republican, if I lived in New York I'd probably vote for Bloomberg.

I'm seriously ready to stop reading the blogs for a month until all of this passes.  The world will not grind to a halt if Kennedy is appointed as a Senator.

by auronrenouille 2008-12-21 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

I thought he's technically an independent?

Didn't he leave the Repubs this summer?

by Bush Bites 2008-12-21 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

A lot of New Yorkers consider Bloomberg a "special case".  He was a lifelong Dem, but he ran as a Republican b/c their primaries would be easier to win.  Now he's an independent.  Almost every Democrat I know in NYC supports him (and when I still lived there, I voted for him, too.)

by tammanycall 2008-12-21 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

13 point lead hmm...

Did obama not have a similar lead projected in NH during the primary but lost because many such 'Carl's and Carolin's' never came out to vote and took it for granted?

How do you come from a legacy of being a Kennedy and not vote? Not like having a day job prevents it.

who died and said only Bloomberg can be anointed/capable of being the savior of new york.

I'd would have liked another Clinton term over bush and the republicans would have liked another Reagan term.

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-22 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

13 point lead hmm...

Did obama not have a similar lead projected in NH during the primary but lost because many such 'Carl's and Carolin's' never came out to vote and took it for granted?

How do you come from a legacy of being a Kennedy and not vote? Not like having a day job prevents it.

who died and said only Bloomberg can be anointed/capable of being the savior of new york.

I'd would have liked another Clinton term over bush and the republicans would have liked another Reagan term.

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-22 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

oops sry about double post

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-22 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

I agree 100%. I'm surprised prominent Obama supporters such as Singer and Markos understand that Caroline is a terrible pick for Hillary's seat. The majority of Obama supporters seem to want everybody to fall in line.

by KnoxVow 2008-12-21 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

Right on! I hate that Obama and his supporters soooooo much! I know I'll be voting against him in the primary; hell, I'll even go so far as to vote McCain in the general. There's no way he can win without my vote!

by dirtyhippie 2008-12-21 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

Hey Buddy!

You broke my Snark Detector with that one!

by Bush Bites 2008-12-21 02:20PM | 0 recs
Frankly, I'm not sure I understand...

...how many folks--other than the NY State Democratic Committee, the DSCC, on a secondary basis; and Governor Paterson, primarily--feel they're empowered to weigh in on this. The outcries from the blogosphere are over the top.

Obama's a big fan. Mike Bloomberg has neutralized a lot of Dem opposition by virtue of embracing much of the Party's platform--not all but a lot of it (and Mark Green was a lousy candidate, while Freddie Ferrer just couldn't match Bloomberg in funds). And, before Bloomberg was a Republican-turned-Independent, he was a Democrat. He's also quite tight with City Council President Christine Quinn, and supportive of her efforts to move up the political food chain.

Anthony Weiner, the Dem heir apparent to the Mayor's office, is unimpressive, a la the "Schumer school" (and Weiner's political reality that he's little more than a minyan of it), which is quickly going out of style in NY political circles due to its over-embrace of Wall Street-ethics-gone-awry. As a diehard Dem, and someone living in the NYC burbs, I'd have a hard time acknowledging that Weiner would be better for the region than Bloomberg. I think many fellow Dem's would concur.

And, I've got to think that Caroline Kennedy is certainly on top of all this, as well.

I'd consider myself to be slight more pro-Kennedy than ambivalent about it all. And, frankly, for all we know, she could just be a placeholder while the Dems get their act together for 2010.

That being said, it takes major cash to run two, U.S. Senate campaigns over the course of 24 months, and there are very few folks capable of nailing the $60 million that'll be required to accomplish that. Kennedy should be able to handle that matter.

Us New Yorkers like a little bit of celebrity in our Senators.

I find the reasons not to appoint her, generally speaking, underwhelming. All of the other truly decent choices are too tied-into NYC/downstate politics, and that doesn't play in Poughkeepsie.

Give the Governor and the state Democratic party establishment a viable alternative that doesn't come with a lot of Wall Street luggage--which the Rethugs will hang around their necks given the inevitably worsening economy--and I'd be happy to take a look!

That being said, Carolyn Maloney, the number two Dem on the House Financial Services Committee, would be a great choice, IMHO, and despite her strong City ties--which are a huge negative upstate--she would be my second choice. (She is very highly regarded in the consulting community as someone who's really got her act together!)

Cuomo has some serious luggage with regard to his work at HUD in the late 90's that, generally speaking, turn me off.

So, whaddaya' got as an alternative? That's what the State Dems and the Governor need to know...right now.

