Monday, December 15, 2008

Please don't anoint Caroline

Caroline Kennedy really wants to be appointed the next U.S. Senator from New York. As a lifelong Kennedy fan, let me cast a no vote here.

I certainly have nothing against her. She seems very pleasant and intelligent, and from what I can glean of her political beliefs, they're very much in line with the mainstream Democratic views. But her primary political achievement is not dying horribly. Also, excellent breeding. That's just not enough for my tastes.

I'd have no problem with her running for a House or Senate seat. If she wants to try the political arena, she's got the name recognition and money to start at a pretty high level. And she can see if she likes the gig and if voters respond to her. But appointing someone who has never run for anything or held any position of responsibility to high office strikes me as bad. That doesn't mean she wouldn't do the job well. (RFK was a pretty good attorney general, despite getting the job through shameless nepotism.) It's just symbolically bad.

I really like the Obama narrative that a mixed-race kid who grew up in a fatherless home in Hawaii on food stamps could, through luck and pluck, get himself into Harvard, into the Senate, and into the White House. I know it's not really reflective of the level of social mobility of our society, but it's a good symbol to have out there. Anointing Caroline undermines that.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eric Rubin said...

i wonder what the comment was that forced the blog moderator to censor it.