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Caroline’s Charade

Buried in Sunday’s New York Times front-pager on Caroline Kennedy, the presumptive (and presumptuous) junior senator from New York lets it be known that it would have been better if she had the chance to run for a senate seat.

At one point, she said that it might have been preferable to seek the seat in an election, noting that “it would give me a chance to explain exactly what I’m doing, why I would want to do this, and, you know, to get people to know me better and to understand exactly what my plans would be, how hard I would work.”

Most striking about this remark is how it contradicts her recent assertion that if Governor Patterson does not select her, she won’t run for the seat in 2010. Kennedy made it quite clear that she had no interest in actually standing before her potential subjects –er– constituents, only in having the seat given to her (elections are such plebian exercises, hardly befitting a Kennedy). Yet she backtracks in the Times interview, saying that, in an ideal world, an election would be held to fill the vacancy and she’d run in it so as to convince the citizens of New York why she should be their Senator. If Kennedy wants to be Senator so badly and thinks she’s “the best for the job,” why not run in two years regardless of what happens vis a vis Hillary’s replacement?

And while it’s nice to hear Kennedy finally endorse the foundational principal of electoral democracy, there is nothing now preventing, nor is there anything that has ever prevented, her from “explain[ing] exactly what [she’s] doing, why [she] would want to do this, and, you know, to get people to know [her] better and to understand exactly what [her] plans would be, how hard [she] would work.” No one has forced her to be so demure these past few weeks, and in the Times interview, an “extensive sit-down discussion” no less, she barely gets into details about policies. Caroline, who has always distinguished herself in a family full of ne’er do wells, should do what she can to preserve that reputation, do the honorable thing, and end this charade.



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