(TURNING EVERYTHING I'VE JUST SAID UPSIDE DOWN: There are rumors, completely unsubstantiated however, that Paterson's made up his mind, and it's probably Cuomo. I think it's a big mistake; and it could be total bullshit, designed to throw the press of Kennedy's trail, but that's something I just heard yesterday.)

by bobswern 2008-12-21 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, I'm not sure I understand...

Really?  You don't think the people should express an opinion about who serves in the U.S. senate?  Really?
Do you think that Gov. Patterson should be oblivious to public sentiment regarding such an appointment?

How do you feel about returning the election of senators to state legislatures and eliminating any involvement of the hoi polloi?  

And this remarkable comment is made on a site dedicated to Direct Democracy.

Un-be-fuckin-lievable.

by Thaddeus 2008-12-21 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, I'm not sure I understand...

You're right.  They should be burned at the stake and you should wear a laurel wreath a top your head to signify your piousness.  

by marcbrazeau 2008-12-21 09:18PM | 0 recs
What a weird comment

I think laurel wreaths signify victory, not piety (it's not piousness), but whatever.  You don't offer much of a counter-argument.  

by Thaddeus 2008-12-22 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, I'm not sure I understand...

Should Gov. Patterson should ignore the outrage of non-New Yorkers? Yes, absolutely.  

Ultimately what's most important is what would best serve the interests of New York.  Some of those interests are more mercenary than we like to admit, but it's Patterson's job to think about them.

by tammanycall 2008-12-21 09:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, I'm not sure I understand...

"what's most important is what would best serve the interests of New York"

Eureka!  Thank you, that's it exactly.  Caroline Kennedy has a direct line to the Obama Admin and could certainly get him on the phone if needed.  That, my(DD) friends, is good for New Yorkers.

And the fact that CK missed a few primaries and supported Bloomberg only further endears her to me.  Maybe she didn't like the candidates.  I've been there.  NY laws suck.  I can't vote in Dem primaries because I don't want to officially join the party.  It almost killed me not being allowed to vote for Obama in the primary.  That being said, I'm a strong progressive who supports PEOPLE with similar priorities, not parties.  Also, I'm not from NYC, but if I were, I probably would support Bloomberg again.

by Dirk Diggler 2008-12-22 07:23AM | 0 recs
If not she, who?

So she's not the awesomest. Got it.

So who is? Until the anti-CK movement starts building some momentum around an anti-CK candidate, it looks like Patterson's choices will be Caroline Kennedy or Nobody. I mean, that's really great that you found some litmus-testy straw that broke the camel's back and now you have a Solid Intellectual Argument Against Caroline Kennedy. How 'bout you move on to the next step and try to find a Solid Senate Candidate for the State of New York?

by riboflavin 2008-12-21 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: If not she, who?

Funny.

A lot of people mention Cuomo.

Then they sort of sheepishly add that he's kind of boring and not too swift.

by Bush Bites 2008-12-21 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

As someone that actually lives in New York, and as a liberal Democrat, I can emphatically tell you that Mayor Bloomberg is far superior to any of the candidates frequently mentioned on the Dem side. In a match up of Bloomberg versus Congressman Weiner, as now looks likely, I would without hesitation pull the lever for Bloomberg over that faux populist, outer borough hack.

by wjpugliese 2008-12-21 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

While I wholeheartedly agree with you that Mayor Bloomberg is hand over fist a better Mayor than Anthony Weiner could hope to be, I must object to your using the term "outer borough" as a pejorative.

NYC is made up of five boroughs, not one.  The vast majority of the people that were born and raised in NYC (myself included) were born and raised outside of Manhattan.  Manhattan is where most of those people go to work during the work week and where many of those people go to shop outside of the work week.  They cannot afford the ridiculous prices for which the real estate sells and rents below 110th street.

The relatively few people who can afford to live in Manhattan are generally not those that were born or raised in NYC, nor the vast array immigrants or artists that give NYC the culture for which it has come to be known.

So you can take your "outer borough" and shove it.

by shalca 2008-12-21 01:34PM | 0 recs
shut up

as a new yorker, i 'm sorry, but the democrats who would run for mayor would be horrible. there is a reason one hasn't won in a while...everyone is freaked out about how political and special interest group the city would become again.

bloomberg will win again easily, and it will have nothing to do caroline.

by PHDinNYC4Kerry 2008-12-21 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

I was initially cool to the idea of CK being appointed as Senator, but this news makes her more attractive to me, not less.  This, plus her announcement that she supports gay marriage.  She sounds pretty level headed to me.

by markjay 2008-12-21 01:36PM | 0 recs
She doesn't even vote

in NYC. Why should other people vote for her in 2010 and keep her family in power, when she can't do it for otheres?

by Lakrosse 2008-12-21 01:57PM | 0 recs
Bloomberg and NYC Dems

As a NYC resident and a loyal Dem I can tell you I have not supported a Dem nominee for Mayor since David Dinkins in 1993.  I didn't vote for either Bloomberg or Giuliani - I supported 3rd party candidates.

