Did Princess Caroline overplay her hand? Perhaps. The New York Times reports:
The governor is frustrated and chagrined, the advisers said, because he believes that he extended Ms. Kennedy the chance to demonstrate her qualifications but that her operatives have exploited the opportunity to convey a sense that she is all but appointed already. He views this as an attempt to box him in, the advisers said.
“You have people going around saying, ‘Oh yeah, it’s a done deal,’ ” said one of the advisers, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the selection process and did not want to anger the governor. “The quickest way to not get something you want is to step into somebody’s face.”
But how could someone so sophisticated, so filled with political smarts stumble? Well, it was the fault of the “handlers and strategists,” you see. ( Handlers? A Kennedy needs handlers?) This sounds like an excuse that was rejected by the elite establishment earlier this year when another female newcomer fared poorly in the glare of the media spotlight.
Really, Governor Paterson is now in the unenviable spot of either disappointing one of the more powerful political families in America or demonstrating that he’s a pawn of one of the more powerful political families in America. And Andrew Cuomo is likely feeling better. Either he’s back in the hunt for the senate seat or he can mount a primary challenge for governor in 2010 against an incumbent who lets himself be pushed around.