Sweet Caroline, are we really talking about qualifications?
December 27, 2008 Leave a comment
Ever since she let it be known that she wanted to be the next senator from the Great State of New York, the biggest question on pundit lips has been ‘Is Caroline Kennedy qualified to be Senator?’
Come on, really?
She even got the dreaded Palin Comparison when in the early stages of all of this, a handler “whisked her away” after a reporter asked why she though she was qualified.
Honestly, how qualified do you really have to be to be a senator? Their job is to talk to each other and try to find compromise.
How about, “I’m older than 30, have been a citizen for more than nine years and I live in the state I am looking to represent. Which, coincidentally, puts me ahead of the person I am looking to replace…”
Fuck, we elect athletes and actors to the senate. The whole point of our system is that anyone can do it.
And let’s not forget that Kennedy would be taking over for someone who also had absolutely no qualifications other than her last name and wasn’t even from the state, but went on to do a pretty good job as senator.
That’s not to say that Gov. Patterson should select Kennedy, just that the whole qualification argument seems like a silly one considering she’s taking over for Hillary Clinton. Obviously New Yorkers (and I was one of them in 2000) want a big name representing them.
They want a powerhouse and a superstar behind which they can rally. Someone who’s own light will illuminate their cause and whose importance stands on its own without the need of a senate seat. Someone we can call by their first name.
The difference is that Caroline does not appear to be using the seat as a stepping stone to something bigger.
Don’t count out Caroline. She is absolutely qualified for the Senate. She has spent her whole life hobnobbing. She knows people and she obviously has enough of a grasp on policy to be able to vote on it.
And judging from an interview in the New York Times, Caroline is exactly what we would suspect in her views. She’s a traditional, left-leaning New York Democrat who got swept up in the Obama movement and felt it was time to try and serve the nation.
With Teddy’s time on the Hill coming to an end, do not count out the power of a headline-grabbing last name.
That’s how the last Junior Senator from New York got the gig…