Why?  I did not support Ruth Messinger, Mark Green or Freddie Ferrer because they were a bunch of party hacks who were clearly not up to the job of running a city with 8 million residents, 300K municipal employees and a budget of $50+ billion.  I was obviously not alone since no Democrat has been in City Hall since 1993.

NYC residents take competence and management at City Hall very seriously because our city almost went bankrupt in 1975 due to horrible mismanagement.  It took almost 20 yrs for the city to fully recover from that era.  There is a substantial portion of the voting population who lived through that period as an adult or child like me and does not want to return to it.  I am  not a Bloomberg fan and am pissed at the way he overturned the term limits law but overall I think he has done a solid job as Mayor and managed the 2001-03 downturn very well.

I am very hopeful that in 2009 the Dems will nominate Bill Thompson, our City Comptroller a candidate I could support.  

Having put the Bloomberg/Giuliani in context for non-NYCers, I am not a fan of Caroline Kennedy's and would prefer to see my Congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney in the seat.  However, I think any candidates's support of Bloomberg is a non-issue to the vast majority of the electorate.

by jmnyc 2008-12-21 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Bloomberg and NYC Dems

Thought Maloney indicated she was not interested in the seat?

by tammanycall 2008-12-21 09:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Bloomberg and NYC Dems

Huh?  Maloney is making a big push for the seat.

by jmnyc 2008-12-22 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

Caroline in and Schumer out

by PR 2008-12-21 04:23PM | 0 recs
"Democratic candidate"??

Who will that person be? We don't know yet, because the primary hasn't taken place. Look, in all probability should the person who ultimately gets chosen by Democratic voters be supported by the Senate appointee? Yes.

But we don't know who that is! William Jefferson won a primary in his district. He sucks. So does Bob Kerrey. Wasn't David Duke a Democrat at one point? My point is, it's just stupid to endorse someone who doesn't exist.

If this is your reason for disqualifying her, I would offer that you reconsider.

by Jonmac 2008-12-21 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

As others have mentioned. Bloomberg is a much better choice for Mayor than any of the hacks that the NYC Democrats have put up in races against him.

by leozh 2008-12-21 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

I agree that voting for Bloomberg is not necessarily treasonous. Hell, if most Democratic Party senators ignore the will of CT democrats and label Lieberman as a "real democrat", so why not Caroline Kennedy. Can she really be worse than the impotent Democratic senators who let the Bushies pass a ridiculous 700B bailout bill that has not a single good provision to reform corporate behavior?

Having said that, Caroline's lack of voting in the primaries tells me that she hasn't paid her dues for the party. Voting in the primary doesnt preclude her from crossing over in the General Eleciton. So there is no excuse to not vote in so many primaries. So i view her as not serious enough about the party until she got involved personally.

by Pravin 2008-12-21 06:23PM | 0 recs
Show me a candidate...

...that can raise $500,000/wk and I'll be happy.  The reason why Ms. Kennedy is preferable is because of the name recognition/fundraising ability that brings.  If one of these congresspeople can raise that much (that one would need against King), I'd have no problem.  All I care is that the seat can be retained in '10.

by AZphilosopher 2008-12-21 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Show me a candidate...

Hey, great minds!

by tammanycall 2008-12-21 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

This is starting to annoy me.  It's clear Markos doesn't know what the hell he's talking about here, and now you've given me reason to believe you don't, either.  Are we going to be so partisan that we must pull the lever by the "D" no matter what, OR ELSE?  Are we questioning Caroline KENNEDY'S loyalty to the Democratic Party?  Because that's bananas.  

There are legitimate reasons to oppose her appointment, but none of them have been raised here, or in Markos' linked piece.  And none of the shouting objectors have offered an alternative candidate who would be capable of raising the money needed to run in 2010, possibly against Rudy Guiliani (if he doesn't run for Governor).  Kennedy would certainly be able to manage it.  If you think that's a minor concern, you're out of your gourd.  

by tammanycall 2008-12-21 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Should Not Be the Pick

Primary stuff is BS. As long as she didn't vote in the Republican primary, it's not going to matter what she did there.

Bringing up the Democratic Primary stuff does nothing except make Kos and anyone else who pushes it petty and unbelievably ridiculous. If your goal was to select someone else you just shot yourself in the foot.

by MNPundit 2008-12-22 06:12AM | 0 recs

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