Commentary Magazine


Some Of The Common Folk Object

The New York Post’s Fred Dicker finds that not everyone is enthralled with a Camelot revival:

A Democratic congressman, meanwhile, told The Post that he received a call from a [Caroline] Kennedy representative last week seeking his endorsement, a move he called “pathetic.”

“It’s pathetic that Caroline doesn’t even make the call herself,” said the congressman, who refused the requested endorsement.

Other New York Democrats privately expressed amazement that Kennedy has yet to give interviews to journalists.

“How can the press, how can the public, even stand for that when Sarah Palin was roasted for doing the same thing?” declared a prominent elected Democrat.

Also, Rep. José Serrano, of The Bronx, a far-left Democrat and native of Puerto Rico, blasted Democrats, including some of Paterson’s own advisers, for saying Kennedy should be picked because she can raise campaign cash.

“The whole notion of everyone suggesting she can raise more money than anyone else and that’s her strength wipes everyone else off the table because others can’t raise that kind of money,” Serrano said.

“If the governor makes a decision solely based on who can raise the most money, then some communities – the poor and minority communities – will never be able to have a member of their community represented,” continued Serrano.

The common thread here (aside from resentment) is that Kennedy lacks the will or ability to mix it up with other pols and with the media. Hillary Clinton had eight years as First Lady and was perfectly at ease wading into crowds, sparring with the press, and duking it out with Republicans. Other celebrity candidates (e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger) have no qualms about media exposure, displaying every confidence that their ability to charm will get them by. But Caroline has never shown any inclination toward, let alone enjoyment of, the rough and tumble life of politics. To the contrary, her life has been a choreographed effort to avoid getting caught up in the fray.

Everyone is entitled to a second career. But if a senatorial aspirant lacks political experience and experience with the public, it behooves her to get out there and show she’s capable of taking and giving a punch, that she has more to offer than a retread of Obama campaign talking points, and that she’s not going to become a punchline for late night comics. Maybe a Katie Couric interview?