Commentary Magazine


How Do You Rescue a Princess in Peril?

Well, give someone credit: Caroline Kennedy is withdrawing from her senate run. Caroline Kennedy’s “candidacy” for senate became untenable. She was the butt of too many jokes, the public had lost interest, and the Republicans were licking their chops. So: how to orchestrate this? Well, she had to withdraw — for the sake of her uncle’s health. Yes, Teddy Kennedy has been quite ill for some time. But Caroline needed an out. So she goes to the bedside of her relative, the noble Governor Paterson leaks a statement saying she could have had it if she wanted it, and New York is spared. More importantly, the new President, who obviously backed her, isn’t dealt a blow. (The New York Post has the realistic version of events around which the artifice of “withdrawal” was constructed.)

And who thought up this idea of Senator Caroline in the first place? Perhaps Caroline did get the political bug or maybe a pushy relative thought the Senate should always have a Kennedy. But that was a terrible error. It was the perfect storm: putting her in utterly unfamiliar territory (the real world), sending her out to do battle with the media without a political policy idea in her head, and ignoring the obvious pattern of the undeserving “Democrats by appointment” storyline. The end was predictably disastrous.

The only part of the entire sordid episode that worked was the ending — courteous and kind. Quite fitting for the pretend princess.